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Written in collaboration with Rosana Beechum

Hundreds of thousands of Britons leave the country in search of greener medical pastures every year. But many of them end up regretting their decision once they realise how different it is to get surgery in a different country.

Even if the country in question has similar or even better standards than back home, it doesn’t mean that the experience will be better. It could be worse in many ways if you don’t choose the destination or hospital correctly, which is very easy to do when you know nothing about a destination in the first place. Let’s take a look at whether getting an important procedure done abroad is a good decision and some of the alternatives you could consider instead.

Why do you want to go abroad in the first place?

The first thing you should do is look at your motives for going for medical tourism and if you could get the same benefits at home. If you want to get a procedure that is not being performed at home at all, or want to benefit from the specialised expertise of foreign doctors, then this could be a good option. But, if you want a treatment that is not prescribed by the NHS or want to get faster treatment, then staying home could still be a much better option.

You could go with a clinic like The Health Suite Leicester, for instance, and get crucial tests, exams, and procedures performed in a fraction of the time you’d have to wait with the NHS. The Health Suite Leicester also has a much wider range of procedures and treatments that they provide and prescribe. Going with them will make things much easier for you from a logistical standpoint as well.

Are you ready to recover in another country?

One of the things many people overlook when they consider medical tourism is what it’s like to recover in a completely different country. Spending two weeks in Thailand might sound good when you’re healthy, but recovering from a nose job in an unconditioned room at 30 plus degrees is not everyone’s idea of a good time.

So think about the logistics of recovering in the destination of your choice and the local culture as well. You might have trouble getting access to basic necessities, for instance, especially if you’re alone, so go somewhere where you’ll easily be able to get from point A to B.

What about follow-ups?

You might also have to see a doctor for follow-ups after the procedure and the number of times you’ll have to see them will depend on the procedure. So you might have to book a trip every time you need a check-up. If your goal was to save money, then you have to consider these additional costs as well.

Cost is not the only issue here either. If you simply don’t feel like going for a follow-up or want to see another doctor because you didn’t like the job the first one did, then you might have a tough to near impossible time finding someone who will see you. That’s because no one wants to be blamed for someone else’s poor job. So, that’s another thing you’ll have to think about before booking your trip.

Medical tourism can work in a limited number of cases, but in most instances, it’s usually advised that you stay home. So think twice about the option and try to gather opinions from people who went to the exact destination you were thinking of so you can know exactly what to expect.

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