A couple of weeks ago I had a phone interview with a lady from Monash university who was doing a study into medical tourism. Finding out what motivated people to do such a thing and their personal feelings about making the decision.
My decision to embark on a trip to a foreign country over a year ago was one of (if not) the best decisions of my life. I have my health back and still over time I am slowly getting better and better. I also know other people who have benefitted from traveling for treatment and going overseas basically opens up a much wider scope of treatment options. Hence, I am a big advocate of medical tourism.
BUT, a venture such as what I did or any form of medical tourism should only be undertaken with great caution. There are a great many factors to consider that may effect getting treated properly. Even when I went to the USA, which has the same language and a similar culture there were differences in attitude and procedure that were very different.
However, this is not the main reason to be cautious. In your own country you are normally quite familiar with the ethics and safety of your medical system. In most countries the medical field is very closely scrutinised. In Australia it is impossible to practice medicine without a license and all hospitals and medical bodies are governed by an ethics committee. Above them there are state and federal laws ensuring that medicine is practiced safely and ethically. You go to another country you cannot be sure of this framework so it is important to do your homework. One of the reasons I chose to go to Chicago was I felt very secure with the medical practices of both the country and the hospital.
Another issue that you need to be wary of is the snake oil salesman. These disgusting vile creatures are the lowest of the low. They basically offer services that won't work. Praying on desperate individuals that are trying to rid themselves of illness is worthy of scum who are only one or two rungs from the bottom of societies filth. It is really important be able to identify this and this can be achieved by researching the doctor, the medical institution and the country you are thinking of visiting to see if it is possible for the unscrupulous to fall through the cracks.
At the end of the day the most important thing is to make sure you are comfortable doing what you are doing. If you are in a trial you must be prepared for the treatment to not work. No matter what there is always going to be some risk. As an individual you have to work out the cost and risk vs benefit. If you think it is ok, then go for it. Until next time, stay well:)