Medical Travel: 3 Steps To Consider
Posted by Dr. Santiago Hernandez, M.D., July 13, 2016
A relatively new type of tourism has emerged over the last few years, one which is quite unique in nature and has country authorities hard at work to increase attractiveness of their region in this regard too in order to promote tourism. We’re talking about medical tourism of course, as you might have guessed. The paradigm involves medical travel to different countries which are believed to offer better and/or affordable quality healthcare services, complete with post treatment.
With medical tourism fast gaining popularity in recent years, different countries have developed their healthcare and service systems to offer suitable treatment solutions to international patients looking for the best treatment with affordable options.
The increase in popularity of medical travel has led to improved healthcare service standards and more stringent regulations too in many countries, Mexico being foremost, fast emerging as a popular destination for anyone seeking affordable high quality healthcare services. According to the statistics released in the facts and figures report of the International Medical Travel Journal, around 6 million people travel each year from one country to another for medical treatment.
According to a Medical Tourism Patient Survey MTA held in 2013, Mexico and India were found to have the highest demand for medical tourism. The Secretary of Tourism in Mexico shared the number of tourists who performed medical travel in 2013, and recounted 12 million international travelers, out of which around 6.5 million had traveled from the United States.
While the need for medical travel has grown over the years and patients have the chance to seek affordable and advanced healthcare treatment in another country easily, there are still some things that the traveler needs to keep in mind.
If a patient is thinking of opting for medical travel to Mexico, you should take these 3 considerations into account to ensure the best experience and therefore treatment.
1) Select the Physician
This is the first and undoubtedly the most important step. If this step is not performed diligently, the entire purpose of travel would be undermined.
A patient needs to find and seek consultation from the physician of their choice. If the patient suffers from any particular medical consultation, then it is essential to seek advice from the best professional in the field.
Mexico has very strict regulations for the doctors practicing in the country. The doctors here, offering services to both local and international patients, engage in continuous training and constantly strive to educate themselves on upcoming medical treatments in order to stay at the forefront in their field.
If a patient wishes to benefit from the expertise of these healthcare professionals, then it is important that they get medical travel coordination assistance or seek referrals from their current GP on the best doctors in Mexico.
It is often the case that patients resort to crossing the border for treatments, being unable to bear the sky high costs in their home country. This makes up a very large segment of the population in the US, and if you too are among this sample, remember to always consult the right doctors in the field before you start on preparations for medical travel. Before you embark on the trip, find out whether the doctor has room to accommodate the appointment, offers the healthcare assistance needed, and will be available to perform the surgery or treatment at the time you’ve planned your trip.
If the medical travel is for a major surgery, then it is best to discuss and finalize each and every relevant aspect with the doctor, scheduling a consultation with them beforehand.
2) Arrange For Medical Travel
If a patient is planning medical travel to see their physician in Mexico, the necessary arrangements will of course need to be made. Besides the proper legal documents for crossing the border, the patient also needs to carry all their medical records and prescriptions from their current doctor.
It is a good idea to arrange the services of a reliable and well known travel service provider who can help or guide one through the place. Even if the patient is already familiar with the surroundings of the new place, it is important to be either in contact with the embassy or any other concerned authority who can offer guidance in times of need.
An estimated 70% of the patients who travel from U.S. to Mexico for treatment live in neighboring states and counties close to the border, and just easily travel for medical treatment across the border. A simple drive of three to four hours saves them thousands in medical expenses.
If one wants a comfortable medical travel experience, then it is essential to select a reliable and credible doctor. Also, one should remember to carry all crucial medical reports and documents which can have a bearing on their case and subsequent treatment in Mexico.
One very important thing is to ensure that the doctor and staff are able to converse in English so that the patient is able to recount his issues and ask for guidance without communication being a barrier.
3) Finalize All Pre and Post Treatment Care
The final step is to make sure that all the details for the pre and post treatment care are carefully sorted out before the patient embarks on medical travel. Many treatment procedures and surgeries require the patient to get quality pre and post treatment from trained staff. If the staff or care service is found to be lacking, it can present issues to the overall benefit of the treatment to the patient.
That is why a highly skilled and technically trained staff at an IJC approved treatment facility is every bit as important as the doctor who is responsible for performing the treatment procedure itself.
To make the medical travel a success, it is important to make the right choice and get the best help possible from highly qualified physicians in Mexico.