Unethical Practices in Medical Tourism That You Should Know
Many a time the ethnicity of medical tourism has been questioned. The patient goes out for treatment rather than being treated in his/her own country. Sometimes the reason seems considerable, like if their country cannot provide proper treatment for that particular disease. But sometimes patients seek foreign help because some processes are lengthy or illegal in their own country but legal in others. This definitely raises questions on the rights and wrongs of medical tourism.
We will be discussing a few ethical issues which you should consider before going on a medical tour. All these are discussed below so that you get back to your senses and don't do anything harmful or illegal.
Local patients face a lack of attention
International patients are ready to give more money than local patients. This leads to discrimination in various hospitals. If you are an international patient then you will get a warm welcome, less lengthy and painless treatment, proper facilities, and whatnot. But on the other hand, if you are local then get ready for being mistreated, lengthy procedures, poor facilities, and anything worse.
Medical Tourism has snatched the rights of local people to get proper treatment in their vicinity just for making extra money from international 'customers'. It is clearly visible that the funds invested by the medical industry are more or less directed towards the health care of these international patients.
Easy procedures of Medical Tourism
If you want to get your sex changed in the US then before going through the medical procedure you need to go through a lengthy psychological evaluation which most of the time denies permission to get operated. Because of this reason, people shift to Thailand where this process is super easy, barely an inconvenience. Things are similar for many cancer treatments, stem cell therapies, and fertility treatments too.
People who don't get permission move out to their countries for better options thus leading to many illegal activities. This includes illegal organ transplants in which organs might have been forcibly extracted from the donor's body and the transplanting procedures fail many a time thus leading to deadly side effects. And all this chaos got popular because of medical tourism.
The quality of treatment provided by the medical tourism industry is often not up to the mark. They focus more on projecting the hospital as the best facility provider rather than actually providing quality treatment. Many a time there is a difference between what you see and what you get. This leads to seriously harmful consequences.
It has happened previously that due to poor facilities and mistreatment patients suffered from severe infections. Hence, a poor decision made by you during your health tourisms can cause you some serious problems and might affect your health as well. There needs to be a serious investigation in this field as it is affecting millions of lives.
There have been cases where a pregnant woman was fit for giving natural birth but the doctors manipulated her to go for some complicated and expensive method. The same thing happens in the medical tourism market. Doctors will suggest you to make some difficult choices which in no way are right. Since you lack knowledge in the medical field you get manipulated to do as they say and you get looted by them.
This has become a common practice and there is no authority to stop this. There are no genuine medial counselors who can help patients in these tough situations. You need to have blind faith in your operator and pray to god fo the best.
It's obvious that local people cannot offer as much money as foreigners. Since they are not acquainted with the market of that country they can be easily overcharged for their treatment. But the smart doctors they don't overcharge their 'customers' directly. They smartly overprescribe medicines and other therapies.
Documentation in local language
Many a time the documentation of your whole treatment might be in that country's local language. You won't be able to understand what's happening thus you might get cheated or misrepresented. Documentation error can get you in legal trouble. Therefore it becomes necessary that you have an interpreter to ensure that you can understand all the documents and legal terms and conditions properly.
Dual Pricing System
We talked earlier about the discrimination between local and foreign patients because of money. In a similar fashion, some countries have established a dual pricing system. In this system, local patients and foreign patients are charged differently under different pricing schemes. Foreign people are obliged to pay more than local patients for the same type of treatment. This is a good way to extract money from sick people. This whole system is unethical.
To avoid this some countries have enforced standard guidelines and common pricing systems. This way they try to establish equality among local and foreign patients. Turkey is a great example in this area. Turkey has a special association of physicians which sets the price standards for almost every private hospital.
Unethical organ transplant
It's likely that when you go to other countries for organ and tissue transplant you won't have to wait for long because you planned your medical tour keeping that in mind. But there is a high chance that you don't get to meet your donor. You won't see him/her. This raises a doubt. Are they willingly donating? The answer is no most of the time. There have been many cases where organs were forcibly extracted from weak and poor people or prisoners. This accounts for organ trafficking and you might get in legal trouble even if you didn't intend to.
So you should check from where you got your organ if possible meet that person personally to ensure that you aren't caught in any unethical practice.
It's quite important that you make sure nothing unethical like this is happening in the facility you opted for. Get every aspect doubled checked. Make sure there aren’t any dual-pricing system, illegal organ transplant, overcharging, and all other unethical practices that we discussed above. Do not forget to have a translator near you when you are going through the documents. Follow the guidelines properly and raise your voice if you happen to come across any unethical practice.