In the past few years, thousands of Americans have traveled out of the country for medical and dental treatments for a fraction of the price. So what do you need to know about medical tourism?
There are now agencies that can walk you through the process and plan your appointment, flights, and most importantly, post-operative care.
Before making a commitment be sure the hospital or clinic is up to international standards.
The most common accreditation program is called the Joint Commission International.
Then check with your own travel insurance or medical evacuation providers; often they have people on the ground checking out facilities, and they ask the questions you may not know to ask.
Then figure out whether medical tourism is worth it for your pocketbook.
A good rule of thumb is that if the medical procedure costs less than $6,000 in the U.S., it is probably not worth a trip to go overseas.
And the most important factor: follow-up care.
You need to know about possible post-operative risks, how long you have to remain in the country, and when it is safe to fly again.
Get more information on medical tourism in our Health & Fitness section.
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