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What Should You Ask Your Medical Facilitator?

In last week’s blog we discussed the value a Medical Facilitator can bring to you. If you have decided to hire one, you probably have more questions to ask that pertain to you and your safety. Having trust in your Medical Facilitator is one of the most important things required. They are there to assist you in your journey and make sure it is a well thought out plan.  This is to assure the decision you made was the right one for you. Here are 5 questions we feel you should ask to extend more trust in your decision.

  1. Is the facility you will be sending me to an accredited hospital?

    In the U.S., Canada, Australia and Western Europe it is standard practice that hospitals are expected to acquire accreditation in order to operate.  That is not the case for many international facilities. Inspection on the quality of care, infection control, medical and nursing credentials including training, patient rights, medication management, environment of care, education and ethical standards are items measured.This is so the hospital follows minimum standards for your protection that will reduce chances of infection, staffing error or negligence. The most well known accreditation organizations are: Joint Commission International (JCI) *This is probably the one most recognized International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA) Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) The United Kingdom Accreditation Forum (UKAF) Australian Council for Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI) Trent Accreditation Scheme (U.K., Europe, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malta) If a hospital does not have the appropriate world wide recognized accreditation, you might want to keep shopping.

  2. Have you been to the facility you are sending me to?

    Deciding to travel for medical care is stressful in itself. You want assurance the facility is reputable, clean and safe. A good Medical Facilitator will have been to the facility themselves to do an onsite inspection. This due diligence is for your safety. Believe it or not but we have been to facilities that looked great on their websites.  After visiting them, we chose not to send our clients there for various reasons such as cleanliness, surrounding location and lost government funding due to poor quality.

  3. What Is Your Fee?

    When going to a facility within Canada or the U.S., you can be certain that the facilitator will not receive payment from the hospital or facility. That would be unethical and not in your best interest. You want to go somewhere that is going to benefit your needs, not the Medical Facilitators pocket. An industry standard is 10-15% of the cost of your procedure or surgery. Companies such as ours will cap the fee when the cost reaches a certain point.  Cancer treatment can be quite expensive. If the Medical Facilitators fee is low or free be wary.  It will be built in somewhere or they are being paid by the hospital to bring them patients.

  4. What happens if I have a complication?

    There are policies that can protect you from complications called ‘Complications Insurance’. This is different from a standard travel insurance policy. The standard travel policy will NOT cover you should you decide to travel for medical reasons. These policies will cover medical needs that arise while traveling not related to a pre-existing issue.

  5. Can I choose my doctor?

    Yes and No. If you have a preference or already have a doctor in mind, by all means, notify the Medical Facilitator of your wishes.  Most will be happy to accommodate. Many times the doctor will vary depending on which facility you choose, your needs and the doctor’s availability. All of our facilities review the client’s medical records and pair them with the doctor they feel would best suit their needs.

There are most likely more questions you will want to ask a Medical Facilitator because everyone has different needs and concerns. Health Vantis is always happy to answer any question you have. Contact us when you do have questions. That is what we are here for.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

5 Things That Will Improve By Considering Medical Travel

5 Things That Will Improve By Considering Medical Travel

We live in an instant gratification world. We have access to just about anything we want at the tip of our fingers. Waiting for certain medical care is not something we have much control over, but do we?  We may not have the ability to snap our fingers and have a surgery date appear on the surgeons schedule but we can utilize our resources to research other options such as medical travel.

The decision to travel for medical reasons is a big  one to make, and there are many reasons one might entertain the though but you have to weigh the pros and cons. In this blog we will explore the ‘pros’ by making the decision to.

  1. Excluded or specialty procedures currently unavailable in Canada

    Canada is a very progressive country with regards to medical treatments and care, however, there are many procedures and treatments unavailable. Cancer is a great example  of one of those because of the uniqueness it presents in every individual. Entertaining a second opinion can always be helpful to explore other options or even to confirm the treatment plan you were given concurs. You will have more certainty in your treatment plan and/or diagnosis. Oncologist.

  2. Addressing your disease or illness sooner thus preventing it from progressing further

    The longer you have an ailment that is being untreated, the higher chance you have to make things worse. For example, a knee replacement. We obviously all utilize our legs to walk and the knees bear all of our weight. They are the main hinge between the ground and the rest of your body that allow you to get around. Waiting too long for your surgery can be counterproductive. Your function going into surgery dictates how you will function afterward. The longer you wait, the more muscle tone you lose which will make your recovery much longer and harder. Something spotted early may only require a minor procedure. Delaying that could cause, in the case of a knee, destruction to the knee joint to where it is so severe that a total knee replacement is now needed.

