Is Healthcare Overseas Safe?

Interestingly, the friends and family members of patients considering healthcare abroad ask this question more often than do the patients themselves. In fact, at least one friend or family member is virtually guaranteed to balk at the thought of your heading overseas for treatment. Most of these concerns are unfounded. They usually arise either from a lack of knowledge or from cultural myopia.

Although no medical procedure is 100 percent risk free anywhere in the world, the best hospitals and clinics abroad maintain health and procedural standards equal to, or higher than, those you encounter in the US. Many hospitals abroad are accredited by the same US agency (the Joint Commission) that certifies hospitals here.

It’s not hard to find overseas physicians, dentists, and surgeons who received their medical training and degrees at first-rate medical schools in the US, Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, or Germany. All the countries listed in Patients Beyond Borders enforce strict governmental and private standards for healthcare, hospital, and clinic certification.

Finally, many hospitals—particularly the larger institutions in Asia and Southeast Asia—boast lower morbidity rates than in the US, particularly when it comes to complex cardiac and orthopedic surgeries, for which success rates higher than 98.5 percent are the norm.

—Excerpted from Patients Beyond Borders World Edition

Last updated on 2 July 2011