Hints and Tips

hints

Before going abroad for a medical treatment, it is important to get enough information to make the right choice. There are several issues to be considered.

Do your homework.

You may be tempted to make a quick decision based on the promise of a fantastic treatment at a great price. Don’t make a decision that will affect your health without fully considering the implications. It’s only worth saving money if you know you’re not compromising your safety, health and peace of mind.

Get advice from your GP or dentist. Discuss with them how much they will be involved in your aftercare.

Whether you use a travel agency or broker, or deal directly with a clinic abroad, ask lots of questions and give yourself plenty of time to make a decision.

Find out about the doctors or dentists who might be involved in your treatment and about the clinic where the procedure will take place. Check the medical team’s qualifications (including any areas they specialise in) and check that they are registered with their country’s equivalent of the General Medical Council or General Dental Council.

Find out who the professional regulatory body is in the country where you are planning to have treatment, the standards it enforces and who to contact if you have a complaint. You can find out about health regulators and professional bodies in other countries on  Health Regulation Worldwide.

Have a consultation with a qualified dentist

Don’t agree to any treatment without a proper consultation. In order to have realistic expectations about the outcome you must understand what steps the procedure involves  and you have to be aware of any potential complications.

It is vital to have a consultation with a qualified dentist or surgeon before you commit to any treatment, preferably with the practitioner who will treat you.

Think of your aftercare

Don’t ignore your aftercare. Consider what care you will need both immediately after the procedure and in the longer term. Will you need somebody to accompany you abroad to help you while you recover?

Find out how many nights you will stay in the clinic or hospital. If you then move to a hotel, are there arrangements in place for you to get medical help or advice should you need it?

When you return home, will you need further care or check-ups? Who will provide this aftercare and is it included in the total price of the procedure?

Ask what would happen if a problem arises once you’re back home. Will you be able to receive remedial treatment in your country or will you have to travel back to the clinic where the first procedure was done. Who would pay for it?

Will your medical notes be translated so that you have a record of the treatment to show your GP or dentist back home? Aftercare problems can arise several years after the treatment so make sure you have full documentation about the procedure.

Travel

Find out how soon after the procedure you will be able to travel home. Allow some extra time in your travel plans and time off work in case your recovery takes longer than expected.

Both surgery and air travel increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism. Ask the clinic doing the treatment how soon after the procedure you’ll be fit to travel.

Medical treatment abroad is sometimes sold as a holiday package. Don’t let this influence your choice of destination or clinic. Consider what type of holiday you will realistically be able to enjoy while you’re recovering from your treatment.

Insurance

Inform your insurer and find out how this will affect their cover.

Communication problems, including language difference

Find out whether all the people treating you speak English or another language you understand. If not, will an interpreter be provided at all times and would you feel comfortable talking to the medical or dental team through an interpreter?

The language barrier may not be the only communication problem. Standards of care and the relationship between patient and doctor or dentist may be different from what you would expect at home. Ask if you can talk to former patients so you have a better idea of what to expect.

Price

Although dental services in these countries are less expensive than in Western Europe don’t be tempted by too much discounts and freebies. Always ask what exactly is included in the price of the treatment. Watch out for any possible hidden extras, like x-rays, pain killers etc, consultation. You can bring with your previous x-ray and other test results.