Medical Tourism Traveling Internationally for Medical Care

Medical Tourism: Traveling Internationally for Medical Care

Each year, millions of African residents travel to another country for medical care, a phenomenon known as medical tourism. Medical tourists from African countries most commonly travel to India.

Reasons for Seeking Medical Tourism – Medical Care Abroad

  • Cost: Treatments or procedures can be significantly cheaper in another country.
  • Culture: Receiving care from a clinician who shares the traveler’s culture and language.
  • Unavailable or Unapproved Procedures: Access to procedures or therapies not available or approved in African countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Common Procedures for Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism Can Be Risky

Infectious Diseases:

Risks include wound infections, bloodstream infections, donor-derived infections (in the case of transplantations or transfusions), and diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

Antimicrobial Resistance:

  • Highly drug-resistant bacteria and fungi can cause disease outbreaks among medical tourists.
  • Antimicrobial resistance occurs when germs no longer respond to antibiotics and other drugs used to treat infections.
  • Healthcare facilities in other countries may not have adequate infection control practices, increasing the risk of drug-resistant infections.

Quality of Care:

  • Some countries may have lower requirements for maintaining licensure, credentialing, and accreditation compared to Africa.
  • The use of counterfeit medicines and lower quality medical devices may occur.

Communication Challenges:

  • Language barriers can lead to misunderstandings about medical care.

Air Travel:

  • Flying after surgery can increase the risk of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis.
  • It is recommended to delay air travel for 10-14 days following major surgeries, especially those involving the chest.
Medical Tourism Traveling

Continuity of Care:

  • Travelers may need follow-up care if they develop complications after returning home.
  • Follow-up care might be expensive and may not be covered by health insurance.

How to Minimize Medical Tourism Risks

Research the Clinician and Facility:

  • Verify the qualifications of the clinician performing the procedure.
  • Check the credentials of the facility where the procedure will be performed.
  • Look for accreditation from groups such as Joint Commission International, International Accreditation for Hospitals, and the International Society for Quality in Healthcare.
  • Apollo Hospitals have all the necessary credentials and meet international standards.
How do Apollo Hospitals Information Centres Assist Patients Internationally?

Before You Travel:

  • Get a pre-travel consultation at least 4-6 weeks before the trip.
  • Discuss general information for healthy travel and specific risks related to your health status, the procedure, and travel.
  • Obtain international travel health insurance that covers medical evacuation.
  • Find out what activities are not recommended around the time of the procedure and plan accordingly.

Maintain Your Health and Medical Records:

  • Bring copies of your medical records, including lab test results and other relevant documents.
  • Inform medical staff at your destination about any allergies you have.
  • Pack a travel health kit with your prescription and over-the-counter medicines in their original packaging.
  • Bring enough medicine for the entire trip, plus extra in case of delays.
  • Get copies of all your medical records from the facility before returning home and consider getting them translated into English.

Arrange for Follow-Up Care:

  • Identify where you will stay immediately after the procedure.
  • Ensure you can access follow-up care in your home country.
  • Understand the potential financial costs of follow-up or emergency care.
  • Review your health insurance policy to determine what is covered and plan for possible out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Consider supplemental travel health insurance to cover follow-up or emergency care.

Trusted Medical Care with Apollo Hospitals

Apollo Hospitals Information Centre provides trusted guidance and high-quality care for medical tourists.

Procedures are conducted in state-of-the-art facilities with highly qualified professionals.

Choosing Apollo Hospitals helps minimize risks associated with medical tourism and ensures quality care.

For appointments, (Apollo Hospitals Information Centre, Kenya / Ethiopia / Tanzania / Uganda)

📞 WhatsApp: +254-719581035 / +254-789-150890 / +254-748-830976

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