It is highly recommended to check out Patients Beyond Borders before embarking on a medical trip. There are thousands of medical travelers who write about their mistakes. This will greatly help you avoid making the same mistakes and learn from their experiences.
Making sure you know some of the basics will help reduce the number of moments where you are caught off guard, which sometimes happens to medical tourists. You can also ask the person you’re traveling with or a family member to read the articles as well in order to get a better understanding of the basics of planning a medical trip.
Plan Well In Advance
The further ahead your plan is, the higher the chance is that you will get lower airfares, best available surgeons and other specialists as well as the best rates and availability of accomodations. This is even more the case if you plan on going on a medical trip during the peak of a tourist season for your destination.
Do Your Research Beyond Hospital Websites Alone
It is well worth it to check and re-check your research using sources of accreditation and certification, word of mouth, referrals as well as articles in leading newspapers and magazines. You should also be able to get some help from your health travel agent in verifying what you have found online.
In order to look for possible complaints or illegal activity, search for „*name of hospital* complaint“ or „*name of doctor* complaint“.
Have The Information On Your Diagnosis and Treatment Options
In order to make your search for a doctor significantly simpler, it helps to have a good understanding of your condition and the sort of care you need and want. For instance, if you’re traveling to do some dental work, you ought to have an idea of what you prefer more, such as implants, dentures or a bridge.
Make Sure Your Trip Schedule Isn’t Too Tight
If you happen to miss a consultation or you happen to be stuck for an extra two days in order to recover, it can mean you will have to reschedule your rather expensive airfare and suffer penalties for it as well. As such, it is usually wise to add a day for every five days you plan on spending on consultations, treatment and recovery.
Make Sure You Research Your Physician Carefully
Above all else, this is by far the most important step. You should make a short list of two to three doctors and contact them over the phone to conduct an interview with them either directly or through your health travel planning agency.
Make Sure You Let Your Bank Know About Your Trip
There is a lot of monitoring done by credit card companies and banks for unusual or suspicious spending activity, and they tend to kick it up a notch when you go abroad. In order to avoid them freezing your accounts when using cards in a foreign country, make sure you alert your bank or your credit card companty that you will be traveling. You should give them the dates as well as the locations you’ll be visiting on your trip.
Make Sure You Get Everything In Writing
Everything, from appointments, opinions, doctor’s suggestions, estimated costs, second opinions, information on accomodations and travel dates should be logged in writing. You also need to make sure that you have all your documentation with you on the plane.
Don’t Book The Cheapest Hotel You Can Find
Make sure you stay away from hostels and other cheap accomodations unless your budget is really tight and you cannot afford anything else. Go online and look for the best deals or ask your health travel agent for suggestions of a good, affordable hotel in the $150 per night range.
Make Sure You Insist On Using The Language That You Know
Any health travel agency, a clinic or a doctor that claims to be dealing with international patients should be able to have a good grasp of the language that you’re using. In the event that this is not the case, apologize for not being able to speak their language and find a different place.
Don’t Book Your Accomodations Too Far Away From The Hospital or Clinic You’ve Chosen
Immense traffic and high noise levels can be terrible, especially in large cities. Traveling across the town can be as stressful as a flight that took an entire day. Make sure you check with the health facility, clinic, physician or health travel agent for an accomodation that is closer to your destination of choice.
Make Sure You Let The Local Doctors Know About Your Plan
It would be wise to keep a good working relationship with your family doctor and specialist. Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable to do so, you should still notify your doctor before you go on your trip. This is important because you may need them for follow-up care when you return as well in the event that you need other services such as re-filling your prescriptions.
Try To Avoid Unfamiliar Foods
As it is extremely important to show up for your procedure at your very best, you should avoid spicy, rich foods and exotic drinks before you undergo your treatments. You should also stick to eating only cooked foods. Furthermore, if you can be sure that the seal is intact, you should also stick to drinking only bottled water as some places may have questionable tap water available. Also, make sure you don’t drink a lot, if any, alcohol as there is plenty of time to celebrate once you have fully recovered from the procedure.
If you follow these basic health care tourism guidelines, you will ensure that you have a safer procedure as well as a better and more enjoyable journey and a great story to tell down the line.