If you have not heard of medical tourism, then you haven’t been reading the news recently: it is an absolutely huge industry, and one that brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars across the world every year. It can be a very tempting thought, travelling to an exotic place and receiving cosmetic treatment at half the price that you would have had to pay if you had chosen to have the procedure at home. You can return with a tan and the body and health of your dreams. Or can you?
The difficulty is that much of the medical tourism world that occurs is completely unregulated, and that means that no one is checking up on the practitioners to ensure that they have received all of the necessary training that they need in order to be safe. In many countries it is not permitted to offer medical services unless you have already completed this training, and can prove that you have through various certifications, but in other countries there are plenty of ways of getting around the rules to ensure that if someone wants to make a quick buck, then they can. That is why anyone who is considering going to any country for a medical purpose – whether or not that country usually regulates its medical practitioners or not – you should always check with them that they have received their full training.
For example, anyone who is offering Botox or lip fillers should have undertaken injectables training which will give them the knowledge and the skills to ensure that they are only going to give the safest and most regulated chemicals to their patients. Without proper injectables training they may not be able to calculate just how much of the chemical a patient will need, or they may inject the chemicals in the wrong place on the body. It just takes one person who has not received injectables training to tarnish the good name of a whole medical community.
Another problem with medical tourism is that many of the patients are eager to travel once the procedure has been completed. It is understandable in a way, especially if the person has travelled abroad on their own; they want to be able to get back to their home and their family, and start living their life as normal. However, depending on the method of transport that they choose, this could be very dangerous for the patient involved and could cause a huge amount of damage that could end up being completely irreversible.
An example of this would be a breast enhancement, or a ‘boob job’. Many people will travel abroad in order to receive this type of cosmetic surgery, but it is just a serious operation and many people will come round with the desire to return home as soon as possible. If they intend to do so through flying, the pressure and altitude could have a very negative effect on the implants that are still settling into the patient’s body, and there have been horror stories of patients halfway into their journey home experiencing huge amounts of pain as their implants explode on the journey.
As you can see, there are many things that you need to consider when you are thinking about a medical tourism holiday. There are plenty of very safe ways to do it, but we would recommend that you discuss your hopes and plans with a major hospital in the country where you are thinking of going so that you do not need to worry about badly training staff or accidents.