The risks of medical tourism

These days, it is becoming more and more common for people to travel to foreign countries for the sole purpose of receiving specific medical treatments. There are a number of reasons behind this growing trend: it is often far cheaper to receive these treatments in developing countries, and people often find the idea of a relaxing holiday following their treatment rather appealing as well!

One of the most popular examples of medical tourism is travelling to countries like Thailand, the Philippines and India in order to receive some form of plastic surgery procedure. While plastic surgery is becoming common place in today’s society, it is still incredibly expensive in the western world. When you consider the price, it is easy to see why you may be tempted into going to countries such as the ones mentioned above.

While the lower prices associated with such treatments in foreign countries may be appealing, there are a number of factors that should be seriously considered before any decision to travel overseas is made.

One of the main things to be cautious of is the quality of care that you will be receiving in developing countries abroad. You should know that hospitals in these countries may not have hygiene and aftercare practices that are of the same high standard that you would find in countries like the US, UK and Australia. This means that the risk of catching a dangerous infection such as acute gastroenteritis or mycobacterial infections during or after treatment is dramatically increased.

Also, the quality of training for doctors in developing countries may not be to the same strict standard that is expected in the western world. For example, Dr Jeremy Hunt, who performs plastic surgery in Sydney, trained for over 10 years to earn his qualifications, and doctors in the US and UK will also have had to receive a similar amount of training before being able to practice. This may not always be the case in places like Thailand and India.
Another factor to consider is the fact that you will need to eventually return home after your treatment has been performed. If you have travelled abroad to receive surgery, the risk of issues such as deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms occurring will be greatly increased when you go to fly home.

However, when it boils down to it, there are going to be risks associated with any medical procedure – even if it is performed in your home country. The best thing that you can do is to research the treatment you intend to receive as best as you can. Talking to your doctor and anyone you may know who has visited the country you intend to visit is also a good idea. At the end of the day, the decision lies completely with you!

Have you ever traveled anywhere for medical purposes?
What are your thoughts on medical tourism?

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