Malpractice in Medical Tourism and the Importance of Research
Posted by Dr. Santiago Hernandez, July 15, 2015
It has been over a decade and counting since the popularity of medical tourism soared in parts of the Western world. The frequency of medical travelers going abroad for various treatments has been on the rise. However, this does not stop people from raising questions about the reliability of foreign doctors, hospitals, and treatments, and malpractice became a trending topic.
With no medical tourism regulations in place by governments of medical travelers, medical experts advised people to take caution when traveling abroad for treatment. You would think that, by 2015, governments would have enacted a global treaty covering medical travelers who might experience malpractice abroad, but so far, the only entities that have stepped up to provide medical travelers with relief are insurance companies.
Moneymaking Opportunity for Insurance Companies
The growth of medical travel worked in the favor of insurance companies, as they saw this as an opportunity to provide people with some sort of relief. According to Medical Malpractice Overseas: the Legal Uncertainty Surrounding Medical Tourism, millions of people in the United States do not have medical insurance whereas people in Western European nations have to wait a long time.
Still, that has not stopped people from questioning the authenticity of medical care provided in foreign countries. The qualms are justified, as surgery or treatment abroad does pose certain risks. However, people can reduce the risk significantly by conducting extensive research on the medical facility they are considering.
The Importance of Research to Avoid Medical Malpractice
When you consider the possibility of going abroad, your primary thought is the low cost of treatment there compared to that in your own country. That is an enticing factor, especially if you need to be operated on immediately. Before you make plans to go, you need to narrow down your choices of medical facilities situated aboard.
You need to look through their website to ensure that they are as reliable as they say. Once you have narrowed down your selection of medical facilities, contact them to acquire further information. During your research, some of the factors that you should take into consideration include:
– Medical facilities located in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey are considered among the very best.
– Language barriers between patient and doctor increase miscommunication. Therefore, a doctor with native English speaking abilities is recommended.
– The qualifications of the doctor should be clearly present on the site.
Apart from looking at the site of the medical facility, you should contact them to obtain more information about it, its doctors, and the staff. Since you can run into several problems such as delay in the time of recovery, you have to make sure that the medical facility is equipped to take you in if something like that occurs.
Most importantly, remember that the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada for instance, are not void of such incidents occurring at their medical facility. In every country, you will find doctors that do not have the qualifications of performing a medical surgery. Hence, rejecting countries such as Mexico for malpractice is unfair to the doctors who are highly qualified to perform surgeries.