What Is Medical Tourism?
Medical Tourism is a term given in which people who live in one country and travel to another country to undertake surgical, medical, dental or cosmetic care. Companies that specialise in medical tourism are usually associated with specialist boutique styled hospitals, and also have connections to travel services.
Why is Medical Travel becoming popular?
Medical Travel is usually an option for people who want a procedure but cannot afford the surgery in the country of residence. Patients can also be on long waiting lists due to their own country’s health system. Even those people with the highest level of health cover will find themselves with out of pocket costs that aren’t covered.
Why is Asia a good option for my surgery?
Hospitals that cater to both local and foreign communities, with international medical standards in world-class facilities at reasonable and affordable prices coupled with warm hospitality, makes Asia an ideal option, a favourite health & wellness destination, offering a combination of natural beauty, pristine beaches, delicious cuisine, shopping and five star tropical spas and resorts to complete your experience. Malaysia is one of the top preferred surgery destinations for Australian’s and New Zealanders alike.
Are the surgeons and specialists educated and trained enough?
Of course. Equate it to a pilot who flies a plane. Different airlines and countries but all the same standard and training. This allows a pilot to work for different airline companies. Many staff have either trained or previously worked in the US, United Kingdom, Europe or Australia, and a vast majority speak English fluently. Each surgeon is member to the the Society of their Speciality of their respective countries and these official organisations ensure that each surgeons has trained and practice their specialty in accordance with the professional standards and ethics of the society.
Are the Hospitals up to date with the Western World in terms of facilities and technology?
Many hospitals are corporately owned and are making investments in equipment and technology therefore will often exceed expectations of care and comfort. Some hospitals have even made names for themselves as world class research centres and are associated with well-respected hospitals in Australia, US and UK. The hospitals look as luxurious as five star hotel resorts.
Are the Hospitals regulated and controlled with accreditation etc?
All of our hospitals meet the most stringent world health regulations and standards. Many having been awarded as the International Hospital of the Year. Many of the reputed hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), as well as Australian Standards which certifies through painstaking periodic inspections, to ensure that procedures and practices meet demanding standards.
What about the quality of the facilities, rooms, nurses, staff?
All staff meet international standard as do all of the facilities. Each hospital has a special International division to look after the needs of international patients and is renowned for exceptional quality and service. With a low nurse to patient ratio, patients can expect to receive a high level of personal care and attention.
Are there any hidden costs?
You will be given full costing up front. In addition to having a lower fee for a procedure, hospitals are willing to provide upfront fee estimates. More complicated surgeries will initially still be estimates. This openness is perfect for overall planning purposes when comparing options. Your surgical quote will cover the cost of the procedure; initial consultation fee, surgeon, surgical fee, anaesthesia fee, operating room, nurses and nurse care, medications and pain killers, inpatient hospital room, meals, follow-up care till discharge and final consultation before departure.
Can I have more than one procedure?
You can have more than one procedure as long as this is arranged at the time of booking. As there will be other patients scheduled before and after your allocated theatre times, additional procedures at the time of surgery are discouraged and will only be available if time permits. Package deals can be a great time and money saver. Whilst the most popular options and packages are cosmetic and dental, there is a growing market for wellness and anti-ageing, health screening, bariatric surgery and other medical procedures.
Can I go with friends or in a group?
While you can take along a companion or friend you will not be on your own if you travel alone. This can be a comforting scenario for single people or for those who have never travelled abroad before. It’s also a great way to make new friends and experience a wonderful, life changing time together.
Is there a waiting period?
All bookings are subject to availability and demand. Most surgeries can be scheduled within a few weeks, pending availability of the surgeon and your time. Ideally you should allow a minimum of 12 weeks to make your arrangements.
Where do I recuperate or do I go home straight away?
