Medical Tourism - Holiday Makeover

Although medical tourism seems ideal and cost effective it may not be as good as it seems!

Medical Tourism

Any form of Medical tourism carries some risks that our own Australian Healthcare system does not.   South East Asia for example will have very different thoughts and processes to our Australian Healthcare Guidelines perhaps with regard to Regulations governing Surgeons qualifications, permissions to operate within a chosen field, Medical Malpractice Insurance, Clinical guidelines to standard of care and infectious disease-related issues (i.e. Hep B, Hep C).  Depending on the hospital and country you decide to choose, there may also be a lack of post-operative care, and as with any long distance air travel there is an increased risk of complications to patients soon after surgery of deep vein thrombosis and potentially a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). And last but not least should any complications arise later such as delayed infections these will be harder to treat once a patient has returned home as they will have limited or no contact with the surgeon who performed surgery. Do the costs really out way the outcome?

Legal issues

Medical tourists could well encounter some unfamiliar legal issues - The chosen Country or Hospital might not have clear and concise complaints procedures should a problem arise? Patients might not be covered by their personal holiday Insurance and if surgeons do not possess appropriate Medical Malpractice Insurance patients might not be unable to seek compensation via malpractice lawsuits.  Some Hospitals or doctors may be unable to pay the financial damages awarded by a court to a patient who has sued them.

Ethical Issues

For those patients who are not satisfied with their treatment outcome and may be having recurrent infections and are not able to return to the foreign specialist – Where do they go for further treatment? Will their new specialist be able to treat them? How much more will it cost?

So Perhaps You Should Consider Carefully Before Embarking on that Holiday makeover of a lifetime!

And remember that all privately run hospitals throughout Western Australia are licensed with the Department of Health and Accredited  by an External Review Committee, meaning that they have to achieve a regulated standard.   Surgeons providing care within Australia are legally obliged to be registered with the appropriate governing body and Board, equipment and implantable devices are TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved, Standards of patient care including Infection Control are all governed by Governance and Quality Managers in line with Government Legislation.

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