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Surgical safety in medical tourism

By Alexis Norman Subscribe to RSS | February 14th 2012 | Views:

The surgical safety has been perfected before. So, we thought. With the current crisis in the global health care, many patients are taking their surgical matters into their own hands. More and more patients are turning into medical tourists. The patients are better informed, will take most of the decisions and will shop around for the best price. But here the problem is many patients tend to associate a “good deal” with a successful surgery. A typical medical tourist has no way to judge the quality of the surgery he or she is going to receive. The average patient tends to think all the hospitals out there are alike and hence they tend to make decisions solely based on price. Many prospective medical tourism patients in the western world have a very good faith in their domestic medical system. The most common reason cited for the medical travel includes the potential cost savings. The other reasons includes, longer wait lists and availability of accessible medical services.

Unfortunately, unlike the traditional medical system, the medical tourism industry is heavily influenced by medical tourism facilitators.There are no licensure requirements, and the industry is populated heavily by telephone marketers and sales people. One can only imagine the fate of quality, when a non medical professional is in charge. Many of these people fail to recognize what is at stake. They will typically go for the lowest priced clinic and will try to take competitive advantage of it regardless of outcome. Their only slogan is medical tourism cost.

There are several factors involved in determining the total surgical cost. They include the travel, local stay, hospital fees and average complication rate. For example if a given hospitals has 10% more complication rate and average price for the complication is $25,000, then the price for that hospital is increased by at least $2,500 per procedure with marked decrease in surgical outcome. This is a common sense logic, which was unfortunately lost by all the marketing uproar by many opportunistic medical tourism companies and greedy patients alike.

The surgical safety can be divided into 3 broad categories.

Facility: Today, with the competition in the field of medical tourism, there is no reason to compromise on the safety. Today we have many JCI accredited hospitals offering quality surgeries for affordable prices. Many of these hospitals are very sophisticated and are safe to deal with. Watch out for the hospitals (clinics) that talk nothing but price. Most often they cleverly avoid going into detail about their facilities. Can you expect the same quality outcome at 7 bed clinic as that of 700 bed JCI accredited hospital? Definitely not. Because they simply won’t have resources. What if suddenly something goes wrong in the surgery and you need emergency medical attention? They are simply not equipped to deal with such emergencies.

Surgical skill: Normally, you won’t find the top notch surgeons practicing in a small town in a 5-10 bed clinic. Poor surgical skills are very important predictors of post surgical complications.

Post surgical care: This is also an important period for the post surgical wound care and prevention of complications like DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) Again, unfortunately, the smaller facilities simply won’t have enough resources to handle and prepare patients for international travel.

Hence it is very important to do your research. Always focus on quality and then narrow down the price. Also, make sure that your medical tourism provider is somebody from the medical or related profession, not merely a salesman.

Alexis Norman - About Author:
The biggest advantage of Medical tourists vsiting low cost heath care destinations is to reduce the Medical Tourism Cost and still getting efficient treatment.

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