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Traveling for a Cure

by Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
(Page 2 of 2)

If you are uncomfortable with staying in hotels when you travel with family, sleeping in a strange bed will be unsettling both on and off your native soil. It’s essential you look within yourself to find out what you enjoy doing, and then expand that to include how comfortable you are.

Doctors accredited by JCI (Joint Commission International), affiliated with JCAHO, do so through the voluntary process. As with any doctor or medical care facility, it’s best to check. JCAHO surveys over 20,000 healthcare programs.

Medical tourism companies will assist travelers with everything from deciding if medical travel is right for you down to customizing your experience. You will still have to provide appropriate lab work, X rays and other data as well as a complete medical history. The surgeon who sees you out of the country will require as much documentation to do a competent job as a local professional.
Unexpected expenses may also occur when abroad. While the buying power of the American dollar may be greater in other areas, paying for the unexpected can dip into savings. Budgeting for possible emergencies, such as added costs from possible complications or medical treatment for caregivers, should the need arise, is also necessary. Willingness of the caregiver to obtain treatment abroad should be considered also.

Options for caregivers seeking long-term care may be possible abroad. This consideration works best when the caregiver and loved one are from the country. Language, customs and more figure in to make for a better long-term experience.
Caregivers who have been raised in the United States may not connect with the native cultural experience, but their loved one may. If family resides within the country, the extended visiting network can help relieve a caregiver of “placement guilt.” Not all caregivers, regardless of the financial aspects, will be able to make residence for extended or indefinite periods of time. This is where the extended family can help provide support in overseeing care at the facility.

Caregivers who are interested in more and better treatment for their loved ones can apply some thought to medical tourism. Information should not be limited to what agencies offer as information. Researching via the Internet, through sites such as JCAHO or National Institute of Health, will provide information that allows for a better decision. Folks have been traveling outside of the country for treatment of cancer and other diseases, but the phenomenon is becoming more accepted.

www.jcaho.org

www.healthmedicaltourism.org
 

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