IS MEDICAL TOURISM SAFE?
This then begs the question, are prices cheaper overseas due to substandard quality?
Along with price, safety is a key issue for anyone thinking of traveling internationally for medical care (medical tourism). How can I be sure that my international doctor is truly qualified – or even a real doctor? What about the standards of care at that hospital in Manila, Philippines, are they similar to what I’m used to at home? These and other questions like these will undoubtedly pass through your mind as you consider traveling abroad for medical care.
Substandard quality can be found anywhere – including in many so-called first world nations. Keep in mind though, that most established medical tourism destinations are competing against each other to lure first world medical tourism patients. Hospitals, and in many cases governments, have worked hard to provide foreign patients with world-class facilities, a dream team medical staff and cutting-edge technology. Many have taken the time and effort (as well as invested considerable funds) to become accredited by organizations such as Joint Commission International.
This same type of “our hospital needs to be better than your hospital” mentality motivates international hospitals to lavish medical tourism patients with personalized attention and services that you will seldom find at any U.S hospital. Patient rooms at some Asian hospitals seem better suited to a hotel like the Ritz Carlton. At least one hospital in Costa Rica offers medical tourism patients (or family members) free massages, haircuts and pedicures before or after their procedures.
Amenities aside, you do need to do your research, ask questions and make sure you have chosen an experienced doctor and choice facility regardless of where you choose to have your surgery.