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A guide to seeking treatment abroad

Medical tourism is now more established than ever before. Plane loads of people are crisscrossing continents in search of alternate healthcare providers for various reasons. Kenyans have not been left behind, unknown numbers travel every day to Europe, America and India among other destinations. Making decisions to get medical care abroad cannot be taken lightly. You need to literally go through a tight check-list, and be absolutely sure that you need to pack your bags and go.

You must be confident, without any doubts, that you are making the right decision before getting committed.

The first thing to explore is your reasons for seeking care abroad, and weigh these against what is available locally. You may have concerns on local quality, cost and unavailability of the treatment you are seeking. Your reasons should never be based on the opportunity to travel to a fancy destination, spare that for your holidays.

Get a local second or even third opinion before final decisions. Is local expertise really not available? And will you actually get anything different done, or just duplication of what has already been done locally? You don’t want to travel and get the same message, that what you have is incurable. That’s a waste of time and money. If what you need done is not available locally, why is that the case? Be sure verifiable medical licensing is in place, you don’t want to end up with quacks.

Do ample research about the institution you wish to visit. You want to be sure the facilities are modern and up to scratch. Thoroughly probe the proposed medical team, their qualifications, skills and reputation. Be sure to know the facility’s medical statistics, known as outcomes following medical interventions. If can’t get these easily, be very cautious. You don’t want to end up buried in mortality statistics abroad.

Think beforehand about your aftercare. Is it going to be abroad or back home? Your referring clinician should be kept involved at all times. They will prepare your referral notes, and in return must be fully appraised during your stay and on your return. This is especially so if unexpected complications arise. Communication between local and overseas medical teams must remain open till your full recovery.

Remember to do your maths, and make sure all the costs add up. You must check with your medical insurance about what will be covered, and what won’t. Beware of out of pocket expenses not directly linked to medical care. Such costs can add up to hundreds of thousands. Above all, compare the total costs with local quotes. You might find that you are still better off here, with the same quality of care.

Finally, be sure you can trust the agencies you are dealing with. Counter check every detail. Once satisfied, and you completely discount local care, pack your bags and go. Bon voyage.

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Medical tourism is now more established than ever before. Plane loads of people are crisscrossing continents in search of alternate healthcare providers for various reasons. Kenyans have not been left behind, unknown numbers travel every day to Europe, America and India among other destinations.

Making decisions to get medical care abroad cannot be taken lightly. You need to literally go through a tight check-list, and be absolutely sure that you need to pack your bags and go.

You must be confident, without any doubts, that you are making the right decision before getting committed.

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