Guest post by Thomas Readley
Getting medical treatment while you’re abroad might not be the first thing on your mind. In fact, most of us only really step on a plane when we’re travelling for business, visiting family, or relaxing and unwinding during a holiday. However, the rise in medical tourism has led to more and more people indulging in a trip abroad for popular treatments such as plastic surgery and dental surgeries such as fillings or root canals. From the reduced costs to shorter waiting times, here’s what you need to know about medical tourism.
What Does Medical Tourism Offer?
Medical tourism may be a controversial topic, but over recent years, has developed a far better reputation in the healthcare industry. Travelling abroad for treatment can provide you with access to high-quality healthcare while overseas, and often at a far lower cost. This is beneficial for those looking to undergo a treatment such as plastic surgery as this can be expensive when seeking to have it in the UK.
Perhaps the leading draw for medical tourism rests in the lower cost of a number of treatments when compared to the patient’s home country. It’s possible to find procedures and packages at accredited and trustworthy clinics that factor in travel costs as well as the procedure, ensuring you get the full treatment and aftercare you need, often for less than just the cost of the treatment at home. With popular treatments such as the cost of a hair transplant and a number of popular procedures being significantly cheaper, this is one of the biggest benefits to opting for medical tourism. Patients have reportedly made savings of anything between 15-75% when opting for medical tourism for their specific treatment.
In the UK, the NHS, in particular, is notorious for long waiting times for elective surgeries. Any patient in need of treatment can wait upwards of 110 days (according to The Patient’s Association) which can be halved, if not eradicated completely when travelling abroad for the treatment. This is particularly beneficial for those that are looking for specific procedures, as medical professionals can also be found in a privately funded clinic.
A Holiday With Your Treatment
Another huge draw for medical tourism rests in the fact that most patients will factor a holiday in with their treatment to make the most of the travel expenses. If you’ve never been to the country before, you could opt to leave a little earlier than the arranged surgery date to explore the surrounding location or, in cases where recovery time is minimal, you could go on to explore this as you recover. With a number of destinations highly popular for those looking to undergo some form of plastic surgery or hair transplant the USA came out on top when looking at the results of the 2016 International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery press release, closely followed by Brazil, Japan and Italy. This is beneficial for those looking to undergo surgery whilst exploring the area, as medical facilities and accommodation are high quality to help you recover quickly with the best possible results.
Do Your Research
Previously, the thought of travelling abroad for an operation had less-than-ideal connotations. However, the perceived differences in quality of care are practically non-existent and in some cases, the complete opposite to what the stereotype suggests. Despite the high-quality care available abroad, however, you should still do your research before choosing a clinic to ensure you’re getting an accredited body that adheres to regulation and industry standards.
You should look into not only the company but the facility and the doctor you’ll be under. Investigate their qualifications, take a look at other patient reviews and make note of any warning signs you need to take into consideration or questions that you would want to ask before booking any appointments.
Travelling for treatment isn’t for everyone, but certainly opens up a world of opportunities for those who either can’t afford the procedure at home or who may find themselves waiting for surgery back at home. Whether you’re travelling for hip surgery, or you’re heading abroad for cosmetic surgery, different countries specialise in different medical areas. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, do your research, find the right clinic for you, and enjoy your medical tourism experience!
About author: Thomas Readley is an experienced and notable author, who loves taking on new challenges and writing across a huge range of topics – channelling his personal experience and expertise. When Troy isn’t tapping away at his keyboard, creating his latest masterpiece, he can be found exploring new countries and cultures or burying his head in a good book.