Things to consider before seeking treatment abroad
Your reasons for seeking treatment abroad
Have you thought about your reasons for going abroad carefully? Make sure your decision is based on the quality of the medical care you would like to receive and not on how appealing the destination seems for a holiday.
Getting a second opinion in the UK
Have you spoken to your GP or dentist? There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to involve your GP or dentist in your decision.
They can give you a valuable second opinion, as well as advice about treatment options and whether they think the treatment is needed.
As they could be involved in your aftercare, discuss how to transfer medical notes between the UK and the overseas team.
Researching your options for treatment abroad
Have you done your research? Have you checked the qualifications of the medical team treating you?
Have you been able to ask them questions about your treatment? Are you satisfied with the facilities and standards at the clinic or hospital where you will be treated?
Find out why treatment isn’t available in the UK
If the treatment you’re seeking abroad is not available in the UK, you may want to think about why it is not available here.
For reassurance, you may want to consider:
- whether the treatment is licensed in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA)
- whether the treatment is approved in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
- whether the treatment is being offered as part of medical research listed within the international clinical trials database
- information from sources other than the organisation offering the treatment – this could help you verify what you are being told by whoever is offering the treatment, and provide questions to ask your chosen treatment provider
The effects of treatment
Do you understand the possible complications and side effects that could arise from your treatment?
Aftercare following treatment abroad
Are you clear about how your aftercare will be co-ordinated?
How will you finance your treatment abroad?
Have you done the maths? If your main reason for going abroad is to save money, make sure you’ve factored in fluctuating exchange rates, the possibility of extending your stay if necessary, and the cost of possible return trips.
Find out more about funding options for treatment abroad.
Insurance to cover you while abroad
Do you have appropriate travel insurance? Have you informed your insurer of your plans to have treatment abroad?
Trust in the treatment offered abroad
Do you trust the people you are dealing with?
Answers about treatment abroad
Have all your concerns and questions been answered? Read more about your entitlements and the rules about treatment abroad.
To find out more about the risks of going abroad for treatment and how to avoid them, see the risks of treatment abroad.