You will generally have a 2 night stay in hospital and then be discharged into our care to recuperate at your accommodation. You are required to stay a specified length of time as deemed by your surgeon for recovery, checkups, suture removal, infection checks and final consult before returning home. This time depends on the type of procedure you are having. You will have the opportunity to recuperate in a relaxing, calm and beautiful environment, free from ringing phones, day to day responsibilities and stresses that envelope modern day living at home. Being away from home can give you a break and allow you to relax and concentrate on a good recovery
Is there a doctor at home for follow up?
If you have advised and discussed with your GP or physician that you will be travelling abroad for treatment they should always be available for you upon return. There should never be any reason for your GP or physician to deny medical service (for whatever reason). Otherwise, if you do not have a regular GP or physician, our smart partners do have arrangements with some surgeons in Australia who will be able to assist you if needed.
What about the risks of travelling abroad for treatment?
Any kind of surgical treatment at home or abroad, will entail risk. No matter how painstakingly hospitals follow and meet the procedure and practices certification criteria, advanced technology and facilities with highly trained, educated and skilled surgeons with impeccable credentials and staff, there will always be an element of risk. As a medical tourist, risks can always be managed with good planning, research, knowledge and overall, always being careful and follow the surgeons post surgery care instructions. All these will help make your experience a rewarding and healthy one.
What are the potential savings?
One of the greatest factors in the popularity of medical tourism is cost. You are able to access the highest calibre of surgeons and facilities at a cost that would not be available to you here in Australia. This cost differential is not due to lack of quality, but primarily because a good portion of health care is not tied up in bureaucracy, administrative and insurance systems and paperwork etc. (Also, every country has different levels of pricing structures no matter what you are purchasing). Travel is much cheaper these days also, so because of the reduced costs overall, it may be feasible for you to bring along a friend or family member.
What about Medical Travel coverage?
Medical Travel coverage will generally not cover any elective or cosmetic procedures, at home or abroad. Medical tourism offers a solution for people in all financial situations as the cost of treatment can be greatly reduced sometimes by up to ninety percent. Furthermore through Global Protective Solutions we offer travel accident coverage for the medical tourist including medical /dental complications coverage, and coverage for travel companion(s).
What about elective surgery or cosmetic procedure?
Women are naturally more focused on their appearance, however various surveys over the last few years indicate about 85% of men believe that personal appearance plays a role in their professional success and advancement, therefore, there is an increase and interest in cosmetic surgery among men. So guys, why not – at least you can recover in peace and return rejuvenated! After weightloss you may require skin excision and this is a different approach to cosmetic surgery.
What is the difference between a Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon?
The terms “plastic/reconstructive surgery,” and “cosmetic surgery” are not interchangeable. Plastic or Reconstructive Surgery is a specialist surgical craft involved in the restoration or improvement of human form and function. Surgeons are trained, experienced and qualified to perform both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on the face and all areas of the body. Because many cosmetic procedures are rooted in reconstructive plastic surgery, a thorough training in reconstructive plastic surgical techniques forms the appropriate background for a plastic surgeon to proceed with training in Cosmetic/Aesthetic Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery is also known as “aesthetic plastic surgery” and is an elective surgery known for improving aesthetic physical appearances. The cosmetic surgeon’s training and practical experiences making them qualified to perform cosmetic procedures such as Botox, laser surgery, and tumescent liposuction. Cosmetic surgery has become an increasingly important part of Plastic Surgery as new surgical techniques and sophisticated anaesthesia enables surgery to be safely undertaken for the improvement of personal appearance.
Can I do it myself?
Deciding which procedure you would love to have is the easy part. What comes next are generally the biggest stumbling blocks and considerations for potential patients, as it will primarily involve hours of time spent researching the destination, hospitals, surgeons, bookings and appointments with hospitals and surgeons, paperwork, sending medical records (if applicable) and photographs, payments, how much time to allow away, flights and accommodation (pre and post /recovery accommodation), handling any travel mishaps, post surgery activities, transfers etc. Medical Travel can be complicated and time consuming if you make your plans yourself.
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