Karen Timmons, Erik Fleischmann MD and Bill Cook have written a very good article in Medical Tourism Magazine. They have put together a good summary of the most important aspects you need to take into account before taking your first steps in the fabulous world of medical travelling.
Medical travel can offer us huge benefits whether it’s cheaper procedures, better service, more competence, etc. It’s easy to surf on a buyer’s high and take a slightly more naive approach in the state of enhanced euphoria of getting a good deal. It’s normal behaviour because, at the end of the day, we are humans and emotional beings.
There are many elements to take into account before starting your medical travel journey. Some more obvious some not so obvious. To ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible and that you are safe, there are some boxes to be checked as pre-travel risk management.
Your overall health status.
Make sure you are completely honest with your doctor about your medical past and possible pre-existing illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease or some other co-morbid conditions. Otherwise, you can put your life in serious danger in the situation where it could have been easily prevented.
Your service provider must make sure and identify your current condition before travel. Also, your service provider must assess whether the requested or recommended treatment will benefit you or place you at further medical risk.
Travelling related risks
The first aspect is purely physical. Travel increases your body’s stress level on its physiological systems. You might want to consider creating the least uncomfortable scenario for that case by travelling in first-class or at least choosing a bulkhead seat.
Another risk factor is due to geographical environments and socioeconomics. Some countries have a higher incidence of infectious diseases. Particularly travelling to a different continent for your treatment. Based on your origin, your immune system might not be naturally ready for your destination continent. These pathogens present a real threat to You especially following a major surgical procedure when the immune system is unaccustomed to this exposure and trying to cope with the new situation.
Make sure your service provider gives you guidelines to ensure they encompass potential risks related to medical travel. You may also want to consider the benefits of travel insurance.
Set the right expectations
Travelling for a facelift, for example, You may have unrealistic expectations regarding outcomes including expected aesthetics, improvements, and recovery. I would say that recovery is the most forgotten aspect of any procedure. Psychologically speaking, we might lack patience and want to start enjoying the result of the procedure right away. Our body though operates on a different timeline and needs x amount of time to recover. When the bandages come off a few days later and reality kicks in, You may feel anger and anxiety aimed at your service provider.
Set the right expectations for yourself and learn about the recovery. What are the necessary steps that need to be taken for the best possible recovery? Know the average time it takes to recover from your procedure and also understand that our bodies are different. Some people need more and some people need less time to recover. Control the controllable and make sure you put yourself in the best possible path to fast full recovery.
Another important aspect of setting the right expectations is the cost element. Transparency about costs is important and knowing all the aspects of how the price is being formulated is vital to have the best possible medical travel experience. Travelling cost, procedure cost, handling possible complications cost, insurance etc. Having a “surprise” extra cost that you haven’t anticipated might take the overall cost out of your budget limit which completely tanks the whole experience for all the counterparties.
Benefits of doing the pre-travel risk management.
- You can ensure your safe travel
- Improve treatment outcome
- Reduce costs
- Shorter hospital stay
- Increase your satisfaction in the whole process
The pre-travel screening process is critical for having a good experience with your service provider. Thorough preparations and right expectations will boost your health and recovery and sets the tone for the entire care encounter.