Elective surgery abroad – is it the right choice?

One medical trend that is growing in popularity all the time is the decision to have surgery overseas. While we do have excellent medical facilities here in the UK there are a number of factors that encourage people to look abroad. While many surgeries can be performed abroad under the NHS, elective surgeries aren’t included.

For people considering the often life changing choice of whether to have an elective surgery, cheaper prices and shorter waiting lists abroad can seem like a big incentive. If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of travelling overseas or staying local, here are some factors that can help influence your decision.

Why do people travel overseas for surgeries?

For people considering private surgery options the list of potential destinations doesn’t need to be restricted to cities in the UK. Countries like Australia, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and Spain are just a handful of the locations that offer excellent medical facilities and potentially more affordable surgery options.

Finding affordable prices doesn’t need to mean traveling to third world countries either. Prices for hospital treatment in Europe can be highly competitive with private surgeries like hip treatment cheaper than the equivalent in UK private hospitals.

There are a number of factors that entice patients to look abroad when considering their surgery location. Price is often a hugely influential factor, with many countries offering radically cheaper rates. Another factor is availability.

For people who want an elective operation performed as soon as possible, long waiting lists at home can be incredible frustrating. Excellent medical facilities abroad can often fit people in much sooner than a UK facility and still offer excellent services.

Finally surgical travel is fast becoming a popular way to incorporate seeing the sights and sounds of a destination abroad with the practicalities of having a surgery performed. Medical tourism or travel often incorporates the surgical recovery process with a spa experience and plenty of R&R at a comparatively affordable overseas location.

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Things to consider

Never sacrifice on quality

You can find some radically cheaper surgeries abroad, but it’s important to consider why the cost is so different. It’s vital that quality isn’t sacrificed in order for a cheaper budget so make sure hygiene standards are maintained. From the use of latex gloves during the examination through to excellent quality aftercare facilities, always priority the standard of care over the price.

Language barrier

If you decide to book abroad you need to make sure you feel confident you can still communicate with the medical team around you. It’s vital that you can communicate with the doctors and the nurses performing your surgery and fully get to grips with the experience you’re signing up for. You need to be able to understand the potential complications you could encounter and a language barrier can prevent that.

Factor in after care time

When you opt for surgeries overseas you need to also factor in time for recovery, which is another expense to your holiday bill. The medical process needs to be taken into account, including leaving time for checkups and follow-ups.

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