Medical tourism for beginners: how to save money and not to fall into the trap of fraudsters

What is in demand overseas medicine, the more people want this trend to make money. Unfair with the patient can do as agents and employees of the clinics. But in the case of obvious cheating, we just have to go to the police with a full stack of correspondence and contracts, with the rest “400 relatively honest ways to” Rob the patient more difficult. In such cases it is best to arm yourself with seasoned experience, keep your eyes open and try to prevent attempts to breed for money. And it is necessary to know what in medical tourism there are pitfalls.


Knowing exactly what will need treatment abroad, we must first understand a few facts about foreign medical tourism and to act on the basis of these proven truths, explains co-founder of the “Tabletochki” Irina Litovchenko. First of all you need to obtain a certificate from the chief freelance specialist of the Ministry of health (claims only) and get in line to pay for the treatment — it forms the Ministry. According to Lytovchenko, the state annually allocates considerable funds for this, and all wards of the Fund, which he helped to go abroad in 2016, received a major portion of the amounts that the state.

Caution! Quick call back only hidden intermediaries.

SEARCH CLINIC. Elena from Kiev Chernenok, recently underwent bone marrow transplantation in Israel, first of all, advises to put the organization out on a relative or friend who is able not to flog a fever and to think clearly: the patient is under stress to overpower the enormous amount of information and make informed decisions difficult.

“When I learned that the transplant will cost $250 thousand was in shock, she recalls. — Miraculously managed to ignore the panic and treat search how to work.”

To start, she said, is to explore a General information on forums and websites about where specializiruetsya in the right direction, to select several countries and clinics. Will have to read a lot of information yet to determine the country and then the mediation assistant (particularly relevant in Israel). Elena’s also faced with sluggish international divisions and affirms: do not expect that once the clinic receives your request, immediately rush to call.

“As a rule, managers in these departments are responsible not soon or ignore the letters: they have a logjam of requests and little desire to delve into the situation of hundreds of patients who may not be any good, shares his insights Chernenok. And certainly it is not necessary to write in Russian and Ukrainian, or send the untranslated edocumentation: 99% that it will go in the basket.” And if the answer immediately — a sure sign that is the website of the clinic you got on disguised intermediaries. Just as quickly they process the requests and even call you back.

THE DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION. Clinics are very reluctant to communicate directly with patients, although many for this have international departments that can send their applications by e-mail. It is usually easier and faster to do it through trusted volunteers, Diaspora and charitable organizations operating in almost every clinic.

“Without the help of such friends who will “get” the school calls, letters and visits, negotiate, almost impossible, — explains Litovchenko. — There is a paid option — the same assistants, but for the money: they will increase the budget by 30-40%, but will accelerate the process, and this can be very important.”

Moreover, many international divisions sharpened it on cheat accounts, I’m sure Sergei Sirosh, father of the sick child with two years of dialogue with the European clinics.

“Most likely, they initially calculate all the maximum degree of difficulty, will enter some optional additional services in addition to unfavorable package, — says the experience of it. The screening programme will be to out more expensive, not easier and cheaper for you.”

TENDER. In many cases, attempts to negotiate directly about the plan of survey with the clinic lead to ensure that all procedures and consultations will last for several weeks according to the queue and living abroad, we recall, comes at a price. So it makes sense to find a friendly assistant on the spot, which will RAM all in a compact schedule and will generally represent your interests. Primary search of the mediator typically is chaotic, the main advice — do not rush to the first offer, and explore them at least a week or two, to apply to at least 3-5 companies. You just need to write that the need to consult on such a matter, waiting for an offer. The more clarifying questions you ask, the faster he will understand you are trying to breed for money or not. If you write something like “$10 000, come.” — most likely, you are trying to make 50-80 percent of the claimed amount, said Elena. The correct answer is the price for each analysis, the name of the attending physician and other details that, ideally, the proposal shall be made on letterhead, the fee is a separate item.

“From such a list it often turns out that the company wants to put in the amount of transfers from the airport cost $500 or accommodation for 150 a day, although you can actually find the carrier and apartments are much cheaper easily. In General, the fewer empty promises and rosy Outlook, the more solid your partner. Self-respecting doctors will never give 100% guarantees, and even remotely. But scammers love to play on the fact that the patient from despair to happy to believe in miraculous healing, and peel it off, only to sign the contract.

ABOUT FRIENDS. Features of our mentality are such that the recommendations of friends we believe categorically. If we are told that they have abroad is a “friend” (health agent), we automatically give it a “friend” bonus of trust and more decide to no contact. “Don’t get fooled. Free and from the heart there not doing anything. As a result, these “friends” often do the ungodly margins”, focuses Chernenok.


One of the most costly items stay abroad — accommodation, especially if it is directly in the clinic. “Try to plan your trip so that the length of stay in the hospital was minimal, and at the first opportunity to move to the outpatient apartment or home,” says Irina Litovchenko. After a lot of tests and examinations in our time, it is possible to do outside the hospital, and to spend their free time more enjoyable not lying in the house, and exploring or meeting new friends.

If you want to save, abandon the surcharge for single occupancy. Do not think that the common chamber in Europe is 7-8 critically ill 10 square meters, as we have. Most likely, the conventional chamber will be double, or triple well, but quite comfortable to stay in. And the presence of neighbors in some cases is a depressant, and even the emergency pre-hospital medical care. By the way, the assistant’s next: this additional service in the price too. Relative or friend living with you around the clock, pull up to 100 euros per day (the hospital gives him meals and a bed). Of course, often it’s nice to see relatives next to one, but psychological, no help from the patient accompanying will be required.

