Medical Vacation Anxiety
Traveling abroad can be scary. Unfamiliar places. Unfamiliar faces. And, let’s face it. Sometimes you just don’t feel like you’ll fit in. Magnify those apprehensions several-fold when you’re already anxious about a medical procedure. The heightened sense of fear is what many first-time or inexperienced travelers undergo during their first medical vacation.
Avoiding the Dangers of Dental Tourism
“There’s a stranger drilling my teeth.” Let’s face it, there’s something daunting about flying as far away as India for dental work. Are they certified? Is it safe? There are very serious dangers to regard when considering dental tourism. Accreditation, malpractice, and follow-up visits are three of the top concerns that most people face. Here are three tips to help you avoid those dangers:
1. Do you research! This is a scary topic, with far-reaching consequences, but the fact of the matter is that medical vacations and dental tourism is very safe…when you select the right hospital. Even domestically, you wouldn’t go to a makeshift hospital in an abandoned warehouse, would you? Companies like Health and Medical Tourism have designed “an information portal where you can research facilities, find hotels, learn about new cultures, share experiences, and ask questions [about what to expect].”
2. Use Accreditation as your Compass. When selecting a college or university that will best serve your academic interests, an important factor is, or at least it should be, the school’s accreditation. Hospitals, like colleges, have accreditation standards they must meet; a formal way of saying they’re on the up and up. The leading accrediting body is the Joint Commission International (JCI), but there are a number of organizations that review hospitals, so even if a facility doesn’t have JCI accreditation, it might still be leigt.
3. Pay Attention. You’re likely saving money on the medical vacation, so you should have plenty left over to pay attention. You’ve researched the hospital and it’s accredited by the JCI. You’re safe as can be, right? Not necessarily. Even on a vacation purely for relaxation, you must pay attention to your surroundings. Even the nicest, safest place has people who will do anything. Be aware of what’s going on around you. Since you’re probably undergoing some type of medical procedure, anesthesia may be involved. “How can I pay attention, when I’m out of it?” Remember the buddy system from kindergarten. Use it. Travel with someone who can pay attention for you when you’re still a little woozy from the anesthetics or pain-suppressors. And above all, make sure you ask the right types of questions.
Pros Outweigh the Cons of these Medical Vacations
Is medical tourism right for you? Some will say yes, others will say no. Common sense, however, will usually prevail. Fortunately, with the medical and dental tourism industries growing at exponential rates. Why are increasing numbers of patients braving the potential dangers and discomfort of dental tourism to places like India? Consider this, over 47 million US are uninsured. This number doesn’t even count the many more patients who are under-insured for medical procedures. The cost of these procedures, even for relatively minor procedures like dental caps, makes even the simplest of dental care seem out of reach. Many patients just don’t feel there is a choice, especially when life-saving operations like angioplasty or bone marrow transplant are involved and affordability is almost completely out of the question. Additionally, the cost of the dental caps in the US could easily cover a few night’s stay, or part of the airfare for the medical vacation.