Medical tourism around the world is a booming trend that can be seen especially among geriatric patients. As patients get older, more and more health issues tend to arise. Taking care of these issues at home can often be expensive, with long wait times for professionals. Sometimes, issues are urgent and simply can’t wait, putting patients in an uncomfortable situation.
Medical tourism can often seem like a good option for the elderly. The availability of procedures, up and coming medical centers throughout the world, and particularly the lower price tag can make this an attractive choice.
Unfortunately, there are also many risks and potential problems in having medical procedures done abroad, far from home. In this post, we will outline some of these specific issues relating to geriatric medical tourism.
Geriatric Procedures Abroad: What Can Go Wrong?
Elderly patients look abroad for a wide variety of procedures. Specialized health care and surgical procedures are the most common.
Despite the seemingly attractive price tag, there are many disadvantages to flying abroad to take care of your medical problems. The first has to do with regulations in other countries. Some countries are lacking in legislation, regulations and enforcement. This means that there may be a black market for medical supplies or even organs. It could also mean that the procedures are not regulated and therefore the quality of care is unknown.
Another issue with geriatric procedures is that the elderly are considered a more vulnerable population. This means that they may be the target of crime or other scams while traveling, especially when still having to recover from medical procedures.
Travel can also be difficult for elderly patients. Long plane flights can cause other health issues. It may also be difficult to travel home while you are recovering.
Buying Medications Abroad
Another part of geriatric medical tourism is buying prescription medications outside of the country. In certain countries, medications may be substantially cheaper and even accessible without a prescription.
Be very careful when considering such an option! As discussed previously, many countries lack legislation in this field and therefore medications may not have to go through a testing process or they could even be counterfeit. The savings, in this case, will clearly not be worth it.
Do People Actually Get Hurt in Geriatric Medical Tourism?
The answer is yes! There are countless reports and stories of elderly patients traveling abroad for medical treatments and having issues in the foreign country or after they return home. These complications can be dangerous and often require additional treatments.
In the worst-case scenario, there have been reports of deaths related to medical tourism.
In 2007, an Australian woman in her 50s traveled to Bangkok for a tummy tuck and breast lift. She developed an infection days after the surgery, was readmitted (at her own cost) and was flown home very ill. She had a potentially fatal infection that required additional treatment when she arrived home. The original procedure was done at a private clinic, which was most likely non-regulated. Always make sure to go to an accredited institution.
Geriatric Tourism- Not Always Worth It
While traveling abroad may seem like an attractive option to deal with medical needs, there are many complications that can arise. These can threaten your life and also empty your pockets.
Before you make any decisions, make sure to do detailed research about your destination and clinic. Additionally, be prepared to spend more money than you anticipate.
If, however, you feel that you were scammed, contact us at MyChargeBack for a free initial consultation to determine is there’s a way to recover the funds that you lost.