“The nurse in German hospital — like a mother. Her responsibilities include complete patient care: whether it’s personal hygiene or assistance in finding contact lenses. This is not the Ukrainian office with two nurses on duty who are not dozvatsya, — says Sergey zhitomire Sirosh. Even after a major operation in an adult patient – the presence of relatives is not needed, so they can be easily accomodated in rented accommodation — it is cheaper”.

DEAR PROFESSOR. Another expensive Ukrainian habit to touch doctors. We are accustomed not to trust the first doctor and rely on regalia, saying that if a Professor or of a zavotdeleniye, the more chances that will not be mistaken. European doctors for what is not yet investigated, not taken. So be sure you provide the doctor which on forces to cope with a specific problem, or just invite the more experienced. “Order” professors on their own initiative. But this whim again-worth the extra money. Catching the love of our medical tourists goes to communication with famous doctors, hospitals gladly propose to include in the bill the fee to the Professor, and sometimes more than one. If it helps you relax — pay. But be assured: if difficulties arise, the clinic itself will hurry to hire the best specialists, because the solution to your problem it is already paid for, and with what resources she does, is not your concern.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF LANGUAGES. Operators of medical tourism is often recommended to hire a translator to communicate with hospital staff, they say, in the interests of their own health and comfort. “In practice, the average knowledge of English or basic German guarantee understanding at a sufficient level: doctors are interested to get your information and get an answer, — says Sergey. European clinics in all possible ways try to solve the language problem, and often have standard forms of documents in different languages, including Russian. The doctors always tried to explain to us that the narrow medical terms in simple words that all can understand. The translator came in handy except for the first meeting with the doctor and signing of documents.”

Foreign Commerce. A maximum of 2-3 patients.


Usually clinics offer patients services whole package, which includes all the necessary standard manipulation. “But if there are any complications, be prepared to pay extra, and often many,” — emphasizes the coach. Therefore, before treatment, ask for detailed cost estimates, which describe what is included in your package and what will be asked in excess of it and how much. At the same time to check whether all batch services really need. Any hospital deliberately or accidentally can bill you at an exorbitant price — not too lazy to grasp why.

The decent task of the mediator is to save your money and time.

Important: examination and treatment is more profitable to go in the same place, so just ask to count the cost of both. It may be that one clinic will offer inspection for $ 5,000, but the price of treatment will cost about 150 thousand, and the other immediately frighten a score of 8000 for the examination, but will fly over 60 thousand, that is the amount the second option is more profitable. In such cases, the intermediary, in good faith, save your money (and it’s his job), irreplaceable: he knows the hospital, as no one, and is able to use a pre-paid package to the maximum, to put all necessary patient in “batch” period and to zero additional expenses. “My, I saved a lot of money. Would, for example, to expose additional accounts for prior consultation, and he wouldn’t let me, saying that our 3-month all inclusive package takes effect within 10 days, we’ll wait, we do not need anything additional. Tried to enter paid drugs for $1,000 a month, he was arguing got me free already included in pack” — gives personal examples Elena. In the meantime, confidence in the absolute integrity of your assistant no check each step. With an initial account, specify physician name and contact him. “Let him confirm that he actually saw your edocumentation and recommends that this scheme of treatment or examination. Sometimes, international Department or the mediator is simply fits into account the excess, assuring doctors that the patient himself asked them,” adds Sirosh.


Sites enticing for treatment in Israel had multiplied so much that unscrupulous earnings in the patients concerned, even in the Israeli medical tourism Association (IMTA). Its leading experts gave some tips on how not to fall for scams and don’t waste your money for nothing. They are suitable for other countries.

1. SITES-CLONES. Not so much in Israel clinics, as various firms offering the same services, but for completely different price. Knowing the desire of patients to communicate with doctors directly, intermediaries cloned official sites of hospitals, and many did not immediately realize what to communicate and almost agreed with a third party. Pay attention primarily on the language of the site if it is Russian and there is no options to go to the Hebrew and English — 100% site mediation and is designed for the naive residents of the CIS. Note the address and contact numbers: often “assistants” don’t even bother to rent an office and leave mobile phones to communicate what reputable clinics never do. Or leave the physical address of his company, which is easy compared to the real coordinates you are interested in the clinic.

2. REVIEWS. Decent sites and forums should contain the feedback of their satisfied patients. Text can be trusted only if they with a healthy share of criticism. But it is better to view videos: game of the actors from the natural behaviour and experiences of people to distinguish easily.

3. PREPAYMENT. It really required only in exceptional cases, in the other there is no point to make, and serious institution will never require. Diagram of the clinics standard: services are paid for by cash, card or transfer directly before making them available when the patient has already arrived in the country. Not sure what you exactly a rare event — do not transfer the Deposit, no matter how you’re asked.

4. LICENSE. Most reliable intermediary companies — those in which doctors work with Israeli license for medical activity. No doctor wants to risk their reputation and license, so the likelihood that you will be deceived, is extremely low. Most of the players of the medical tourism such professionals do not have — that is, no one will guide you from start of treatment until the end, which will affect the optimization process and cost. After treatment it is very important to obtain the medical report signed by the physician: it means taken responsibility for all manipulations that you spent.

Money in advance is not necessary.