  3. Pain level management can be kept to a minimum

    Pain is the main indicator that something is wrong. Living with severe pain may produce a chain reaction. You may not be able to develop the coping skills required.  This may cause you to become unproductive, unable to exercise or possibly put you into a depression. Although doctors are getting more cautious with giving opioids out for pain control, they still do. This is considered a risk. Being on them in the short term may be appropriate but being on them long-term will have more serious consequences such as addiction. Also, when you take an opioid it masks the pain. This could result in you to pushing yourself more than you should which can create or complicate your problem further.

  4. Being able to exercise or do the things you love to do again

    Most likely, if you need to have a surgery, you are going to have limitations. Those may prevent you from doing the things you love to do such as playing with your children or grandchildren, participating in a sport or hobbies. This can be especially difficult when it limits you from something you are passionate about such as cycling or running. Many people thrive on being active and when they can’t, the consequences can be many.

  5. Back to work sooner

    Your ailment might be severe enough that you have to go on long or short term disability because you can no longer preform your duties. This can put a financial strain on you. If you have to be off work for 4-6 months while waiting for your surgery or diagnostic test, how much income are you losing? If the income lost due to waiting is greater than the cost to have it done privately, then further consideration might be worthwhile.

Being the healthiest person you can be will only benefit you physically, mentally and emotionally. Weighing all of the pros and cons may give you the insight to make an  informed decision on what it is you need to maintain that healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to explore other options, contact us as that is what we do. We’ve already done the research for you to speed things along that much quicker.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

What Creates Canadian Wait Lists?

What Creates Canadian Wait Lists?  We are at the conclusion of our blogs this month for the 2017 wait times.  But what actually creates these wait lists and wait times?

Reasons That Might Suggest Why

There is a plethora of reasons why they occur across the country but here are a few possibilities that might support reasons as to why.

  1.   All physicians will see patients in the manner they see fit.  It can be based on their patient case loads, comparison to their other patients or simply triaged.  As much as we don’t want to believe it, some physicians will help fellow colleagues or friends/family out ahead of their actual patients.
  2. Lack of resources in a given province.  When this happens, the patient may be referred to another province for treatment.  If this happens, you become part of their wait list
  3. Rationing.  By this, we mean that there may be a doctor available to do another surgery and OR time available, however, each province sets the amount of patients seen or surgeries done in a given day.  If they have already met that quota, then they cannot treat any further patients until the next day.  This can create a back log that just keeps compounding on each other.
  4. Lack of available General Practitioner (GP) and Specialists. [ctt template=”3″ link=”Siu77″ via=”yes” ]Per a 2014 CBC Health News article, 4.4MM Canadians do not have a GP.(1) [/ctt]When you don’t have access to a GP or Specialist, people tend to utilize the ER for minor things as opposed to true emergencies.  This then creates long waits in the ER and takes valuable time away from those individuals who truly have an emergency.
  5. Lack of money.  Each province has their own budget of how much they spend on heath care resources.  Many of them have traditionally been fiscally conservative in how the money is spent.
  6. The aging Baby Boomer population.  As the Baby Boomers age, the need for more services are required that come with that aging process.  ‘The number of beds available for them may not be enough or may be blocked for budget reasons.  Community care is also limited.’(1)

Conclusion

Some experts have argued that changes need to be made to model other single payor systems in going to a 2-Tiered system which allows for privatization, using a cost sharing model for certain treatments or having to pay a co-pay for utilizing your GP or visiting the ER.  The Fraser Institute reported wait times the highest they’ve been in the 26 years they have been tracking it. Bacchus Barua(2) from the Frasier Institute has said [ctt template=”3″ link=”MDpxc” via=”yes” ]‘Canada is one of the highest spenders on health care in the developing world, but still has some of the longest wait times for treatment’.[/ctt] Although there are probably many other theories on where the medical wait lists began and most likely a combination of things there is no denying they exit.

We are experts at finding alternate, affordable, options if you are on a wait list.   Contact Health Vantis to see how we can help you find them!  877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com

Resources:

  1. CBC News/Health: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/medical-wait-times-up-to-3-times-longer-in-canada-1.2663013
  2. Bacchus Barua: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hospital-wait-times-costing-national-economy-more-than-1b-375463401.html

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com