If you are one of the thousands of people considering medical tourism as an option for your health needs, how can you be sure that your trip will be everything that you hope it will be?
Here are some practical tips for medical travel to help make sure that your trip is smooth sailing.
The number one tip for any medical travel plan is to do your homework. A little research will go a long way to make sure that your trip does not hit any unexpected bumps along the way. Medical tourism is a growing trend, and more and more countries are jumping onto the bandwagon to get their share of this booming industry’s multi-million dollar annual revenue. With this being the case, it is important that you make sure that you will be getting the highest quality healthcare available at affordable prices, wherever your medical destination might be.
Check out the hospital that will be providing your medical care at your medical destination. Find out all you can about the hospital’s reputation, its facilities, its technology and equipment, and the procedures they provide.
With the growing trends in medical tourism in so many countries, as a wise traveler, also find out all you can about the doctor who will be providing your medical treatment while overseas. You should be able to learn a bit about the doctor’s education and training, as well as his areas of specialization, and his general reputation.
Research your travel destination. Find out about any possible language or cultural differences. Look into the local currency and the exchange rate. Check out hotels, recovery care facilities, and hostels. Check out the weather conditions at your medical destination so you can pack adequate and appropriate clothing. Be prepared for hidden costs and unexpected expenses.
Learn about the medical procedure you are having done. It will be helpful for you to fully understand all the possible risks and complications involved in your surgery abroad, as well as having a good understanding of the recovery time and necessary follow-up medical care.
Careful preparation is vital to having a positive experience in medical travel. Find out if there are medical tourism packages, special health travel deals or discounts for which you might qualify.
In terms of your preparation, in many ways, medical travel isn’t that much different from any other travel. All the arrangements you would make for any holiday would be applicable for medical travel as well.
For example, once you are certain of your medical travel plans, make your reservations, book your travel arrangements, and take care of any necessary paperwork. Make sure your passport is still valid. Find out if any visas are necessary for your destination, and apply for them. Are any vaccinations needed for travel to your destination? Get all these travel arrangements taken care of early.
Be prepared to extend your stay at your medical destination. It can be dangerous to travel without your doctor’s approval and release, so allow adequate time for your recovery, and don’t be afraid to stay a bit longer on your doctor’s orders.
Purchase some of the local currency so that you have cash on your arrival at your medical destination. Get traveler’s checks from the bank. Bring along a credit card with sufficient balance for spending. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely recognized worldwide. Make sure your credit card dates are valid, and don’t be afraid to ask for an increase if you need it. Most credit card companies are happy to give their customers a temporary increase for travel purposes.
Make at least two photocopies of your passport, as well as at least two lists of your credit card information and traveler’s check serial numbers. Leave one of the passport copies and one of the lists at home in a safe place. Bring one copy of each with you, but don’t carry it on your person. Either keep it in your luggage, or leave it with your travel companion.
Check all your medical prescriptions for necessary refills. Bring along a list of your medications, and be sure to include their generic names, as brand names may differ from place to place.
Bring along a list of important contacts, so that you, your travel companion, or your medical provider can contact your doctors back home, family members, insurance providers, employers, and other important contacts.
Careful planning and preparation are two of the key ingredients to the successful medical tourism holiday. So, do your homework. Put thoughtful consideration into all your preparation, and you too can join the growing ranks of medical tourists. Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy a delightful and memorable medical travel vacation experience.