Imagine a trip overseas for healthcare as having four stages. Part one is the planning stage, part two is enjoying a wonderful vacation at your destination prior to your first-class treatment, part three is undergoing your treatment, and part four is the recuperation and follow-ups.
Or perhaps it will go planning, treatment, vacation after treatment, then recuperation and follow-ups? Either way, you’ve got options – and not just in terms of whether to avail the services of the excellent medical tourism in Belgium, or India, or Costa Rica, etc.
By making the right choices about when to have your holiday fun, health & wellness travelers maximize the effectiveness not only of the procedure they’re undergoing and the recovery thereafter, but of their relaxing leisure time, too.
A few essentials that you can’t ignore:
- Consulting with your doctor to make them aware of your precise plans; you’ll want to compare their advice to whatever information you’ve received from the clinic or hospital at your destination
- Ensuring you have support in case of emergency; in addition to providing your family at home with all the details of your trip, consider using a medical tourism facilitator that has agreements with providers overseas and 24/7 hotlines to assist their customers
- Finding out how long your aftercare will be; if you know in advance how long your hospital stay will be and what medications you’ll be taking, you’ll be able to plan all your post-treatment logistical details well in advance
Holiday fun prior to treatment
- If you’re receiving physically-taxing procedures like a specialized orthopaedic surgery, sex reassignment surgery, or gastric bypass, you’ll enjoy the holiday portion of your trip prior to treatment
- And if you’re undergoing any other kind of serious treatment that may require mental preparation beforehand or limited physical activity afterwards – like fertility treatments in Thailand or stem cell therapy – consider a relaxing holiday to get you in the right frame of mind
- Do your shopping, swimming, and sightseeing close to the location where your procedure will take place, thereby reducing the stress of traveling around and allowing for a pre-treatment visit to your chosen hospital or clinic; knowing exactly where you’re going and what you can expect on the day of your procedure will help put your mind at ease
Holiday fun after treatment
- If you’re receiving lighter, non-invasive care such as cosmetic dentistry, a holistic detox program, or dermatology treatments, you can have your amazing vacation afterwards
- For procedures where there is virtually no recovery to speak of, try to schedule your treatment after a day or two of getting acclimated to your new environment, allowing maximum time for fun afterwards
- Also, plan most of the vacation part of your trip before leaving home; this way you can hit the ground running after getting your treatment “out of the way”
Recuperation and Follow-up
- Whether you’ve had a serious procedure or cosmetic treatments, your “vacation” prior to or after your care, you will want to arrange follow-ups for after your return home
- If you did have your vacation prior to treatment, you’ll likely be able to spend a few days post-treatment at your destination; consider staying a few nights in a quiet and serene resort near your hospital before you’ve been cleared by your doctor to fly home
- If you’ve gone through a medical tourism agency, contact them either before you’ve left your destination or immediately upon returning home to ensure all necessary documents pertaining to your treatments have been retrieved from your provider overseas
When you think about becoming a medical tourist, remember that you’ll not just be receiving treatments abroad, but enjoying a vacation, too. Both aspects require attention and proper planning.