Whether you’re organizing a trip for yourself or for a loved one, getting surgery abroad is a choice selected by millions every year. Some choose to visit a world-leading surgeon or doctor in another country, while others simply search for cheaper rates than what is offered domestically. But medical tourism can come with its challenges and downsides, which this guide is set up to highlight and advise upon. Read on if you’re planning on visiting a new country in order to receive surgery in the coming months.
Your first responsibility is to plan your flights. You’ll need to book a return journey, with enough time in between your date of arrival and your date of departure to guarantee that you can take the surgery – including in the event of complications or a longer than the anticipated period of bed rest. Remember that flying post surgery is dangerous if you’ve not taken enough time to recover – so check online or with your doctor about when you will be free to take your return flight. And you can bring down the cost of your flights by visiting flight comparison websites.
Most countries have made entry requirements more complex and difficult to navigate during the pandemic. This is understandable; above and beyond the usual visa, you’ll now also need vaccine certification and, often, a negative PCR test in order to visit a new country. You can find all of this information online, on government websites, or on the websites of the embassy of the country you’re looking to visit. Be sure to have all your paperwork in order, printed out, and saved on your phone in order to avoid the heart-wrenching experience of being turned back when you reach immigration.
You’re flying for one key reason: to receive medical care. As such, you should make sure that nothing that you do in your host country could endanger this goal. This isn’t the time to try white-water rafting or to drink heavily. It’s instead a time to talk with your doctor or surgeon and to plan meticulously how you’ll get to their clinic or hospital and where you’ll stay in order to keep those bookings. Make sure that this planning goes alongside your paperwork planning so that you also bring all the medical documents that you might need your foreign doctor to see.
Safety and Security
Visiting a new country is often destabilizing and challenging. This is especially the case if you’re conducting medical tourism to save money, as you may well be visiting a country with a radically different culture to your own. Being aware of this before you fly is important. If your surgery is likely to cause stress, distress, or fatigue, it’s important that you book yourself into a comfortable and quiet hotel – bypassing the noise and chaos of the city streets. This trip is about medical recovery, and where you stay is an important component of that.
Make your overseas surgery work for you by bearing in mind the above four points. These trips can be life-changing, so long as you plan them in the right way.