The term “medical tourism” is widely used in reference to people traveling outside the country they live in to seek medical treatment. Patients choose medical care abroad for various reasons, including lower costs, a desire to receive care from providers from a similar culture or to receive therapy or a procedure that does not exist in their home countries. In the United States, medical tourism commonly refers to people traveling to less-developed countries for medical treatment.
Medical tourism exists throughout the world and is a multibillion-dollar industry that is likely to grow exponentially within the next five-to-ten years. Studies have estimated that hundreds of thousands of individuals from the United States partake in medical tourism every year. Common medical tourism destinations include Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
Although reliable epidemiologic data on medical tourism is scarce, outbreaks of infections and ongoing case reports confirm that medical tourism can be a risky business.
Usually, medical tourists are required to pay for their procedures at the time of service and depend on medical concierge services or private companies to find them appropriate overseas health care facilities. Such companies may not maintain formal medical record security policies, demand accreditation from foreign providers or track patient outcome information.
Common types of procedures that patients take up during medical tourism trips are surgery, dentistry, elective cosmetic surgery, organ transplantation, orthopedic surgery, and cardiac surgery. Medical tourism can also involve alternative and traditional treatments. Reproductive tourism is also soaring. This is a practice of traveling abroad to pursue surrogate pregnancy and in-vitro fertilization.
Another factor that has led to the increase in medical tourism is the lack of technology or even prohibition of certain procedures in an individual’s home country. Some common examples are stem cell therapy or cytoplasmic transfer therapy.
Risks associated with medical tourism
Medical tourism can result in complications, including antibiotic-resistant infections. These infections may be caused by bacteria not often seen in the United States. If you are considering seeking medical care abroad, you should take this risk into consideration.
Recently, documented examples of outbreaks of infectious disease among medical tourists include nontuberculous mycobacteria infections in cosmetic surgery patients in the Dominican Republic and Q fever among people who received sheep cell injections in Germany.
Before you seek medical treatment abroad, StopMedicalScams.com encourages you to research the qualifications and standards of your prospective health provider.
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 charge card to open a dispute with the medical provider. 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.com have the knowledge and experience to guide this process to give you the best chance of success. StopMedicalScams.com is an international fund recovery service. If you believe you have been the victim of a medical tourism scam, contact StopMedicalScams.com now to arrange a free consultation.