Medical Tourism Is Estimated to Be a $20 Billion Global Industry
Given the cost of health insurance in the United States, the long waiting time for non-elective surgery in countries with government-funded national health insurance and prohibitions on unconventional procedures in much of the world, patients and potential patients are increasingly turning to private, overseas care.
In addition, many smaller countries simply do not have the medical infrastructure to provide more sophisticated, specialized care, and their citizens have no other option apart from seeking the type of treatment they require abroad.
While many clinics catering to foreign patients are indeed legitimate, are licensed by local medical authorities and cost less due to real disparities in economic gaps between countries, a parallel scam industry exists as well. Medical scams run the gamut from transplant surgery to cosmetic surgery, reconstructive surgery to experimental surgery, from stem cell treatments to fertility treatments, as well as pharmaceuticals, alternative medicines, dentistry, and cancer therapies.
One of the reasons why these scams have flourished is that attempts to regulate international medical tourism or certify their facilities are far and few between. Three non-profit organizations, one in Canada, the second in the U.S. and the third in Britain, do exist, but their global impact is limited. Many if not most people who are desperate to seek medical solutions abroad do not even know about them.
Another factor is that in many of the countries that have become magnets for unconventional medical tourism, professional credentials and institutional licenses can easily be obtained through fraud or in exchange for bribes. The framed diplomas in the waiting room may look real and may even be real, but they are not necessarily a guarantee that the procedures being offered meet even the minimal accepted standards you would expect back home.
In other cases, the practitioners and facilities may be fully certified locally, even though the services they provide would not be in Western countries.
Can You Get Your Money Back?
If you paid for treatment at a foreign clinic and are unsatisfied with the results, or you were deceived outright, or your condition deteriorated due to unsanitary conditions in the facility, getting your money back on your own is almost impossible. Who do you sue? And could you even afford to do so? Filing a law suit in a foreign court is a daunting task. In addition to the cost of an attorney (assuming you could find someone who specializes in malpractice who you can trust), you will also have to pay court costs and return there at least once to submit testimony. You may also have to submit a police complaint as well. And a court-certified translator. Moreover, it will take time before a trial can proceed, by which time the defendants can successfully relocate to another jurisdiction.
If you arranged your treatment abroad through a medical travel agency, you can consider suing them. That will probably cost more and take at least as long before a verdict is reached.
But if your objective is to get your money back, you can also file for a chargeback. The process can be complicated, which is why you require the professional assistance that MyChargeBack can provide.
If you think you have been victimized by a medical tourism scam, consult with the fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack.