By Sophie Atieno
Unfortunately for us, there has been a significant rise in the number of people in Kenya and Africa as a whole being diagnosed with complex medical conditions and owing to various challenges we have with our health sectors, that unwanted trip to the most popular medical tourism destinations might just be in some situations, inevitable.
Inadequate facilities to deal with the ever growing number of patients in need of medical attention for their complex cases (such as cancer treatment for cancer patients), long waiting periods in order to obtain the right treatment (such as kidney and liver transplants) and lack of advanced diagnostic and treatment equipment for treatments (such as joint replacements) are some of the challenges that have seen many start the much unwanted journey to medical tourism destinations such as India.
Apollo Hospital India often comes to mind whenever most people are asked to recommend a destination for treatment. Safe to say India is highly popular among Africans like ourselves on that list of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world, but did you know that there are other countries that offer world class medical treatment?
Some of them include:
- Thailand, which is actually the leading medical tourism destination in the world with JCI accredited hospitals such as Bumrungrad International,
- The UAE, that has hospitals offering American standards of healthcare such as The American Hospital Dubai, and
- Turkey which has the second largest hospital group in the world that is the Acibadem Group of Hospitals.
While organizing to get medical treatment overseas seems to be a promising option for a patient, it is not the easiest because it is scary to be in a foreign country you have not been to before when you are not in the best state of health, then the overall planning process for the trip has numerous challenges.
Despite the many challenges that come with planning, it is not impossible to get a suitable hospital for your condition either.
Here’s a brief testimonial from Elsie, a patient who just returned from Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Hospital.
“I recently returned from undertaking treatment for my shoulder at Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand. I was very impressed with both the service offered by IMT and Bumrungrad Hospital. Before even reaching the hospital, the IMT team organised the treatment plan, booked my accommodation, helped organise my visa and provided assistance throughout the entire process. IMT did all this at no cost to me. They were always there to support including when I decided to get a health check-up while I was there; IMT booked it immediately and when I decided to extend my stay, they adjusted my accommodation all without paying them a single cent. Bumrungrad Hospital was exceptional. The facilities, the layout, the processes, the equipment, the staff and the doctors were all exceptional. I could not have imagined a better hospital. If I need to undertake medical treatment again in the future, I will only do so at Bumrungrad International Hospital and get IMT to help organise everything for me especially because they are fantastic at what they do. I’m truly grateful IMT.”
-Elsie- Kenya – Shoulder Treatment, 2018
From Elsie’s successful experience in getting her shoulder treatment, one notices that with the right help, she managed to travel to one of the medical tourism destinations with less of a hassle.
Just like many other patients, she considered getting her medical treatment overseas for reasons such as:
- The use advanced technology e.g. Da Vinci robotics surgical system for cancer treatment of the prostate,
- Highly trained specialists to perform complex procedures e.g. kidney and liver transplants,
- Shorter waiting times for diagnosis and treatment of conditions e.g. in getting joint replacement surgeries, and
- The facilities overall are well equipped to facilitate faster healing e.g. the hospital rooms have 24-hour service on call whenever the patient needs any help during their stay at the hospital.
Elsie is among a number of patients who chose to obtain help from a leading overseas medical treatment facilitator.
These are organizations that help take the burden of planning for treatment overseas from the patient by journeying with them from the point of initial inquiry and during the treatment while they are overseas.
She used International Medical Treatment (IMT) that is based in Nairobi, which assists patients from all over Africa travel overseas for their treatment at leading hospitals in India, Thailand, The UAE and Turkey.
While we acknowledge that some African countries such as Kenya have made strides in improving their healthcare, it remains a fact that a good number of times, it becomes necessary to send a patient overseas if treatment cannot be conducted locally.
As such, it is advisable that if you are considering travelling to the most popular medical tourism destinations highlighted above, consider getting some much-needed help from an overseas medical tourism facilitator to make the process easier for you.