There are several reasons to investigate medical tourism. Likely the main reason for most potential patients to consider medical tourism is the lower costs of having surgery in another country. The potential costs will likely be less…often much less than having such surgery in one’s home country. Simple, potential patients feel that they may receive more service for less money through a surgeon in another country. One good example of such booming industry is the Medical Tourism in the Philippines.
Potential patients are often offered services to assist in planning their time overseas. Patients can choose available services or only some of these services, depending on their needs and budget. Some clinic now offer “holistic” services which covers all the potential needs of a patients. These extra services range from nurse companion, to hotel reservations, air reservations, airport transfers to sightseeing opportunities.
The nurses provided are fully trained and qualified to assist patients in their recovery. They will also assist in preparing or ordering meals for patients. For example, the Philippines is blessed with a surplus of highly qualified English-speaking nurses, with many going abroad to work each year. This “surplus” allows nurses to be available at a low costs to patients. Other countries have a similar supply of nurses available to help.
These “24-7” services with on-site nurse or medical assistance can make the stay of a patient stay more comfortable. Also doctors who make house calls and telephone calls to patients may also be available. Today, these services are almost unheard of in the United States or Europe. Hotels at different costs are available depending on the patient’s budget. Some patients may wish to make their own reservations or request referrals from the physician. Local transportation from the airport and pick up to drop off after surgery and recovery can be provided if requested. Potential patients may wish to “interview” surgeon candidates to answer any question they may have. Speaking with a surgeon can help patients overcome anxiety and provide answers to any questions potential patients may have. Patients should not be embarrassed or timid to ask questions to obtain information. Many surgeons, trained in the United States or in Europe, welcome such questions.
There are many surgeons so how does a potential patient decide which surgeon is best for them? First, review the experience of the Filipino cosmetic surgeon: how long have they been practicing? What is their specialization or are they generalist? How many times have they done a procedure like the one you are requesting? Undoubtable there may be other specific questions patients will ask related to their personal situation. If a potential patient has not been referred to a surgeon they can do their own research by checking the Internet, referral websites, blogs, and other social media site.
Testimonials by former patients can be somewhat useful but keep in mind they may be in exchange for a fee or service. International calling is now easier than ever. Individuals can call from your home or office using the Internet through Skype software or some similar program. You can also purchase a calling card which allows you to purchase blocks of the time to make your call. These calling cards are available at most convenience stores and are very affordable, as a note: Do remember the time zone differences when calling.
English is one of the two official languages of the Philippines so English-speaking patients will be able to communicate freely. Similar programs are offered in other countries in other languages. By doing research first, including the Internet and discussions with potential physicians, patients can greatly reduce their anxiety, increase their confidence, and prepare for their surgery.