Guide to understanding healthcare needs before opting for medical tourism

Deciding on medical tourism should not be based on your whims and fancies. Prior to any medical tourism arrangements, it is crucial that as a prospective medical tourist you thoroughly understand your healthcare condition. Self-assessment of your medical condition could be dangerous. If you are embarking on diagnostic procedures (such as screenings and check-ups), you need to be fully aware of what you need.

Familiarize yourself with your condition

If a physician has already diagnosed you in your country, you should be familiar with all that the diagnostic reports say, and the recommended treatment procedures that will benefit you. If you find it necessary, you can even consult a different physician to get more information and recommendations. In addition, consider using the internet to get valuable advice and precautions that you should take while dealing with your healthcare condition. You should also try to speak to patients who have been dealing with a medical condition similar to yours, and get valuable advice that will help you determine the best treatment options available in different parts of the world.

Once a physician diagnoses a medical condition for you, the best course of action is usually to gain complete knowledge about the condition. Knowing answers to key questions such as, what effects it can have on you, what kind of precautions you have to take, how long can you delay the treatment, and above all, where in the world can you get the best treatment, can make a lot of difference. With these answers, you will be in a better position to take good care of yourself, while understanding the different treatment options available.

Proper research and education is the key

The most important thing is your personal research about your condition and disease. Being diagnosed with a disease is a difficult time for any individual, but the best way to gain control over the situation is to equip yourself with the power of knowledge. The better you equip yourself with the power of accurate knowledge, the more you will know about your disease. There are many ways to get complete knowledge about your medical condition. Internet is the best way to do proper research on your disease and its type.

Things you should check:

  • Make sure you know everything possible about the disease
  • Try finding out about all possible treatments/procedures related to your condition
  • Speak with your physician, do take a second opinion
  • If necessary, speak with your international healthcare provider, to learn about their take on your condition

Websites

You can easily visit reputed and credible websites, which offer free knowledge to patients seeking detailed information about specific type of disease and medical tourism. It is better to keep an eye on the treatment options available in today’s world.

Also, you can visit many international sites like WebMd.com, nhsdirect.nhs.uk, nlm.nih.gov which offer a lot of help to patients seeking information about specific illnesses and medical tourism. 

 

Communication with the destination and treating physicians

This is the next important thing that you should do. It is vital for every medical tourist. Learn more about the healthcare structure of your destination country and the kind of facilities that they have. After you have chosen a destination and clinic, you should immediately start communication. Every reputed healthcare facility has an international patient department that facilitates the communication process.

Get in touch with them and have any necessary documents sent across to you. The consent forms are among the crucial documents you want to have before you travel. This consent is a legal document that provides all the necessary information about the hospital and procedure. Also, patients could request for a medical itinerary that details the entire medical treatment from start to finish.

Contact details

It is essential to find the contact details of the department and get in touch with them immediately. After the initial communications, it is your duty to send all your diagnostic reports to the department and ask them for the procedure. Different countries have different laws pertaining to medical tourists. It is very important for you to have a complete knowledge about these laws.

 

Avail Telemedicine benefits before travel

It is an exchange of medical information from one place to other using electronic communication techniques. Telemedicine helps in removing the distance barriers between patients and the physician while improving access to medical services. It is important to remain in touch with the physician or doctor in the country where you are travelling. With the help of telemedicine, the physician will be in a better position to prepare you for the treatment.

Sending medical reports to the treating physician

In order to receive accurate quotes from the treating facility, it might be necessary to send in medical reports. Since your treating physician is located in a different country than you, the only form of communication you will have is via the telephone or email. Digitizing medical documents (such as MRI’s, CT scans and X-Rays) is essential for transferring medical records which can be done as directed by the selected physician or healthcare facility.

Ask questions and enquire from the treating hospital abroad

Do enquire from the hospital where your pre-op consultations will be located, about where the treatment will be conducted and about the transfer facility available post surgery. This information is essential, particularly if the healthcare facility is not providing the transportation, because you will then be required to arrange the necessary transfer yourself. Prepare yourself with as many questions and concerns as possible and make sure you relate all this information to the treating hospital or doctor. If you feel you are not satisfied with the response you are receiving, you may need to look for another hospital or physician.

Prepare a family history for medical tourism

When preparing documents for travel, make sure you obtain or create a lengthy family and medical history for the treating doctor to review. All relevant family conditions, current and previous medications, and other key information should be documented and stored safely, as this will help your physician determine the best course of action for your case.

Ask your family doctor for your previous family history and for any guidelines so you can include comprehensive information. Include the contact info of your general physician back home, and other doctors you might have visited in the last few years. This is important in case your treating doctor needs to communicate about relevant medical concerns with your previous physicians.

Getting a pre-operative medical check-up done

If you are travelling as a patient to another country, you can expect to undergo several medical screenings and tests. This is necessary for all new patients, as the treating facility does not possess any prior records of your condition. However, if you perform all your lab and imaging tests in your home country, it could save you time and money during your trip overseas. By having these done at home, you can conduct these tests in a facility you are familiar with and have it analysed by a physician you know and trust. All medical tourists are urged to do as many tests as possible at home related to your condition, and bring copies of these documents with yourself on your medical journey.  

Pre-Operative Preparations

Once you have educated yourself on the medical procedure you will be travelling for and made the initial communication with your physician, you need to then begin your pre-operative preparations. Prepare a timetable of future proceedings, marking the treatments and important dates of consultation with the surgeon and anaesthetist. These will help keep all your appointments in check and guarantee you do not forget anything. Ensure that the physician you are communicating with for the pre-operative consultations is the same one conducting the procedure as he/she will be familiar with your case.

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