Although medical tourism has been a fast-growing industry for only a few years now, it is far from a new concept. In fact, documented cases of medical tourism date back to the 16th century when wealthy Europeans would travel to spa towns like St. Moritz in Switzerland to soothe their ailments. Flash forward to today, and medical travel has become a booming industry helping hundreds of thousands of people receive the treatment they need anywhere in the world.
If you have recently been given the opportunity to travel abroad for treatment, or if you are just curious about what medical travel entails, here are a few tips to start planning:
Do your research
Conduct research for your medical trip just as you would for a personal trip. This includes research on the doctor, treatment, location, weather, hotel, and in-city travel. The better you understand your destination, the smoother your treatment will go, free from stress and anxiety.
Pack appropriately for the weather of your destination. Even though you are traveling for medical reasons, you may still be able to enjoy sightseeing, shopping, and culture. It may be a good idea to find out what there is to do around the treatment center or your hotel and make a plan to visit.
Talk to the doctor
Talk to the facility’s medical director as soon as you can before planning your trip. Talking to the doctor will determine if you qualify for treatment and grant you peace of mind. Build a rapport with them and feel free to ask any and all questions. Preparing for medical tourism is not the time to be shy.
You should also feel free to request information on the doctor such as their education, publications, and achievements.
Plan in advance
Sometimes there is not enough time to plan a medical trip far in advance. A medical emergency may have taken place where conditions are worsening at a fast rate, and a somewhat-impromptu plan needs to be developed. However, try to give yourself as much time to plan for your trip as possible. Planning in advance leaves room for you to conduct research and fully understand the travel and treatment you are about to receive.
Planning in advance also gives you the opportunity to explore the best options for airlines, hotels, in-city travel, and arranging a personal itinerary.
Prepare proper medical documents
Before you pack your bags, find out what sort of medical documents you need to bring with you. Coming fully prepared with the proper medical documentation will prevent setbacks when you arrive. Ask the doctor or medical concierge what sort of documents you should have prepared and how recent they need to be. Pack them safely in your luggage, or consider making multiple copies to be extra safe.
Bring a companion
As with any medical treatment, it is advised to bring a companion. This can be a family member, friend, or caregiver. Both travel and treatment can be stressful, so a companion can provide you with the extra physical and emotional support needed.
If you are planning a trip to Munich, Germany for CBC Health’s ischemic stroke treatment, a medical concierge may be able to fully assist you with all that is required for your medical excursion.