Is Medical Tourism Safe
You may have heard stories on the six o’clock news of offshore surgeries gone bad or patients returning with medical complications that their local doctors refused treat. While some of these stories may be true, it is important to point out that millions of patients are traveling for medical care and the vast majority are having very positive experiences and excellent procedure outcomes.
Can something go wrong? Yes. Medical complications or even botched surgeries are possible in New York as well as in New Delhi. However, medical tourism is generally very safe if you carefully research your options and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Consider the following when doing your research:
Does the Hospital Specialize in the Procedure or Does it Boast a Center of excellence?
There is no substitute for experience. This translates into lower mortality rates and complications, which means a greater chance for your procedure to be a success! It’s also no secret that top hospitals attract top physicians – another compelling reason to choose a great hospital.
Look for experience.
Does the hospital specialize in the procedure you are interested in or does it boast a Center of Excellence? Ask the hospital or facilitator you are contacting to provide you with procedure volume and outcome data both for the hospital as well as for particular surgeons. There is no substitute for experience. This translates into lower mortality rates and complications, which means a greater chance for your procedure to be a success! It’s also no secret that top hospitals attract top physicians – another compelling reason to choose a great hospital.
Choose a great Doctor.
Although the likelihood of your doctor being a quack is slim if you are dealing with a well-known medical institution, it is still prudent to verify your doctor’s credentials before traveling anywhere for surgery – especially if you are considering a smaller clinic or overseas hospital. Not only do you want to be certain that a particular doctor is really a doctor, but you also want to make sure he or she has the necessary background, skills and experience to successfully treat your condition.
When checking the credentials of offshore physicians you have several options:
Check and see if the offshore physician is affiliated to U.S. or international professional societies. Organizations such as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offer international membership status for non-resident physicians with the appropriate qualifications.
Request physician credentials from internationally accredited facilities as they have a very high stake in making sure that their medical staff’s qualifications are in order.
Contact Jordan’s ministry of health or physician licensing board to ensure a particular doctor is properly licensed. Many of Jordan’s physicians have been trained in North America and Europe and have professional affiliations or memberships in these areas.
While none of these measures are full-proof, they will significantly reduce the likelihood of you choosing an unqualified physician for your treatment.
Consider a Medical Provider’s Accreditations and Affiliations.
Is the hospital certified by a recognized accrediting body such as the Joint Commission or the Health Care Accreditation Council? Although accreditation does not guarantee a perfect medical experience, it does signal that a particular hospital or clinic has invested significant time and resources in perfecting quality of care processes and patient safety protocols that over time will promote successful surgical outcomes. For patients it is an assurance that high standards of safety and quality of care are in place, and that the medical provider cares about delivering quality services to its customers.
It is also wise to look for hospitals that are affiliated to recognized national or international healthcare organizations. Although, again, this is no guarantee that something can’t go wrong, it does show that a particular hospital has met high quality standards in order to be associated to an outside credible source.
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