Opting for cost effective quality medical treatments abroad is a wise thought but that too comes with certain possible undesirable outcomes that one should have a fair idea of. Medical tourism can be highly beneficial for some while some may not fall in the fortunate class. Specially while availing low cost and quick service medical services abroad, people often tend to overlook two vital factors.
- Is the highly reduced medical treatment cost is being offered compromising the quality?
- Do the “quick service” treatments cover all the necessary procedures initiating from treatment to patient recovery? Lack in support in any one of the procedures can cause life threatening hazards.
In case of medical urgency where the top home country clinics show the health care seekers a long waiting list, naturally out of desperation they look out of the borders to get immediate relief.
Risk is more in case of availing surgery services abroad specially in transplantation programs. Many countries do not approve organ transplantations. Naturally, the necessity for abroad service arises and many often experience post operative complications after coming back home.
Taking a hasty decision to jump onto your flight and land on a foreign clinic would be suicidal. What kind of health specialists do they have and what about their qualifications and experience? What is the quality of medical facilities available abroad? Are they updated enough to take care of your wellbeing and cure? In a nutshell, you need to know a lot from authentic sources prior to deciding whether to go abroad for treatment.
There are cases where patients have returned home financially ruined, physically crippled and mentally devastated.
Treatments prone to get complicated
Medical tourism apart from providing quality treatment services to overseas healthcare seekers also results in the proliferation of medical business. More the expertise demanded in a high risk treatment more is the money inflow. The following are high risk treatments with greater chances of future complications. You need to give a very serious thought and seek professional advice before setting out abroad for these treatments.
- Weight loss surgery
- Liver or kidney transplantation
- Plastic surgery
- Craniectomy, a neurosurgical procedure in cranium
- Surgical ventricular restoration after heart attack
- Surgery in spinal cord
- Bladder cystectomy
Among the above mentioned treatments, plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery has driven a huge growth of medical tourism in South Asian countries. Though most of them come back home with happy faces but few unfortunate ones have to pay a heavy price dealing with the associated complications. It is recommended to weigh the pros and cons duly of a particular treatment while seeking quality cost effective abroad medical services.
The gain and the loss:
Health is wealth and it is worth spending a fortune to preserve this most precious asset. But the million dollar question one should seriously consider is – What do I gain? What if I lose? Will the gain be a great value addition to my life style? If I lose, in the worst case, how severe will be the consequence?
The benefits of medical tourism may be seen in:
– Availability of quality healthcare abroad which is absent back home.
– The cost of treatment is quite often much cheaper abroad.
– Sooner you arrive at a foreign clinic on the basis of a previous appointment you are attended immediately. Treatment starts almost upon your arrival after completion of formalities whereas domestic clinics demand a lot of waiting time.
– Legal scenario abroad might be much flexible compared to domestic legislation governing a specific treatment like infertility for example.
People driven by marketing hype often neglect various implications and catch the earliest flight without giving due consideration to the fact that if something goes wrong, he or she may not get the required redressal. Some of them are following:
-Language barrier, communication gap and insufficient information from both the health care seeker and giver can upset the objective of medical tourism.
-There are a lot of examples that people carry back serious drug resistant infections caused due to blotched cosmetic surgery that becomes an everlasting pain.
-Unsafe and unhygienic treatment practices can cause HIV infections if things are not checked before.
-Lack of precautionary measures required in high precision surgical procedures and post surgical care and support can be life threatening. Many clinics discharge the patients as soon as possible without keeping them under the required post operative care.
-Faulty blood donation practices in some countries with less stringent regulations can give rise to serious health issues like blood clotting.
-Choosing the wrong service provider. With medical tourism boom, mushrooming of cosmetic clinics promising a great makeover is obvious violating the norms and regulations. This can be the most hazardous draining your health and wealth.
Dark side of medical tourism
Medical tourism has its share of clinical evils causing health threats which are fatal in some cases. Many have financially been ruined to tell back home the tale of their misery. Many clinics have just been popped up in a frantic race to make fast buck without having proper accreditation. Neither do they have a clearance from the department of health. These clinics staffed with quacks have been setting traps for patients abroad looking for low cost treatment options.
Recently, the monster of Ransomware has invaded the foreign medical clinics. This malware operates by locking the computer denying the owner access to data unless one pays a ransom in Bitcon. Hospitals are an easy and vulnerable target for this malware because they provide critical care and depend upon latest information from patient records. If the access is denied by hackers, access to surgery directives and drug histories get delayed that might endanger a patient’s life.