Thailand, India, Korea, Mexico more risk for medical tourists: New report from Medical Travel Quality Alliance.
A new medical tourism report from Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) places Thailand, India, Mexico and South Korea on an industry watch list and warns medical tourists to take more care in these countries.
“We urge medical travelers to be on high alert when considering medical or surgical procedures in these countries,” cautions Julie Munro, president of MTQUA.
“Medical tourists are dying in surgery or suffering life-threatening infections they have to treat in hospitals back home. This is unacceptable,” says Munro.
Disregard for safety
As many medical tourists start planning in January for medical travel later in the year, MTQUA warns that these countries present conditions with unreasonable and unwarranted risk, and possible life-altering harm including poor quality results, disregard for medical traveler safety, and even death.
In the past year journalists have reported on medical travelers who died during or because of surgery in Thailand, South Korea, and Mexico. Other medical travelers got fake medicines, and counterfeit Botox and cosmetic fillers. Some have received inappropriate or wrong diagnoses.
Deaths from weight loss and plastic surgery in certain clinics in the border towns of Tijuana and Mexicali have been widely reported in the American media.
MTQUA calls on the governments and the medical professions of these countries to review specific incidents and the underlying reasons why medical tourists are finding themselves at such high risk so that medical and wellness travel becomes safer and better for all medical tourists.
How to lower risk
Medical tourists can keep risks low by using the services of a fee-for-service professional care manager, facilitator, or patient representative at the destination. Avoid commission agents paid for bringing patients to a hospital or clinic. Hospitals are generally safer than clinics as even registered clinics often don’t follow the same cleanliness and sterile procedures, have unlicensed staff, and are not close to emergency facilities.