This is a guest post by Jem Mosley.
When it comes to your clothes, a car, car insurance or a house it pays to shop around a bit, compare prices and get the most for your money. This is seen as common practice and raises no concerns: it certainly doesn’t warrant checking what people think about shopping around, it’s more a question of where to go!
When it comes to your medical treatment, perhaps it should be exactly the same. You are not obliged to go to the dentist on the corner of the street or have treatment at the nearest hospital – though convenience is certainly a factor for most people. Consider that like anything else, you are probably paying to have any treatment done that doesn’t fall under National Health (should you have access to it) – and paying a lot at that.
So Why Avoid Medical Tourism?
There are many stories about medical tourism gone wrong that put people off travelling. Tales of how a simple surgery ended up with someone having lost all senses are all too common but the fact is stories like this are not only few and far between but are getting much less frequent. They are often played upon or propagated in order to keep clients paying into their home country’s industry so as not to lose custom. So long as you are savvy and street wise about where you go and what you will have done, medical tourism can provide massive financial relief.
Where Do I Go And Are There Rules?
In terms of rules the most common one from a financial perspective is that if the treatment you intend on having done costs more than $6000 then you’ll probably benefit from medical tourism. If it’s less than this amount then generally the cost of the vacation and treatment combined will mean you’re unlikely to reap any financial gain.
In terms of where to go, it’s like choosing a mobile phone operator – there are the obvious, more common choices and the more unknown. Before highlighting destinations ,it’s important to consider why you are travelling for treatment. Most of the time the answer will be price. If this is the reason then there are several key places to choose from.
First is Poland.
Poland’s acceptance to the European Union has had a massive impact on its medical tourism standing. Polish medical institutions are officially recognized by the Polish Ministry of Health as well as by NATO. In terms of plastic surgery, it’s possible to save up to 96% on a nose job when compared with the UK.
Despite the fact that its health system is ranked as 61 in the world, it is still possible to receive top quality medical care at a fraction of the price here. Steve McQueen amongst others has done so. You could save between 50% – 70% on treatments ranging from plastic surgery and heart surgery to dentistry.
If price is not the only factor you wish to consider, then quality may be something else to include..
Harley Street, London, UK.
London is still one of the most visited cities in the world and Harley Street remains one of the premier destinations for medical treatment. Around 300 years old, it boasts a strong affiliation with celebrity treatment as well as wide custom from the general public.
Making your choice
In addition to price and quality, there are some other important factors to consider:
- How long will your treatment will take
- Will it need follow up appointments
- Is the doctor involved a specialist.
These and other questions all need answering- just as they would if you had treatment locally. Leave no stone unturned when parting with the money you have worked so hard for, there’s nothing more important than your health so the choice of your medical touring destination needs to be an informed one.
Author Bio: Jem Mosley is a freelance writer who is concerned with both health and financial issues, here he has combined the two. Jem currently writes for a Harley street website and is looking into medical tourism. You can follow Jem and find out more on Twitter at @writerjem.
Image credit: courtesy of Army Medicine via Flickr