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The Disadvantages of Having Treatment Overseas

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 25 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
The Disadvantages Of Having Treatment Overseas

The thought of having an operation and recovering in a nice country where the weather is warm and the surroundings are relaxing can be a very nice image but there may be a few reasons why having surgery overseas may prove to be a disadvantage.

Worries about Standards of Practice

The standards of care in the NHS and privately funded UK hospitals are high and the staff are fully trained in all areas of their speciality and expected to work to the same high standards, following policies and acceptable procedures. All practices within the NHS are evidence-based, meaning they have been proven to be best practice. Many patients who are considering overseas treatment worry that the standard of care in other countries may not be so high.

In actual fact, most of the overseas doctors who offer their services to patients from the UK, have worked within the NHS at some time or were trained in the UK.

It is however, definitely worth looking at the rates of infection in any of the hospitals where you may be offered your treatment and to also try and find out the history of the surgeon who will be looking after you.

Fewer Visitors

When you have your operation in the UK whether it is in a private hospital or an NHS hospital, you will be able to receive visitors everyday until you are discharged. When you go abroad however, you must remember that unless you taking other people with, you are unlikely to receive visitors, aside from the healthcare professionals looking after you. If you are expecting to stay a few days, you might find it quite a lonely and challenging time.

Foreign Languages

Although there are many staff from other countries working in the NHS most of them have a very good standard of English whereas the staff in hospitals overseas are not obliged to learn English and you might find a few problems with language barriers among the staff. In general however, the surgeon is highly likely to speak good English and the hospitals often try their hardest to arrange English speaking staff when they are expecting overseas patients.

Travel Issues

You may feel nervous about the prospects of having travel problems when you are going abroad for your treatment. Flight delays, lost luggage and cancellations can all still occur even when you have or are about to pay a lot of money for an operation.

When you are enquiring about having treatment abroad, it is essential that you find out what insurances against these issues are included and whether you need to purchase more comprehensive cover.

It is also worthwhile talking to your existing travel insurance provider if you have one and seeking advice and guidance from them when dealing with this issue.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

All operations and surgical procedures carry a small degree of risk including the anaesthetic but if you have a complicated past medical history, have existing problems or are a high risk patient the chances are you will be advised against going abroad for your treatment and may struggle to find a company who will include you in their scheme or may charge you a higher price.

Talk to your GP or a specialist about whether you are a suitable candidate for overseas treatment before you make any arrangements.

If however, you do make a booking, always make sure you know exactly what is included in your package in the instance that there are complications and ensure both you and your partner or friend understand exactly what this means.

Going abroad for treatment is a very attractive option for some patients while for others the disadvantages far out-weigh the benefits.

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