Arranging Your Overseas Operation
The idea of combining a holiday with your needed or requested operation can be very appealing to many people but most of these patients don’t know where to begin when trying to arrange such a visit.
What Do I Do First?Primarily it is important that you speak to your GP before you make any plans at all. There may be several reasons why you shouldn’t travel or why the NHS may be the best option for you.
Ask at length, for your GP or specialist to outline all of the possible advantages and disadvantages of having your surgery overseas and jot down any information or questions that you feel you need to ask the provider of your care if you do go abroad.It may be possible for your GP or other healthcare professional to recommend a reputable company who can provide the service you require; even so, it is essential that you carry out some background checks before making any decisions.
There are many companies that specialise in offering surgery abroad and have a wealth of experience in matching patients to the surgeon and location depending on their need. Many of these have codes of conduct and practice that require strict adherence and will also try where possible to find English speaking doctors.
What Not to DoDo not be lured into enquiring and booking your procedure purely on the basis of an advert you have heard on the television or radio or seen in a magazine or newspaper.
Always make sure you research not only the care provider but the actual surgeon and the institute that will carry out the surgery.Do not be afraid to ask questions even direct ones that they may not wish to discuss regarding infection rates, the experience of the staff and so on.
If possible arrange to speak to previous patients to find out exactly how they rated their experience and take caution if this information is not offered or arranged.
If you are having major surgery that is likely to include a long recovery process, you should be selective regarding the type of holiday-cum-surgery you opt for as many incorporate activities such as safaris or water-sports based holidays following the procedure which should be targeted to those who are having very minor procedures or who are looking for more of a rejuvenating type of experience; do not be lulled into booking something that is not going to be suitable for your individual circumstance.
Things to RememberWhen you have selected an overseas healthcare provider there are a few points that should be noted to ensure all of your expectations are met.
Make sure your insurance company pays for all the additional possibilities that may occur whilst you are away; issues such as flight delays, rescheduling of the surgery if delays do happen, lost luggage, post-surgery accommodation and so on.Travel arrangements and the possibility of cancellations etc. should be investigated along with any post-operative complications that may occur and all follow-up care.
Make sure the provider you select follows a code of practice that is recognised throughout the privately arranged medical insurer and associated professions.
There are many reasons why having surgery abroad may seem like a feasible and attractive option and for many this may be true but it is important to make sure you carry out enough research in order to gain the most realistic expectation of the experience.