Many medical tourists are not informed and have unfounded fears of what could be or what might happen to them while they are getting medical treatment abroad. Many of these misconceptions are simply rooted in the fact that people did not do enough research. They have no idea what they are truly believing in or why. Many myths about medical tourism in developing countries have been proven to be inaccurate, yet many more will undoubtedly continue to surface. The best service people can do for themselves is to research before taking any actions. They must strive to understand what it will really be like to travel abroad for treatment. Most people hold this false stigma because they have not fully researched what medical tourism entails or what to expect on their trips. If people did their research they would realize that the risks involved with medical tourism. They would come to conclude that traveling abroad for medical tourism is generally no riskier than undergoing the same procedures in their home country. So, here are the 5 adverse myths which have always downplayed the medical tourism industry:
Myth #1: This “foreign” hospital will be a new environment. I will not be comfortable here. The staff will not be hospitable to my needs as a foreigner in their land.
Truth: Most hospitals that serve international tourists get a large percentage of their business from international tourists. They are very used to helping individuals from foreign nations feel comfortable, cared about, and respected during their stay. These programs take into account the backgrounds and concerns of each individual patient. These are the programs that are literally there to keep you comfortable during your stay. That is their job. In most hospitals, there are specialized teams that take care of all the hospitality needs.
Remember, these are professionals whose job is to make your stay comfortable and relaxing as possible. You are paying for that service, and they are there to provide it. If you have any specific needs or requests, call ahead and make those specifics known to the staff before arrival. Most staff will be glad to accommodate any reasonable needs you will have. This staff is in the business of hospitality and customer service. You will be treated well and respected!
Myth #2: I might get sick from unsanitary food/water in a developing country. I might die of severe allergic reactions I have to certain foods.
Truth: Hospitals that medical tourists use in developing countries are internationally sanctioned by boards like the JCI. Such institutions are Western-based companies with Western-style standards of care. To maintain their certification and their credentials, hospitals must meet and adhere to very strict sanitation standards. The likelihood of getting sick in such a facility is very low. There is virtually no higher risk of getting sick in the foreign country than there is in a Western hospital or care facility.
If you have any food allergies, it is best to let the facility know before your arrival. These facilities, just like ones in the West, are equipped to handle food allergies or preferences according to the patient’s needs. If you follow a particular diet for ethical reasons (i.e. vegan/vegetarian) or religious reasons (i.e. not eating pork, etc.), let the hospital know ahead of time so they can prepare for your visit accordingly. Most hospitals offer a wide range of food options to cater to international patients from all the walks of life. If you do not like the served food served upon arrival, most facilities will have a variety of foods to offer if you just ask!
Myth #3: Medical tourism is unhygienic because most “developing” countries don’t have a high standard of sanitation like where I am from.
Truth: First off, these hospitals meet international criteria for certification and accreditation. They must be very sanitary and clean to even be considered for the certifications they want. They must be even more clean, tidy and sanitary in order to obtain and maintain the accreditation. Understand that this reputable accreditation can be stripped away quickly as it is given! Countries like India have lower healthcare costs because the costs of labor and taxation are lower. It’s not because they skimp on cleanliness and quality of care. Hospitals in the field of international tourism are always looking to provide top, premium care to patients to ensure they are more profitable in the future. This is especially true as more and more hospitals obtain joint Commission International (JCI) certification and get into the medical tourism field. More competition means every facility will work harder to keep their facility at the top of its game. This is to ensure that they continue to be profitable into the future.
Myth #4: The lower healthcare costs mean lower qualities of care.
Truth: The reason healthcare costs are so much lower in developing nations than they are in the Western nations is because labor costs per hour for healthcare professionals and taxation rates implemented are substantially lower. Many hospitals in the medical tourism field receive a large majority of their business from international patients.
Myth #5: I am not from India, so I won’t be able to understand the doctors and professionals providing me care!
Truth: Most international universities of medicine are conducted in English as the primary academic language. Most doctors speak English fluently, as well as their language(s) from their homeland. For patients who may not speak English as a first language, or at all, many hospitals offer translators in many different languages. This is to serve the vast numbers of patients from around the world who speak other languages. The aim is to provide world-class quality care at an affordable price!
Myth #6: I just want to go see the world, but I can’t see other destinations if I get the major surgery done.
Truth: Most procedures of any serious magnitude expect that you agree not to fly back home for 2 to 8 weeks after surgery. This is depending on the procedure and is done to ensure optimal safety. You will generally begin to feel better, and possibly even be discharged from the hospital after a few days to a couple of weeks after a procedure. That leaves a few weeks to spend in the country you are in before being cleared to fly home, and before being done with follow-up appointments and care. Use this time to go sightseeing or to visit tourist attractions. Just check in with the doctor as to what you are allowed to do before going! If you don’t think you will want to go sightseeing after your procedure and if you are in OK health beforehand, book a flight a week or two early. Go see the tourist places before your procedure! Take the chance to see the parts of the world you otherwise might never get to see!
In a Nutshell:
Myths about medical tourism abound, and that’s why it’s so vital to be educated as many myths and fears are unfounded. They are not based on any facts. Most misconceptions are simply based on a lack of education about the treatment that you are going to receive. Once you go through the topic, you will discover that the health tourism in India is a safe and effective way for people to get the treatment they need. This is often available at a much more affordable price. Medical tourism in India is a very safe procedure destination that holds no greater risk than having the procedure done in your home country. The best medical tourism hospitals you will findare accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) or other internationally certified associations. The best medical procedures are varied by each hospital, and choosing a hospital that specializes in the treatment you are looking to receive, is always your best bet to guarantee the best result. Please drop your valuable comments below about your perception regarding the mentioned myths and their actual truth.