You have been longing for a vacation for a long time now and someone mentions an Ayurvedic resort and wellness center they’ve heard of in India. They have a 3 week program during which they flush out your body toxins, rehash your diet and cleanse your mind. At the end of the 3 week program, they promise a younger looking and fitter you! Further, if you have any specific treatment requirements, they have tie-ups with experts and facilities providing diverse medical procedures – ranging from heart surgery to cosmetic cures. So, a holiday package at an exotic location, a cure for all your ailments – and all this at a fraction of the regular cost! Sounds like the panacea to all your health worries? Think again.
Over the years, international travel has become hassle free, convenient and less costly. Add to this, the high cost of specialized medical treatments locally as compared to less developed countries. And the long waiting times for non-urgent medical procedures under our public health-care systems. Given the situation, you might be tempted to opt for a quick medical tourism package that promises to offer you treatments like heart surgery to organ transplants, dental work to cosmetic cures – almost anything you want at a significantly lower cost. Plus, the added attractions of destinations like Cuba, Columbia, Argentina, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. Before you jump to get your tickets done, sit back and think over the following –
- Is it Safe? – Do you know who is going to conduct the medical procedure there? He is definitely not your regular physician whom you have known for years. Is their medical team accredited by renowned organizations or recommended by your local medical representatives?
- Infrastructure and Facilities – Do their medical equipment and infrastructure, support services and care staff meet the quality standards and specifications that are the norm in our country?
- Unfamiliar country – It is one thing to be travelling in an unknown country for pleasure, quite another to be there when you are sick and need treatment. Do you have any fallback or support people to rely on, in case of any requirements? Will you be able to manage in a foreign land and probably with a foreign language?
- Paying out of your pocket – Most medical procedures done outside the country are not covered by the government or your insurance. Are you prepared for the expense?
- No recourse – In most cases, if anything goes wrong during the procedure, you have no option for legal or financial recourse, so this uncovered liability is one of the reasons why overseas treatments are inexpensive.
- Side effects? – Who will take care of any post-procedure side effects or complications once you’ve returned back home? You will have to rope in your local physician to clean up the mess at a high cost later.
It is your body, your money, your life and your decision. So before you get all geared up about that trip, make sure you have gathered all the facts and weighed all your options. After all, you would not like to pay dearly for wanting to cut short your bill and queue.
– Research Optimus