Monday, June 24, 2013

Medical travel: Eliminating the risks that come with overseas healthcare treatment

Having medical treatment abroad offers rewards that many have taken advantage of through the years. However, medical travel, especially when the treatment is performed in an unaccredited hospital and by a less reputable doctor, does not come without risks ranging from being exposed to a new strain of virus and experiencing ethical dilemmas.
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Unfortunately, patients, like Orla Buckley, found out about this the hard way. Ms. Buckley, an American, was in Spain when she was involved in a soccer accident that shattered her kneecap. She underwent a surgery and spent about 10 days in a non-air conditioned ward that she shared with dozens of other patients. Ms. Buckley’s experience showed how American and overseas medical treatment differ in many aspects. And Spain is not even a country known to have backward medical practice.

Dr. Gary Brunette, a medical epidemiologist in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Travelers' Health Team, explains that Western Europe and other countries, like Australia, Canada, and Japan, give medical services that have a standard that matches that of the United States’. However, there are some regions in those countries where medical standards falter.

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Experts advise medical travelers to check on the following details before they board a plane and fly to their destination of choice:

• Finding the right doctor and hospital.

• Reading the fine prints of the medical insurance.

• Understanding what the doctors are saying.

• Being wary about the destination pharmacy.

• Using common sense.

With the growth of the medical travel industry, patients have more options of a suitable destination, facility, and other areas of concern.

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This Facebook page provides more information about Steven Lash’s work in helping Americans get safe and quality yet affordable treatment overseas through Satori World Medical based in San Diego.

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