Is going abroad for surgery or other medical procedures a good idea?
It surely is everyone’s right to access the healthcare they would like and can afford and there are excellent facilities abroad, however how do you find where these good places are and are the companies that offering advice and booking our procedures safe.
People are going abroad for all sorts of procedures and treatments. Countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, the US, South America and Asia are all offering surgical procedures and other treatments.
Regulation is the obvious way forward to ensure that we have the information that we need to make the decisions which could have a major impact on your life. So we should all campaign for governments and International Organisations to support accreditation of approved premises, ensuring adequate insurance and giving companies that offer this facility, certification to ensure their staff are trained and their practice is ethical.
Consequences of all surgery can be serious and could even be life threatening. Having procedures abroad is potentially more complicated therefore these decisions should not be taken lightly. Do NOT forget the common illnesses that occur in countries and make sure you have the correct vaccinations and other travel precautions in addition to planning your medical care.
Before any procedure, you require a full assessment which should occur in the UK prior to your travel. Leaving it until you are in the surgical ward is not the greatest time to find out you have a problem. The facilities themselves should conform to high standards including infection control medical and nursing care and consideration should be given to follow up requirements. Continuity of care and ensuring that proper records are available is important and that a hand over from one professional to another can be undertaken if needed.
if you are using a company to organise your travel and hospital stay, one of the hallmarks of a good company is that they ask questions concerning you and your health issues. Such professionals should know the person traveling and their reasons in order to find the best spot for them. A good company also understands the needs of mobility impaired traveler and can help arrange for suitable assistance and accommodation upon arrival.
The true costs need to be considered which should also include the cost of managing any common complications such as infection and need to for extended hospital stays or delays in the country in order for you to return to the UK safely.
Agencies such as the Joint Commission International which will offer information on hospitals and health facilities all over the world.
We should be campaigning to make sure we have access to the information we need and rather than ignoring the issue, the government and new businesses should embrace the opportunities.
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