Medical Tourism Scams

Medical tourism, also called medical
trips or global healthcare, is the process through which a patient travels to
another country for medical, health or wellness services. Some common examples
of medical tourism involve dental treatment, elective surgery, cosmetic
surgery, and fertility treatment.

Fueling medical tourism are patients
from more developed nations traveling to less developed countries to take
advantage of the lower cost of their health services. This trend grew with the
internet, which serves as a universal source of information about medical options
abroad, as well packages that include affordable accommodations and cut-rate flights.

Patients Beyond Borders, a
medical-tourism guidebook, broadly defines a medical traveler as someone who
travels across international borders for the purpose of receiving medical care.
Based on this understanding, they believe that in 2017 the medical tourist
market was worth $45.5 to $72 billion, based on approximately 14-16 million
cross-border patients worldwide outlaying an average of $3,800 to $6,000 a
trip.

If you are considering traveling
overseas for medical procedures, you should do so with caution. There are many
medical tourism scams and the best thing to do is to be aware of them so that
you don’t fall victim.

Some common scams are:

  • Taxi
    drivers receiving money from clinics to take ill tourists to their specific
    clinic  
  • Doctors
    charging patients more than the standard cost and suggesting procedures that
    are not necessary
  • Clinics
    not accepting insurance coverage and demanding urgent payment by cash or credit
    card

An example of a medical tourism scam

Mei Buping, a Chinese entrepreneur
from Jiangsu, arranged for a regular checkup for his wife and three of his
friends. He did so after a local company in China urged them to visit a
“royal hospital” in the ultra-modern emirate of Dubai. When they
arrived at the hospital, they were told that they have had a high chance of
developing cancer and that they should seek immediate treatment.

Mei and his wife spent more than one
million yuan on various treatments, including a detoxification procedure and a
method they believe would repair their kidney and liver cells. The friend spent
20,000 yuan on medical examinations. It was only once they returned to China
that their daughter realized they had been the victims of a scam.

Before you seek medical treatment abroad StopMedicalScams encourages you to research the qualifications and standards of your prospective health provider.

Also, consider:

  • Communication
    if you do not fluently speak the language you risk the chance of
    misunderstanding information regarding your care
  • Complications – different
    countries have different levels of intensive medical care that could be needed
    if a patient develops serious complications.
  • Hygiene
    levels vary
    – hepatitis B and HIV, among other diseases,
    can be transmitted via unsterile medical equipment or present in improperly
    screened organs for transplant
  • Medication
    may be counterfeit or of poor quality in certain countries
  • Antibiotics
    resistance
    – resistant bacteria is a growing global problem and may be more
    common in some countries
  • Blood
    products
    – may not be screened for infections
  • Flying
    after surgery
    – may increase the risk of blood clots

Can you get your money back if you
have been the victim of a scam?

If you paid for medical treatment in
a foreign clinic and you believe you were the victim of a scam, are not happy
with the results of your procedure or your condition worsened because of unsanitary
conditions, it is almost impossible to recover your money.    

However, if you paid for your
treatment with a credit or debit card, you may be able to obtain a chargeback.
To do this, you must convince the bank that issued your credit card to open a
dispute with the trader. But you only have one chance. If a bank refuses your
request for a refund, you will not be able to repeat the process.

We at StopMedicalScams have the knowledge and experience to guide this process to give you the best chance of success. StopMedicalScams is an international fund recovery service. If you believe you have been the victim of a medical tourism scam, contact
StopMedicalScams now to arrange a free consultation.