The dangers of medical tourism

The dangers of medical tourism

What are the dangers of being medically treated abroad?

It is very important to realise that the medical standards are different in other countries and that the quality of treatment may vary. 

There are well-documented risks associated with receiving medical treatment abroad, including: 

  • Infection control issues
  • Language barriers 
  • Inadequate follow-up 
  • Access to proper aftercare 

The further you travel from your home country, the greater these risks become. 

While there is one major benefit to choosing to go overseas for medical treatment, that is reduced cost of treatment. 

Despite this benefit, it is important to be aware of all the potential risks that you might face. 

There are several dangers for patients who go abroad for medical treatment, which you need to consider. These include: 

Lack of aftercare: Follow-up care after surgery is essential for your recovery, and you should consider this as an important factor while planning for an abroad treatment. 

One of the biggest drawbacks to medical tourism is that you rarely receive adequate follow-up care once you have returned home. 

Communication Barrier: Communication plays a pivotal role in providing high-quality healthcare services that result in your satisfaction and happiness. Language barriers may create challenges in communicating with staff and healthcare facilities at the destination. 

It is possible that you may misunderstand instructions about your treatment procedure if you do not understand the language clearly. 

Legal issues: In some countries, you may have limited rights of legal action if you decide to sue a doctor or hospital for malpractice.  

Some countries have laws that limit the amount of money collected in medical malpractice suits. And in other countries, suing a doctor or hospital may not be an option. 

Lack of expertise: In some countries, doctors may have been trained by different organisations and may not have been subject to the same regulations as their counterparts. 

This means they may have less experience with certain types of surgery or conditions and so may be less likely to know what complications to look out for. Some doctors may work outside their area of expertise and carry out procedures they aren’t qualified for. 

Flying after surgery: Flying after surgery can increase the risk of blood clots. Sometimes, long flight journeys can put you at high risk for serious complications. 

Infections and complications: The risk of infection is a major concern. Surgery carries an inherent risk of infection, but this can be higher in some locations because of a lack of awareness or low standards of care. 

Even though many hospitals in other countries have modern facilities, infections and other complications are highly possible post-surgery. 

With the rise in Covid related infections, this is another reason to avoid cheap deals abroad.  

If you develop problems after returning home, it may be difficult to get follow-Up care from your surgeon or hospital abroad because of communication issues or geographic distance. 

Insurance barriers: You might choose to go abroad to reduce your overall cost, as you might have found medical treatment at a lower cost. Before considering this factor, it is important to note that your health insurance provider may not cover your medical expenses or may only partially cover them if you receive treatment abroad. Your insurance provider may consider any treatment received abroad as out-of-network, which would mean higher out-of-pocket costs for you. 

It is important that you understand the potential risks of medical treatment abroad, and that you decide in cooperation with your doctors.  

We hope this article will contribute to raising awareness about medical tourism and its potential pitfalls.