Barcelona, Spain has always been known for its general tourism. It is a beautiful portion of Spain with many attractions. What is not known is that Barcelona experiences a great deal of medical tourism. Medical tourism is defined by Wikipedia as individuals traveling abroad in their search for medical facilities that match the needs of procedures that they are seeking. In the past, medical tourism generally involved those from underdeveloped countries to developed countries for specific procedures that were either high risk or took special training.
In the last ten years, however, especially within the cosmetic surgery industry, medical tourism has advanced to the point where individuals from developed countries are seeking procedures at safe facilities that will be more affordable. Countries such as the United States and Canada, might offer the same procedures, but insurance will not cover some procedures, and the costs can be outrageously high.
History of Medical Tourism in Barcelona
Known throughout its history for its monuments and museums, Barcelona has now also become world-renowned for its affordable and safe clinics and surgery centers. Especially in the field of aesthetic procedures, Barcelona is clearly carving a path for individuals worldwide seeking alternatives to the cost of cosmetic procedures in their own countries.
Medical tourism in Spain started about a decade ago. Barcelona is now ranked third in the influx of individuals who are seeking specialized aesthetic treatments across Europe. Barcelona is also gaining ground for medical procedures in Canada and the USA. As the safety and specialties have increased over the years in Barcelona so have the individuals flocking there for procedures.
How to Arrange Medical Tourism in Barcelona
- First, browse hospitals, clinics, and procedures that exist online
- Contact each location to see availability and set up a tour
- Book a hotel in Barcelona so that many facilities can be visited
- Ask about pricing and aftercare before choosing
- Remember also to ask for an interpreter since chances are one will be needed
- See a general practitioner first to ensure safe air travel
- Get all passports and identification documents that will be needed in order
- Have a list of contacts in the country of origin that can be called if necessary
- Speak to others in Barcelona, when possible, about any clinic or hospital
- Set up dates for blood work and other tests that must be done prior to surgery
- Find emergency guidelines in Barcelona is required after surgery
More Than One Trip is Usually Needed
Medical tourism generally involves a first-time trip where several clinics and hospitals can be toured before committing to any procedures. It might require several trips in fact, so looking at one’s finances is important. If a traveler arranges it then also it might be possible to schedule a consultation or several at the locations of interest when touring. This is not usually the case though, so travelers need to factor in time to stay in Barcelona.
Surgery of any type does not happen in one day not even in Barcelona. Even cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is considered invasive, and plane travel immediately afterward is not recommended because of the change in air pressure during lift-offs and landings. Therefore, travelers often experience “ear-popping.”
Once a Facility has been Chosen a Surgery Date is Set
Guidelines on what to do prior to surgery are also provided. This is easier than ever now to set up, as remote access worldwide has allowed doctors and hospitals to expand their practices without the physical presence of patients.
Patients must also be aware however, that surgery dates might change as they do with all facilities. Enough time in Barcelona should be spent to accommodate any changes in surgery schedules. As in most facilities, the surgeries can run ahead of schedule or behind. This should also be discussed while taking a tour of each one.
Aftercare Solutions Might be Provided
Many facilities do provider caregivers or have a list of what is called “carers” depending upon country of origin. Since any procedure should be taken seriously, knowing that aftercare is available is an important question to ask while engaging in medical tourism. If the facility that is chosen does not provide aftercare recommendations it can be wise to bring along a third-party care person of choice.
Insurance in a country of origin, depending upon the country, might very well pick up the cost of aftercare although the medical procedure will not be covered. It is imperative though that insurance companies be contacted before making this assumption.
Use Instincts When Touring
If a particular physician or facility does not feel “right” individuals should move onto the next. Checking for good conditions at a facility is a priority and the “staff to patient” ratio should be questioned. An understaffed facility will never provide great care, and the reason for the tourism is to find great quality care. It is never wise to rush into any procedures without knowing all the facts. Medical tourism provides the answers, but the questions must be asked. An alert tourist will take their time in deciding. View the trip as a vacation and enjoy the sights as well as this will take off the pressure of finding a facility.
There are many aspects to successful medical tourism in Barcelona. The guidelines above point this out. There are many medical tourists however, that do not feel comfortable committing to a procedure until they have made several trips, so saving finances for airplane travel and hotels needs to be considered. Celebrities worldwide do engage in medical aesthetic procedures abroad and the popularity has expanded as a result. However, surgery is never to be taken lightly and the facilities in Barcelona are very advanced. The facilities though do have the right to reject any patient who does not comply with their standards or who are deemed high risk.
Skilled and conscientious physicians follow the Hippocratic Oath worldwide, which is, “First Do No Harm”. Barcelona, Spain physicians and specialists are no different. Medical tourism in Barcelona is booming so patience might be needed to arrange tours but the facilities that provide the tours are very accommodating and encouraging to visitors worldwide. Safe, secure, and advanced facilities make a medical tour in Barcelona, Spain well worth the time and the money.