When it comes to surgery abroad, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around one million people leave the country for medical purposes every year either in search of better deals or to access specialized expertise.
Going to another country for important surgery takes a lot of planning, however, and if you aren’t prepared, you might end up putting your health in jeopardy. You could also have issues with logistics. Let’s take a look at some important tips anyone getting surgery abroad should follow in 5 Tips for People Having Surgery Abroad.
1. Work with a Long-Distance Non-Emergency Travel Service
You will need to start looking for Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services before you go for your surgery if you’re suffering from a debilitating condition. You will be assigned a medical travel companion that will look after you during the trip.
They will monitor your vital signs, give you any treatment that you need, and can help with logistics too. They can also come back with you and help facilitate your recovery safely, on your way home.
2. Do Your Research on Various Destinations for Surgery Abroad
Make sure that you look at multiple destinations for any procedure that you need to have done. If you are thinking of one specific country, there’s a strong chance that there is another one that can offer you a better deal or a better overall package.
Some of them might be closer to home too. So, look not only at the price for the procedure, but also the traveling and accommodation costs, and the overall state of the country’s healthcare system. You might also want to favor a destination you’ll enjoy staying in after your surgery.
3. Review Your Health Insurance Policy with Your Doctor
You also need to sit down with your doctor to look over your regular and travel health insurance policy. There might be things in there concerning overseas procedures specifically that you need to be aware of.
Some countries might be excluded, for instance, or you may be forced to use very specific facilities. Some procedures may be covered in one country and not the other. These will all be details you’ll need to look over with a professional.
4. Plan for Trips Back when Having Surgery Abroad
Another thing you’ll need to think about is if you’re going to have to go back for checkups. Check before leaving how many times you’ll have to go back for follow ups, and if you can have follow ups performed by a local doctor instead.
5. Have Your Medical History in Order
Avoid confusion by having all your medical history in order and up to date. Review it before leaving and bring multiple copies with you. The doctor should be able to verify your information electronically once you get there, but this will provide an additional layer of protection.
If you want your surgery abroad to go smoothly and that you come back in one piece, follow our few tips. Everything should start with research, so take your time and learn about what it’s really like to get an important surgical procedure performed in another country before you go through with your decision.