Medical tourism refers to those tourists traveling around the world to obtain medical treatment. Thailand is becoming the hub for attracting tourists around the world for its advancement in health and cosmetic surgeries. Unfortunately, to those who don’t know Thailand health-care sector there are still some enduring baseless fears to cloud their decision.
Have a look at the 9 common myths about medical tourism to Thailand.
Myth # 1: Cheap treatment equals low-quality treatment since the doctors are skimping on the cost by using cheap materials and short-cut procedures.
Truth: The main reason for cheap cost surgeries in developing countries is because labor charges per hour are substantially lower than the developed countries. The stiff competition in a rapidly growing market of medical tourism in Thailand gives the industry ample reasons to lower the rates to attract more clients. The living cost of emergent countries is also inferior which adds to the reason why the treatments are cheaper than other advanced countries.
Myth # 2: I won’t feel comfortable in the new environment as a foreigner, and the staff might not be hospitable.
Truth: Medical tourists give a considerably high percentage of business to the hospitals giving them treatment. There are specialized staffs that take care of the hospitality quality in such health centers. These are professionals who hold the duty to provide individual attention to each patient without bias.
Myth # 3: Unhygienic conditions of developing countries will cause infections.
Truth: Many hospitals for medical tourists are sanctioned by international boards like the Joint Commission International (JCI) which is endorsed by the WHO. Such hospitals have western-based standards of nursing that observe strict hospital sanitation rules. Getting sick from unhygienic conditions seems like a far cry with such facilities.
Any allergies to specific food or medicines should be addressed before you start the treatment. If you are following a food habit based on religion or other ethical reasons, it is best to inform the staff to provide you with the right food.
Myth # 4: Language barrier will cause a misunderstanding with the doctor and the staffs.
Truth: This is one of the most typical medical tourism myths. Most universities of medicine use English as the medium for education. The doctors in tourist-centered hospitals are fluent in English and they have bilingual support staff as well. For patients who have no English foundation are provided with translators for better communication.
Myth # 5: There won’t be time to explore the place after major surgery.
Truth: Most major surgeries will require you to avoid flying for a period of time ranging from weeks to months for a full recovery, followed by post-operative appointments and minor treatments. As you slowly get better, you will have ample time to move about freely for sightseeing or take a gentle stroll in the castaway beaches.
Myth # 6: The healthcare facilities of third world countries will be sub-standard.
Truth: Good foreign hospitals adhere to domestic laws, and some of these are globally accredited. The growth of medical tourism has helped Thailand to grow its infrastructure to a world class standard. Most hospitals are now privately owned having modern equipment and facilities as they compete to provide the best medical experience based on multicultural clients.
Myth # 7: Doctors in developing countries lack professional training
Truth: Thailand being a hot spot for medical tourists provides the doctors with high volume patients which is why they have vast experience in the medical field. Most medical experts go for education in top countries like the US or UK, so there is no question of poorly trained doctors. With professional training, they contribute to providing better healthcare quality in their domicile.
Myth # 8: The total travel cost will consume all my savings.
Truth: Medical services in developing nations are inexpensive, and it will subsidize your travel expenses. For example, a treatment on your dental may cost up to $300 in the US, but the same procedure will cost about only $30 in Thailand. Moreover, this is an opportunity to combine medical care with vacation.
Myth # 9: Medical Tourism is a new industry and is not quite well established.
Truth: This concept goes back to ancient times. It has been decades we have seen US citizens going to countries like Mexico, Thailand and even India for medical attention. Medical tourism in Thailand is growing at a rate of 16 % annually counting up to 500,000 medical tourists in a year. One of the reasons why tourists choose Thailand for medical attention is because of its low cost and good quality treatment.
It is not easy to visit a foreign country for health issues and these medical tourism myths about Thailand may have discouraged many tourists. Whatever your decision is, choose your doctor wisely, check their successful track records, confirm necessary credentials, and make an informed decision, for a better healthcare experience!
Medical Blogger committed to accuracy, I am passionate about delivering my readers critical insights into the medical field.
Former paramedic, instructor and medical school student.
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