Where To Go For Medical Travel?

Where To Go For Medical Travel

Traveling for medical reasons is becoming more and more common and accepted in North America. People go outside their local area to get medical help faster and for less. Although reports don’t analyze where medical travelers go, there is a chance the majority of them end up across the border, at the US clinics and hospitals. Why so?  There are a number of reasons to travel to the US for treatment.

Physical proximity

For some Canadian provinces, the US is only a drive away, and many clinics along the Northern US border have been catering to Canadians for years trying to get faster diagnostics or specialist help. Many destinations  are a short flight away and medical expertise is available almost immediately.

Proximity to medical facilities is not only a matter of convenience, but does have things to also consider. Increased risk of DVT is a hazard for anyone flying or driving over 4 hours. It affects people who recently had surgery and are returning home as well. With medical tourism on the rise, India and China are becoming top destinations for medical travelers; however, those are incredibly long flights for a Canadian, not to mention the COVID restrictions. Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA warns American citizens of a possible association between travel of over 4 hours and increased risk of DVTs. The risk is caused mainly by prolonged limited mobility and is applicable to long travel by car or bus.

No language barrier and few cultural differences

Communicating with your doctor and nurse in the same language is essential. Although medical staff in other countries speak English, there are still existing cultural differences in place that may affect the overall patient experience. USA and Canada seem to have enjoyed years of being peaceful neighbors and share similar values. Although the cultural differences do exist, they are not major.

Upon discharge, it is wise to have all your medical records in the language of your home country. Since there are no language issues between the two countries, those are easily compiled and passed on. In addition, the patient’s primary physician is a phone call away, should anything need to be discussed in follow up care, or if a primary care physician needs more information from a doctor who performed the procedure.

Faster access to medical advances

Medical discoveries and advances no doubt happen in many countries. Canada has kept up with most of them and is able to offer the most up to date treatments.  There are, however, some things unavailable due to untrained doctors and/or funding issues.  On a rare occasion, you might need to travel to the US for a more specialized treatment.

Nearly identical medical standards

Graduates of Canadian medical schools are not considered “foreign medical graduates” and their residency training in Canada is considered equivalent to residency training in the US.  Generally, if a Canadian physician has a provincial license, she can obtain a US license in the state she intends to work. The same applies to the US trained doctors in Canada – they are not considered an international medical graduate. This implies that general standards in training and knowledge are very much the same in both countries. This is very comforting to all Canadians choosing the US for their medical treatment – they will get the same quality if they were at home, but without the wait.

Receiving medical care in countries other than the US and Canada can have its implications. The government of Canada warns its citizens that:

  • Some countries’ medical services may not test blood for blood-borne infections like HIV or hepatitis B. There can also be a risk of acquiring malaria from local blood banks in areas where malaria is present. 
  • Be aware that there are multi-drug resistant bacteria in hospitals and other health care facilities around the world.
  • Little, if any information regarding the surgeons’ credentials may be lacking in other countries.  Due diligence for a surgeon’s experience and history is probably one of the most important steps in deciding who does your surgery.  You do not want a dentist performing a spine surgery.

Importance of follow up care

Follow up care is often not provided in many Caribbean countries of medical tourism. For example, physical therapy is essential in recovery for cardiac and orthopedic patients. This reason alone is enough not to go to a hospital that doesn’t provide it. Health Vantis works with hospitals and facilities in the US that will start physical therapy right after surgery and will continue twice a day until the patient is discharged. Health Vantis also makes sure our clients have physical therapy arranged at home prior to them getting home.

Clear legal recourse

Although this part is something that we want to avoid at all costs, malpractice happens in all counties. The legal recourse is, however, very hard to obtain in many counties. In the US all doctors carry malpractice insurance. The legal recourse is defined in a clear way and is available in case something goes wrong.  In other countries, there can be jurisdiction issues.

Canadians are wary of the high cost of medical services in the US and are holding back because it is simply too expensive. Health Vantis works with facilities that are affordable and adhere to high standards not only in positive outcomes but patient experience. The pricing Health Vantis offers is comparable, if not better, to the pricing in the Caribbean Islands or other exotic destinations. If you are interested in finding out more about a certain procedure and its cost, please contact Health Vantis today at toll free 1-877-344-3544 or by email info@healthvantis.com

Health Vantis




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