The Pro and Cons Of Medical Travel. By Febby Madzudzo

Medical Tourism is the process of travelling to a foreign country to obtain treatment.
The services sought by the patients travelling generally comprise elective procedures or specialized surgeries such as cardiac surgery, dental surgery, joint replacement and cosmetic surgeries.
However, the treatments sought are not limited to this list and medical tourists may also travel abroad to gain access to other healthcare services.

PULL FACTORS of medical tourism,
Treatment is attained at low cost in destination countries because in most countries that have a high influx of people travelling to get medical treatment is due to high cost in surgical procedures.
Most people are now preferring to travel abroad to get procedures done which can be done locally because of the exorbitant pricing.
Some are charged an equal amount to travel, accommodation and treatment abroad by their local doctors.
Which has resulted in most people opting to travel to get treatment.
Bringing us to our next pull factor which is quality service delivery in these destination countries.
To attract future medical tourist, these destination countries have made sure that their hospitals are equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment.
They hire highly skilled doctors and nurses ensure that patients receive quality healthcare.
These hospitals have also dedicated time and money to fund for important new developments for example India and South Korea are the leading countries in biotechnology and stem cell research.
This has resulted in other countries opting to use their services.
Accessibility to medical procedures that usually have long waiting list such as liver transplants and kidney transplantations, have led to people going to other countries to have these procedures because they have no or short list of people to have the same procedure.
The issue of availability of healthcare in third world countries has resulted in people travelling to other countries to avail healthcare because its readily available and at a lower cost.

HOWEVER THE RISKS ARE,
Follow up care is the most common scare when it comes to medical travel, as most people refrain from getting treatment abroad because of the fear of not knowing if they will be post procedure complications.
Since the doctor that performs a medical or surgical procedure is not from the patient’s country post treatment care tends to scare a lot of people into not considering medical travel as an option to travel for treatment.
This might be a con or disadvantage for medical travel.
However there most doctors have made an effort to make sure that their patients are taken care of by their local doctors by communicating and exchanging information about the patients post procedure outcome.
Foreign laws governing medical liability might not apply to foreign individuals which might be a problem if one is to claim compensation after a medical malpractice.
With the above information can we say the good outweighs the bad or its vice versa?

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