Inadequate healthcare coverage is a crisis that is affecting millions of Americans. Some reports suggest that there are millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans whose benefits don’t match their medical needs. If you combine the numbers, it shows that almost 1/4th of all Americans don’t have the health benefits that they need. This is either because they are self-employed or because the company they work for doesn’t provide benefits, leaving them to purchase their own coverage, which can often be inadequate. It is in such a scenario that the medical tourism industry has made its mark.
What is Medical Tourism?
The concept of medical tourism refers to travelling to another country for medical care. Most people who travel do so because of the cheaper costs. According to some estimates, as many as 750,000 US residents travel abroad each year for medical care. The most common types of treatment that people opt for include cosmetic surgery, dentistry, orthopaedic surgery, and cardiac surgery.
Most medical tourists choose to travel to countries in South America and Asia for their procedures. The common destinations include Mexico, Singapore, Argentina, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, and India. With a complete relaxation of the embargoes on Cuba, there has been an increase in the number of medical tourists travelling to Cuba, too.
Things to Keep in Mind While Travelling Abroad for Medical Care
It is always advisable that you see a medical tourism agent before you plan your travel to another country for medical care. Given below are a few tips that you should keep in mind.
- Always consult with a medical practitioner to understand the specific risks related to the procedure, the after care, and to understand any travel advisory.
- Check the details of the hospital and professionals who will be doing the procedure and check the credentials as well.
- Ensure that you will be able to communicate with your healthcare professionals in case English is not the first language of the country you are visiting.
- Carry copies of your medical records and ensure there is a note of any allergies you may have.
- Always carry a copy of the prescription of any medication you take.
- Arrange for after care with your physician before you leave.
- Get all the copies of the medical records of the procedures done on you before you return home.
Medical tourism is already a multi-billion dollar industry which is expected to only grow by leaps and bounds in coming future. If you have been denied surgery due to lack of insurance or not enough benefits, then there are affordable treatment options that you can choose from which has international medical standards that are at par with US or Europe.