Medical tourism is a growing industry worldwide, thanks to the rising costs of health care and insurance premiums. While going to another country to receive a much-needed medical procedure is often the best choice for a patient, there are still concerns that must be addressed beforehand.
After all, while you’re preparing to go in for surgery is the last time you want to realize you don’t speak the same language as your surgeon. So to help make sure your medically necessitated travel goes as smoothly as possible, here is a 5-point checklist you should follow.
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Find a Facilitator
Instead of handling all of the travel plans on your own, consider hiring a medical tourism facilitator. A facilitator is an expert in the options available to you as a patient. They are also on your side and invested in making sure that all your needs are met while you’re incapacitated.
There are a number of certified medical tourism specialists available, which makes it easy to know that you’re in good hands.
Schedule Your Procedure
With the help of your facilitator, scheduling your procedure should be the first step in the process. If you can, choose a location where you know the language and where you’ll be allowed ample time to recover before traveling back home.
Also consider the time of year and what the weather will likely be like while you’re there.
Don’t travel somewhere cold if you simply can’t abide snow and wind chills—it will likely hinder your recovery.
Ask questions up front to make sure you understand exactly how the procedure will go, and what you’ll be expected to bring with you.
Book Your Travel
When booking your travel, consider whether you’ll be having a companion travel with you. If so, make sure that their lodging and flights are scheduled as well.
Arrange from ground transportation if necessary, if they’ll be traveling regularly between a hotel and the clinic to visit you.
Get Your Affairs In Order
This includes both the items you’ll need to take with you on your trip and the care of the things you’ll be leaving at home.
If you have pets, make sure you have a sitter or a kennel lined up; if you’ll be gone for months at a time, consider hiring a house sitter instead of just having someone grab the mail and water the plants.
Arrange for any bill payments to be paid through auto-pay at your bank so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re recovering.
Arrange for any files and records you need to be carried with you in a carry on, as well as any prescriptions you take.
Obtain a different cell phone if necessary, depending on the location you’ll be traveling.
Leave copies of your contact information at the clinic with someone you trust.
Get A Check-Up
Before you leave, get one last check up at the doctor and plan to take a copy of that check up report with you.
This provides the medical center with a clear picture of your condition before travel. It’s also a good safeguard, as it establishes that any change that occurred after the procedure were likely caused by the procedure itself.