Making the best of medical treatment abroad
An illness can affect your life and its outlook in varying degrees and may spill over to your family and the stakes which you own in our personal and professional eco system, impacting the quality of your existence severely.
The world of medicine is one of urgency and once a diagnosis is arrived at you may have to act fast to ensure further damages are avoided, and quality of life is restored as soon as possible. However, due to demand, patients are often put on a wait list, taking a serious toll on your quality of life. In most countries, this gets compounded with unavailability of the right skills, right facility, right support or advanced technology, making it more confusing.
Many a times your quest for the best medical treatment could lead you to a location outside of your city, where treatment can be trusted. While you are tempted, you are also apprehensive of what lies ahead in a strange land and not knowing how to go ahead. Going to a destination for the first time to seek urgent medical attention also throws up a spectrum of challenges starting from taking the right decisions, getting the treatment, returning, recovering and hitting the mainstream.
It is important to segment your plan into three silos with treatment being the core and the logistics and experience being the other two and then go through the complete journey of deciding, researching, planning, estimating and executing.
To ensure that you get what you want, within the time you want and at the cost you can spare, you need to find some answers.
- Before you even contemplate a trip outside your city or country-
- What is the diagnosis or what is the diagnostic plan in case of a complex medical condition?
- What are the possible treatments and options available?
- What is the prognosis and how will your post treatment quality of life be?
- Who is the right person to give you all this information and which is the right category of doctor?
- Have you explored availability of treatment within your city?
- Once you are convinced that you have to find treatment outside of your city or country-
- Which are the cities you can go to as a medical tourist?
- Which doctor / surgeon has the right experience for the condition you have?
- Have you spoken to the doctor personally?
- Which facility will be able to handle it end to end?
- Who is the right person to give you all this information?
- What do you need to be careful about on your travel, lodging, boarding, food, transportation and other amenities considering your medical condition?
- Are the logistics discussed with the doctor and customised to suit you?
- Should you plan the logistics till recuperation and how?
- Whom should you talk to for Advice?
- How do you stay positive?
- What are the options available to explore in the new city?
- Are you looking for more than just treatment from the medical journey?
- Whom should you talk to for this?
The answers to these questions will lead to proper planning and this has its benefits beyond treatment and logistics and that is, estimating your trip expenses including hidden expenses. This also opens the scope for cost saving or repurposing your budget. The core of planning remains the treatment and more the line items beyond this that you are able to identify; the better it will be to keep your budget under control.
Once you have the required knowledge and information, it is time to get them into action.
A treatment option abroad will need you to make accurate visa and travel arrangements. Ensure that you carry all your medical history and documents for your travel. Make a list of things you need to carry for your travel and stay and pack wisely. And if it is a long stay, draw out an itinerary for the attendants who will accompany you.
If you are making arrangements for the treatment of your loved one- While you or your dear one is battling the illness, you might not be in a state of mind to plan everything on your own. You may want to take the help of a responsible entity who can facilitate all this for you thereby saving you time, cost and other hassles. The pertinent question then is, how do you choose a facilitator?
To qualify and shortlist a good facilitator you should consider the following
- What is the Profile of the company
- Is it a registered company having presence both in your country and the destination?
- Are they legally operating in both the countries?
- Is their service delivery structured?
- Do they have well defined services?
- Do they have trained resources and well defined associations with the right authorities?
Once you have answered these questions, you can rest assured of finding solace on your travel.
I have enumerated all the key points for you to consider and make your medical travel journey an experience rather than an unpleasant encounter.
Wishing you all the best.
Manoj Bhanu, an entrepreneur in the medical tourism industry has over the years facilitated hundreds of patients to undergo treatment across borders. Manoj’s passion for travel and compassion for people in need of treatment has brought him a long way above his contemporaries. Through his efficient and systematic protocols, he has carved out an impressive clientele who have nothing but words of commendation and gratitude.