Risks Of Treatment Abroad

Risk is one buzz word that anyone undergoing or considering medical treatment will be familiar with. It doesn’t matter which field the treatment lies in, there will be some element of risk, whether you have the treatment in the UK or abroad.  So how do you combat and/or reduce that risk if you are considering having medical or dental treatment abroad? Research is key, so you can not only make an informed choice about the direction you want your treatment to go in, but avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls that people make. Here are 6 common mistakes, along with NHS advice on how to avoid them:

  1. Research: It may surprise some, but lack of research can be a problem, with some patients making quick decisions, and being tempted by initial promises of great treatment and great prices. The reality is, you need to be well informed and consider the implications of all your actions. It’s important that you speak to your GP or local dentist, and ask questions regarding aftercare. You should also ask plenty of questions of the travel agency or clinic you are booking with. Checking that the people that will be carrying out your procedure are properly qualified and registered is also important.  If you are aware of the standards expected in your chosen country and who to contact if you have any problems or complaints (which may take time to find out) you will feel more reassured going into treatment.
  2. Booking Treatments:  You should not under any circumstances agree to treatment without first having a proper examination and consultation with a registered doctor/GP. This could be in the UK, or with the person treating you abroad. Either way, it’s important to get a qualified opinion, and have a cooling off period attached if you change your mind.
  3. Aftercare: Many people have missed crucial aftercare issues, so please don’t ignore these. Think about any short term care needs you will have after treatment, and whether you might need further care/check-up on home soil. It’s also worth checking out how many days/nights you will need to be abroad, and any procedures that are in place, should you have problems on returning to Britain. You will also need to make sure you travel home with an English copy of your medical notes.
  4. Travelling: Don’t be fooled into thinking a medical treatment sold as a holiday package is necessarily the best way to go. Think about how much of a holiday you’d be able to enjoy after treatment, and in general check out the travel risks. Surgery and air travel could increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, so make sure you factor in any extra time needed for recovery, and only travel home when you are fit to do so.
  5. Insurance:  Many policies won’t pay out on claims if you have problems relating to any planned treatments abroad, so make sure you find out how your cover may be affected if you do decide to book treatment. Lack of insurance could be costly.
  6. Communication:  Not all clinics will be manned by English speaking staff, so you may need to find out if interpreters are provided. Health care can vary from country to country, as can the relationships between patients and doctors, so if you can talk to former patients and find out about any language problems, you will have more of an idea what to expect.

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