When buying a new car or even a small inexpensive object, you probably refer to a buying guide or try to find out what others who have bought the product in the past are saying about it to make smart shopping decisions. But when it comes to buying healthcare, do you do the same? You must.
Healthcare has gone global today. The rising cost of healthcare in the US has led many Americans to seek health-related services in other countries. There are sellers all around the globe selling health care packaged in attractive and appealing packages on the Internet. And people are shopping for health on the Internet just like they shop for products. In such a market, it becomes all the more important that you go through the medical tourism consumer guide before setting out for your medical travel trip.
Here is a quick consumer guide for your reference when buying medical tourism services.
Can medical tourism solve your problem?
Firstly, find out the problems that you want medical tourism to solve. For most people it’s either the high price that their local hospital is asking for because of lack of insurance or the long wait for surgery. You might have another problem but will medical tourism help you solve that? Find out if medical tourism is right for you by reading facts and frequently asked questions about it.
What are your expectations with the medical procedure you are seeking?
Is the procedure that you are seeking elective or medically indicated? Find out all you can about the medical procedure in question. This will help you answer a few questions: is the treatment right for your condition; are you the right candidate for this treatment; should you obtain this treatment abroad; what physical therapy and follow-up care you will need; do you need the procedure urgently or can it wait, or in other words, when is the right time to obtain care; how much time will you need to take off from work (which will include not only the time that you are overseas for surgery but also recovery time upon your return); and so on.
What all countries are out there where you can obtain treatment?
Check out the various international destinations that offer the treatment that you require. Some countries are known for offering good orthopedic treatments, some for their cardiac surgery, some for cosmetic treatments and others for their dental works. Travel and lodging costs add to your final bill so consider those costs not only when calculating the expected savings but also when choosing the international destination for your treatment.
How do you sniff the good provider from the bad?
The Internet has given anybody and everybody the liberty to sell their service making it all too easy for the consumer to land into a wrong place. When studying about a particular hospital or clinic don’t fall for slick websites offering services on sale. That, of course, doesn’t mean that slick websites offering healthcare services on sale are not genuine. The point is that you should do your proper research about the hospital or the clinic you are considering. Ask people around who have used their services in the past. Read their customer testimonials. Inquire about their doctors’ certifications, qualifications, training and experience. Call them up and find out what equipment and technology they use. All these will give you a fair idea of the quality of the healthcare provider. Ask for quotes from different providers and compare them. As you will notice, costs vary from country to country and from provider to provider. You shouldn’t automatically select the one that offers the lowest price but should base your decision on the quality of care offered.
Are your medical records in place?
Get all your medical records in order. At the time of pre-consultation, your foreign doctor may ask for your digitized medical records so he may evaluate your condition and prescribe a treatment course.
Do you have your passport and visa yet?
Next, acquire your passport if you don’t have it yet. Any companions traveling with you will also need to acquire theirs. Depending upon the destination you are heading to, you may require entry visa and therefore need to apply for that as well for both you and any companions.
Booking your transportation and accommodation
Book your tickets and hotel rooms in advance. After your surgery you can choose to recuperate in a hotel or a resort setting or go traveling in the foreign country if allowed by your doctor. But travel or tourism should always take a back seat on your medical trip abroad.
Taking proper follow-up care
Finally, remember that your treatment doesn’t finish with your surgery. How you follow the aftercare rituals as important as your surgery. If needed, prepare your home for recovery prior to leaving for surgery, like rearranging furniture. Also, in case you have even limited insurance coverage, find out if your insurer will reimburse you and how much they will reimburse. Even a small amount may help.
The above medical tourism consumer guide will help you make good decisions when purchasing overseas medical care. To ease your job you may want to use a medical tourism service provider to help you research, plan, arrange, schedule and book your medical travel trip. Medical tourism providers like Healthbase connect you with the hospital of your choice and provide you with many other related services while saving you valuable time, resources and money.
You can learn more about medical tourism, international healthcare providers, and the details of the medical tourism process by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. Healthbase is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer.