Your particular lifestyle, the medical tourism destination, and the type of medical tourism procedure you will be undergoing will dictate, to a large degree, how much money you will be spending. In general, the farther away your medical tourism destination the more you will pay for airfare. So, for example, expect to pay more if you are flying from Dallas to Bangkok, Thailand, than you would for a flight to Monterey, Mexico. At the same time, you also need to take into account that some medical tourism destinations are more expensive than others. So even if a particular country is cheaper to travel to, you will need to factor in the relative cost of “living,” in comparison to another medical tourism destination.
What about your lifestyle preferences? Do you plan to stay at a five-star hotel or are you comfortable “roughing” it at a local bed and breakfast? Some adventurous souls prefer to immerse themselves in the local culture and will literally live on a shoestring budget. Most everyone else though will tend to fall somewhere between the Holiday Inn and Club Med. The type of medical tourism procedure or medical tourism treatment you are undergoing will also play a large part in your decision of where to stay and what you will do. A medical tourism patient undergoing open heart surgery or a knee replacement will require extra care and very comfortable conditions after leaving the hospital. Not the case for someone coming for a dental bridge or an eyelid lift. Wherever you decide to stay, make sure it serves your needs as a medical tourism patient.
Many of the expenses of a medical tourism trip will be the same as those of a “normal” trip or vacation. At the very minimum you will need to budget for airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation requirements and meals. Sightseeing tours and souvenirs are also a real possibility, particularly if you are traveling with a companion.
The Medical Tourism Association® conducts research through surveys and other means with its research partners.
Although there are many benefits associated with medical tourism, there are also certain risks that must be weighed before making a final decision to travel abroad.
Varying standards with regards to hospitals and physicians can be a problem if you are searching for options within multiple countries with dozens of hospitals. Each country will have its own licensing and certification protocols which may vary significantly from your own country. As you have no way of actually visiting the hospital or meeting the physician prior to your trip, you will have to do research to make sure hospitals are accredited and surgeons are licensed. MedicalTourism.com offers a wealth of information and tools that will make this job much easier.
Traveling long distances after surgery also poses certain risks such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. DVT may be defined as a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. If the blood clot breaks off and travels through the blood stream to the lungs, a pulmonary embolism may occur which is potentially fatal. Using simple preventive measures, however, medical tourism patients can reduce the chance of blood clotting and increase their likelihood of surgical success.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:
• Getting up and walking around every 2 to 3 hours.
• Exercise your legs while you’re sitting
• Drink plenty of water, and avoid drinking anything with alcohol or caffeine in it.
Additionally, medical compression stockings and anti-clotting medications such as Warfarin and Heparin, may be prescribed by physicians for high risk medical tourism patients.
It is important to remember that if you do have a serious complication, other countries' malpractice and liability recourses may be different from those in your own country. Also keep in mind that some hospitals may require a medical tourism patient to sign a legal waiver stating that if they do file a lawsuit over the surgery, the lawsuit must be adjudicated in the country where the medical procedure was performed.
This is one the biggest concerns for medical tourism patients considering traveling abroad for surgery. What happens if I have a complication once I return home? Who will I turn to? Will my doctor even see me? These are valid questions that must be addressed by the hospital you are seeking care at.
Make sure to inform your primary physician that you will be going overseas and try to get him or her involved in the process. You may also want to try and schedule a call between your primary physician and your international doctor to discuss your case. This is wise not only at a medical level (you want your international physician to know as much as possible about your case history), but also has the potential to establish trust between both parties, making your physician empathetic toward your situation and wanting to be an active participant in the success of your procedure.
Presently, and in order to minimize potential complications, many international hospitals and physicians do maintain close contact with their medical tourism patients once they have returned home. Therefore, you should not feel shy about contacting them if you feel something is wrong. At the very least your overseas physician can offer recommendations about what medications to take, who to see, or possibly even explain details of your condition to another doctor.
Medical Tourism Magazine is the only publication in the medical tourism industry. MTM was started in 2007 and has grown into the the leading bi-monthly, business-to-business & business-to-consumer healthcare magazine in the world. Medical Tourism Magazine delivers engaging articles written by experts in the medical tourism industry, discussing issues such as quality of care, hospital selection processes, accreditation, health insurance integration, legal concerns, and more. With the largest readership in the world in both its print edition and online edition, Medical Tourism Magazine is the only magazine dedicated to bringing those involved or interested in the industry the most cutting-edge information.
Medical Tourism Magazine is the official publication of the Medical Tourism Association®.
Medical Tourism is the globalization phenomenon where people who live in one country travel to another country to receive medical, dental, and/or surgical care.
Medical travelers often engage in medical tourism to save money, but this does not mean they are sacrificing quality for savings. Medical tourists typically receive equal or greater care than they would have in their own country, and are traveling for medical care because of affordability, or better access to a higher or more specialized quality of care. “Domestic Medical Tourism” is a subsection of medical tourism where patients do not leave their country, but travel to another city, region, or state to receive medical care.
In medical tourism, a Familiarization Tour or Fam Trip is a trip organized by a public or private entity seeking to showcase the healthcare and tourism assets in a certain region, country or city, in order to attract new business (usually in the form of patients). Fam trips are often organized by the tourism board, medical tourism cluster, or by a Destination Management Organization (DMO) representing a destination. Participants in the Fam trip are typically buyers of medical tourism services such as foreign governments, insurance companies, employers and medical tourism facilitators. They are vetted in advance and usually have all their travel, accommodation and maintenance fees covered during the trip.
Sometimes referred to as medical tourism agencies, or a medical travel facilitator, these are companies that, as their name suggests, act as facilitators or intermediaries for patients seeking treatments in other countries or regions.
Medical Tourism Facilitators have played an important role in promoting the growth of medical tourism, and for many medical tourism patients, represent their first face to face contact with the concept of medical tourism.
Over the last 10-15 years, thousands of these companies have popped up, most sporting names synonymous with health and travel. They function much like a travel agency, requesting and obtaining passports, booking flights, and arranging a medical tourism patient’s lodging, transportation and tours. The key difference, of course, is that they also serve as the liaison or mediator between you and the international hospital and doctor. In effect, it is the facilitator’s job to repackage the medical provider’s service offering, make it more appealing, and then guide you along the medical tourism process.
The Medical Tourism Association® also referred to as Medical Travel Association, is the first membership based international non-profit trade association for the medical tourism and global healthcare industry made up of the top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality of healthcare to patients in a global environment. Our Association promotes the interests of its healthcare provider and medical tourism facilitator members. The Medical Tourism Association® has three tenets: Transparency in Quality and Pricing, Communication and Education.
Patients are traveling because of the high quality of healthcare, affordability, access of care or better availability.
MedicalTourism.com is a free, confidential, independent resource for patients and industry providers. Our mission is to provide a central portal where patients, medical tourism providers, hospitals, clinics, employers, and insurance companies can all find the information they need. Our site focuses on patients looking for specific knowledge in the fields of medical tourism, dental tourism, and health tourism.Contact us