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Hospital Stays Abroad

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 6 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Hospital Stays Abroad

Many people from the UK have no idea of the hospital facilities abroad and if they have not had any form of treatment abroad they would really have no reason to. The high standards of facilities and the state of the art technology used in hospitals abroad are one of the major reasons that over 55,000 people from the UK travel abroad every year for some for of treatment in foreign countries.

As you will be paying for your treatment abroad, you can expect the same standard of care and professionalism as you would if you were having surgery in a private hospital in Britain. However, the lower costs of treatment abroad mean that the services and hospital facilities abroad are of a higher standard than is available in the UK.

Hospital Funding

Many of the hospitals abroad have a huge amount of funding from sources such as research institutes in USA. This gives the hospitals extra funding that can be used to upgrade medical technology and provide the latest medical treatments. Hospitals in India are at the cutting edge of heart surgery procedures, cancer treatments and organ transplant operations due to their continual medical research.

More and more countries abroad are updating their already state of the art hospital facilities thanks to the custom they are receiving from patients from the UK. Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Poland and Croatia have fast become known as the dental capital of Europe due to their new dental complexes. France has long been regarded as having some of the best hospitals and medical staff in the world and is at the cutting edge in medical fields such as obesity surgery.

Hospital Stays Abroad

The amount of time you stay in hospital abroad will depend on the type of surgery you are having. Major invasive surgery abroad such as a heart operation will mean that you will need to stay in the hospital for around 10 days for observations. Other operations such as orthopaedic surgery with knee or hip replacements can see you returning home the next day if you wish. Dental operations are regarded much as they are here, and unless you are having multiple treatments you should be able to return home as soon as you wish.

Patient Facilities

The facilities available to patients from the UK when staying in hospitals abroad are usually superior to those you will find in a UK NHS hospital or even a private clinic. The hospitals will have private rooms available for the patients and there will usually be twin beds so that a friend or partner can be there for support. Some of the hospital facilities are like hotels in that they have televisions, room service, telephones and English speaking staff. The standard of facilities will depend on the hospital and will of course depend on how much you have paid.

Most of the hospitals will arrange transfers from the airport on your arrival to the hospitals and again at the end of your stay. Many of the new hospitals abroad have been built specifically with patients from abroad in mind, and are situated near hotels and holiday apartments. This means you can choose whether to stay at the hospital or reside in one of the nearby hotels, turning you surgery abroad into more of a holiday experience.

Medical Service Providers

Medical service providers can arrange all flights, surgery and hospital accommodation for you. Before your surgery there are questions you should ask regarding your hospital stay abroad, these can include:-
  • Length of stay needed in the hospital
  • The provision of English speaking medical staff
  • Are case notes of the surgery available to take home?
  • Details on hospital insurance
  • Standard of aftercare available
  • Will medication given abroad be available in the UK?
  • Are there facilities available in order that a guest of the patient can stay?
Some of these questions may seem minor but it is wise to get as much information as possible on your hospital stay before you go. Remember you are going to be staying in a foreign country and there may be some cultural differences, and these should also be discussed before your trip.

If you are unhappy or have questions about any part of your hospital stay abroad or the procedure itself, you should not hesitate to ask the surgeon, hospital staff or your medical provider.

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