Medical Tourism – Weighing the Pros and Cons

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Medical tourism is all the rage right now, and for a reason. Prices for minor procedures can be extremely high in some cases while in other cases, waiting times for procedures can be ridiculous. While medical tourism has its fair share of advantages, it does have it downsides too. Here are some of the pros and cons of medical tourism.

 

Pros of Medical Tourism

Lower Prices

The number one reason why medical tourism is so popular is that it allows patients to save on many procedures. In many cases, overseas hospitals have just as good facilities and trained doctors as the US. As matter of fact, many doctors that service Americans overseas have been trained in the US.

Countries like the Cayman Islands and South Korea have some of the best plastic surgeons in the world and Americans have been flying to Panama for years for all types of procedures, often at a fraction of the price they would pay back home.

Minimal Wait

Another great thing about getting treated overseas is that there are often no waiting lines, even for very popular procedures. For instance, it might take you months to find a great plastic surgeon on South Beach for a rhinoplasty, but you may have no wait at all if you get the surgery done overseas.

Flight Accommodations

Another thing that is great about medical tourism is that it’s safer than ever these days. You can hire a flight nurse and receive medical assistance during the flight. Once there, you’ll be in an exotic locale and get some vacation time in while you recover.

Cons of Medical Tourism

Legal Issues

However, if something goes wrong during your procedure, you might not get the same level of protection as you would back home. Countries all have their own regulations and you might not even be eligible for compensation in some cases. This is why you have to pick a reputable destination and thoroughly research the country’s laws before you pick a destination. You also should perform a thorough background check on any doctor before you choose them.

Subpar Equipment and Facilities

Too many make the mistake of focusing on price first when picking a destination for their procedure. However, by doing so, they end up playing with their lives. Certain cosmetic surgeries might be cheaper abroad, but in certain countries where the regulation is more lax, practitioners might be tempted to cut costs by using outdated equipment.

Long Term Assistance

One thing people often overlook is that you’ll have to stay in the country in which you’re getting your procedure done in for follow ups. Depending on the procedure, recovery could take days to months, so that’s something you’ll have to consider as well. And even after you’ve recovered, you might have to revisit the same doctor in case something happens.

While medical tourism can be a great option in some cases, it’s important that you take the precautions necessary. Make sure you go to a reputable professional with a long track record for good practice and go with countries with strong rules and regulations to avoid any mishaps.


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