Travelling abroad for treatment can be a fairly intimidating ordeal. The medical tourism network is regarded as fairly infallible, with concerned authorities and agencies ready to help the travelling patient at all points of time.Nevertheless, there are certain things one needs to be wary about.
We have compiled a list of six questions you should definitely ask your doctor before going abroad for treatment.
The irony in going abroad for treatment and falling prey to a local vector borne disease is cruel. Indeed, popular destinations like Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil and other tropical countries are prone outbreaks of vector borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue, Lyme disease etc. Necessary precautions must be taken after careful consultation with your doctor. Other threats like hepatitis, cholera, meningitis, among others also must be acknowledged and addressed by using vaccines, if available. The following link leads to a CDC page which provides the reader with a detailed list of vaccines one should take before going to a country of their choice.
Double check documents, verify credibility and ask for a formal referral from your consulting doctor. As a patient, you have every right to ask for concrete verification from the hospital abroad about credentials regarding referred doctor(s) including their qualifications and practice history. Better yet, make sure your consulting doctor at home does this for you; he definitely is better informed. While the medical tourism network is incredibly safe and punctiliously managed, one can never be too careful.
Research links board certification of doctors to better clinical outcomes and fewer medical errors. Source: FlickreviewR via en.wikipedia.org
While doctors might not be able to answer inquiries about finances straight-away, it is prudent to request him for help in acquiring a properly charted out finance plan from the hospital. Finances can prove to be tricky in foreign countries, and you’ll need all the help you can muster in this regard, i.e. exchange rates, taxes, visa related expenditures, etc. Given the transparency, most hospitals in the medical tourism network quote; this shouldn’t be really difficult though.
Does the doctor know your medical history through and through? Ask him thoroughly about the documents and medical records you need to produce for him there. Usually the essential tests are conducted at the hospital itself, but any documents regarding history of illnesses and family history are important. Inquire about all pre-treatment formalities at depth and make sure you run a check-list down before stepping out.
There is no mystery here; you must know what you’re getting into, in its entirety. Ask your doctor to explain your case and his approach thoroughly, not excluding the possible outcomes, dangers and previous similar cases, if any. If you find yourself incapable of understanding the nitty-gritties of the procedure you’re about to undergo, get a third-party involved, usually a trusted local doctor.
It is essential to understand the nature of your procedure, its duration and possible complications for a positive outcome. Source: Israel Defence Forces via commons.wikimedia.org
Most hospitals have a stellar follow-up policy and it is critical to inquire about the post-treatment procedures so as to chart out a timeline for future action in this regard. Ask your doctor about the variables involved in the treatment and how the immediate post-operative care would develop. Be aware of all the possible outcomes of the treatment beforehand.