No one likes to read bad news or stuff that is related to deaths or serious injuries, especially when it involves the medical tourism industry. The industry is all about healthcare, and it is not all a bed of roses, since people can die during surgeries and major operations. This does reflect badly on the medical tourism industry, especially if the quality of care was not up to the standards that are usually set so high for the medical tourism industry.
There is no reason to suggest that just because a particular person died while getting surgery abroad, they would not have suffered the same fate if they had chosen to get the surgery in their home country. However, what you need to consider is what happens when something goes wrong and how it affects medical tourism?
Death of a Medical Tourist
Dying is a natural phenomenon and there is no escaping from it, and deaths can happen in the very best of hospitals due to an adverse reaction to the treatment, old age, or the illness. However, the question that will be asked is, does the hospital or the clinic have the onsite facilities that are going to provide emergency care to the patient? There will also be research conducted that will be related to whether the death could have been avoided and what preventive measures were taken.
This is a subject that is avoided by many in the medical tourism industry, but with an industry as big as this there are bound to be deaths that are inevitable.
Process and Procedures
Professional tour operations and travel agents have also set up certain procedures that are going to bring back the bodies and remains of people that have passed away during their medical vacation. Medical tourism is a huge industry and there are different types of procedures that are offered in different countries all over the world. Risk is always involved when you are undergoing surgery and this is why the necessary procedures and protocols have been put in place to deal with such issues.
Allegations of Negligence
Medical tourists may face additional complications surrounding the possible cause of death and if it was not caused by natural causes than the agent, medical personnel, and hospital will all be involved in a potential medical negligence claim. There will always be controversy surrounding the death of a medical tourist, and the inevitable arguments will revolve around whether better medical facilities or prompter action could have saved the life of the patient.
Implications for Medical Tourism
Any hospital, clinic or agency will have to put certain procedures in place in order to deal with the potential death of a patient, during their travels, in the hospital or in recuperation. The agents will have to sign consent forms for each medical tourist, in order to cover the unexpected eventualities, and it should be drafted in front of a lawyer to avoid future lawsuits.
The agents must also check if the medical destination has got the necessary emergency procedures in place to deal with life threatening problems. Remote island clinics may seem appealing, but proper emergency procedures need to be in place for medical evacuation if needed.