Sciatica medical tourism is a component of the healthcare travel industry. Medical touring has become a huge part of the therapy sector and more patients are discovering the potential benefits of undertaking sciatica treatment abroad each year. Just remember, along with the many advantages of foreign-based sciatica care, there are also some serious possible downsides to consider, as well. Make sure to truly research any medical tourism opportunity thoroughly in order to protect yourself from fraud, iatrogenesis and even death.
This dialog will assist patients who are interested in medical travel to treat their sciatica, but are not sure how to begin or what risk factors may be involved.
What is Sciatica Medical Tourism?
Medical touring is defined as travel for the express purpose of undergoing treatment with a foreign doctor or therapist. There are 2 distinct forms of medical touring common to the back pain industry:
Traditional medical tourism involves patients from wealthy countries traveling to less prosperous nations for care at a decreased financial cost. Usually, patients from developed nations seek care in less developed areas of the world, often from expatriate doctors who have set up practices for the express purpose of offering lower cost drastic therapy options, such as surgical interventions.
Reverse medical tourism is when patients from underdeveloped nations visit more developed areas for care which is not available in their own region. This is more a matter of supply and demand than it is true medical touring. In many underdeveloped or remote regions of the world, many care practices may not be available to the indigenous population, forcing reverse medical touring in order to seek out better therapy choices.
The majority of treatments associated with medical touring are surgical. However in some cases, medical tourists may seek noninvasive care which is simply not approved or not available for use in their own country.
Medical Tourism Benefits for Chronic Pain
Medical touring has many positive aspects which draw large numbers of patients to consider using foreign doctors each year:
First off, some patients will have access to care which is not available or approved in their own countries. This is common with reverse medical tourists and those seeking alternative care practices which may be tightly regulated in their homelands.
The most common benefit to traditional medical touring is the often dramatically decreased cost of surgical services. This makes it possible for many patients to have procedures that would be cost-prohibitive in their own countries.
Medical travel is particularly popular with patients who do not have the benefit of comprehensive health insurance and must pay the full cost of treatment out of pocket. It is also popular in countries with socialized medicine, which is known to involve long waiting lists for care, and often, substandard treatment protocols.
Finally, some truly excellent physicians offer medical touring packages. This may allow a foreign patient to get receive care from a specialist who is better qualified than any doctor in their home area.
Sciatica Medical Tourism Downsides
The downsides of reverse medical tourism generally revolve around the increased cost of finding care in a more developed nation. It should be noted that many financially-challenged patients receive free care from charity agencies and organizations, making this a nonissue. However, arranging for reverse medical tourism treatment can still be a difficult path and often takes an extended time frame working with a charity agency.
The additional downsides of traditional medical touring include the possibility for fraud or poor quality care. Many medical tourists are injured or killed each year by dangerous surgical practices or a lack of medical infrastructure in the area where they are treated.
Additionally, the risk of infection increases since patients are not acclimated to the area of the world in which the procedure occurs. If something does go wrong during a medical travel operation, the local medical infrastructure may not be advanced enough to be able to save the patient. Even if the patient can be safely evacuated home, the cost of international emergency medical transport can be a tremendous burden to bear.
Just remember to really think about the pros and cons when considering traveling to undergo sciatica surgery. Noninvasive care practices, such as spinal decompression, are certainly safer bets.