Medical tourism is not an eye health ‘quick fix’
6 January 2016
Warnings have been issued by many medical schools and organizations, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, on the dangers of seeking cheap and quick overseas eye treatments.
There has recently been a growing movement towards less expensive, and quicker, medical operations overseas – dubbed ‘medical tourism’ – that sees questionable care, poor safety standards and patient care, lack of records and insurance and no legal recourse become the norm in return for a cheaper experience overall.
Some countries have even been promoting package experiences that combine luxury accommodation and travel with ‘discounted’ medical and cosmetic procedures, some of which are even done pool-side.
Basing these medical procedures on cost alone, and not on the safety and protection that many of the Australian-based clinics can offer, means that post-operative care can be lacking, and more eye conditions and diseases can arise later in life.
“Firstly, combining a medical operation with a holiday is potentially dangerous as there may not be continuity of care, which is necessary,” RANZCO president Dr. Bradley Horsburgh stated.
“You can’t undergo an operation and then decide a day’s rest is appropriate before you start exercising or travelling again. In a similar vein, consumers are not best equipped to make treatment decisions themselves.”
“Scarring and contracting antibiotic-resistant infections are just some of the dangers from having overseas surgeries, and if there is a clinical negligence, legal recourse may be difficult when dealing with medical professionals and facilities from another country.”
Dr. Horsburgh recommended that patients begin any discussion on eye treatment with their ophthalmologist, or alternatively with their GP.
“Having surgery done in Australia or New Zealand takes advantage of the extensive training that ophthalmologists require. They are medical doctors who have had five years of specialist training on top of their medical degree, and have the experience of thousands of operations under their belt.”
If you’re thinking of seeking consultations on eye surgery or preliminary operations, contact Hunter Laser Vision on 1800 44 20 20 and speak to a medically trained profession today.