Benefits and risks of medical tourism
Medical tourism refers to traveling to another country to get a medical procedure. Medical tourists travel abroad seeking alternative treatments not approved in countries like the United States. Or those not available in Nigeria and other African nations. This concept is successful for millions of people each year and is on the rise for numerous reasons. Some of these reasons include the increasing healthcare costs in the United States, lack of health insurance, specialist-driven procedures, high-quality facilities, and the opportunity to travel before or after a medical procedure.
A New York Times article from January 2021 says pent-up demand for non-essential surgeries and the fact that many Americans lost their health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic led to a surge in medical tourism once other countries re-opened. Similarly, Nigerians spent $11.01 billion on health expenses abroad between 2011 and the first quarter of 2021 due to a lack of access to preferred medical procedures.
However, one must know the benefits and risks that come with traveling overseas for surgery.
Benefits of Medical Tourism
The most common procedures Americans go abroad for include dental care, cosmetic procedures, fertility treatments, organ transplants, and cancer treatment. Not to be confused with having an unplanned procedure in a foreign country due to an unforeseen illness or injury.
Among the reasons a person might choose to go abroad for a medical procedure are:
- Lower cost
- Culture and language
- Insurance incentives
- Luxury and privacy
- Vacation in a foreign country
- Bypassing rules and regulations
- Talented surgeons
Risks of medical tourism
The financial and practical benefits of medical tourism are no secret. And you may know someone who had a great experience. Nevertheless, the downsides of medical tourism can be just as great. Occasionally, they can turn out to be deadly.
If you are considering a trip abroad for your procedure, you should know that medical tourism isn’t completely without obstacles and risks. These include:
- Poorly trained surgeons
- Low quality of staff
- Low quality of facilities
- Flying after surgery
- Unplanned illnesses and complications
- Language barrier
How to avoid risks associated with medical tourism
If you must travel abroad for any procedure, entrusting your plans and procedure to a health concierge is an excellent option.
Health concierge organizations like AwayDoc connect you to trusted healthcare and wellness providers. They will assign you to a health advocate that will negotiate the best rates at medical facilities. And assist you from your initial virtual or in-person consultation to post-care if needed, and everything in between. This is done through their automated platform which assesses your healthcare needs and provides you with a health advocate.
AwayDoc also makes access to medical care and procedures seamless, pocket-friendly, and hassle-free. To speak with a representative, visit the AwayDoc website now.