Best Places for Medical Tourism

Medical tourists from different countries travel for health care purposes to those countries having quality healthcare services at reasonable prices. So they spend extra money on travel, health care and accommodations on the places of treatment. Medical tourism is an old concept because thousands of years ago people traveled for medical purposes or for spiritual treatments to different countries. Many factors are considered while choosing a destination place for medical tourism such as high healthcare services and costs, waiting for certain procedures, availability and affordability of international travel, quality and latest technology used in the treatment.

Some of the most popular places include Europe, Japan, Middle East, UK, United States, Canada and Costa Rica. These places are popular due to the quality of their health care services, technology and competency of physicians. The hospitals of Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba and Turkey are popular for Cosmetic surgery treatments. Surgeons of South American countries like Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Argentine lead in plastic surgery due to their experience and knowledge. Plastic surgery is very common in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia and US. Slovakia, Belgium and Poland are entering in the business of health care and medical tourism.

A large number of Americans are going abroad for health care although the facilites of health in US are also availabe. There are many intermediary companies which provide help in medical tourism. These companies offer global health care at reasonable costs. There are different commissions and societies which care for the quality and standards of the hospitals available for medical tourism. Counteries such as Malaysia, Thailand, India and Costa Rica have many infectious diseases as compare to Norht America and Europe . So medical tourists need to stay for some time in the country which they choose for health care because travel soon after surgery can create many complexities. Tourists having breath and heart related problems avoid long flights and combine their vacation tours with medical tours.

th American Places

The quality of healthcare in Canada is not less than that of America but medical tourists can save 30 to 60 percent of their costs as compare to America. Medical tourists can save up to 80 on healthcare services in Costa Rica as compare to US. Costa Rica is popular for cosmetic procedure, dental, weight-loss and orthopedic surgeries. Knee replacement surgery is very cheap so patients travel to Costa Rica for medical tourism. Patients from all over the world travel to cuba for the best quality of healthcare services and fine reputation of their doctors. Medical tourists of Europe and Latin America travle to this destination because of its situation and save up to 60 to 80 percent as compare to the charges in US. The hospitals of cuba are best known for cancer treatment, cosmetic surgery, joint replacement, eye surgery and addictions rehabilitations. the government of cuba has taken many steps to increase income from medical tourism and patients of US, Canada and UK visit cuba for medical treatments. Dominincan Republic is very popular destination for hip replacement, bariatric surgeries, plastic surgeries, knee replacement, eye surgeries and all other medical treatments. Medical tourists can save from 50 to 75 percent as compare to the costs in US. The plastice surgery and dentistry healthcare services of Mexico are appreciated by all the world. The costs of these treatments are one-fourth to one-fifth of American costs. The quality of health care services in Mexico is very high and medical tourists are satisfied.

Quality health services, location and dollar as the official currency are the reasons that Panama is famous for its medical services. The medical professionals of Panama are trained by US and use the latest technology to provide quality healthcare services. Medical tourists can save more than 50 percent of healthcare costs as compare to Europe and US. Dental implants, assisted reproduction, cosmetic dentistry, plastic surgery, cardiology, orthopedics and pulmonology are the popular procedures in medical treatments. Surgeons of Brazil have gained world wide fame in cosmetic surgery.

South American Places

Orthopedic surgeries , Cosmetic surgery, transplant surgery, eye surgery and cardiovascular are popular procedures in Colombia. Healthcare services in Colombia are cheap and foreigners can get human organs from Colombia. The doctors of colombia are experienced and have worked in many counteries of Europe and US.

Asian Places

China has gained popularity in stem cell treatments. The medical professionals of India are popular for hip resurfacing, heart surgery and areas of advanced medicine. The treatment costs in India are very low which is nearly one-tenth to the treatment costs of US. The healthcare service in Malaysia are also very popular and the doctors of Malaysia are trained in the hospitals of US and UK. New Zealand is a popular medical tourism destination for fertitlity treatments and non-acture surgical procedures. The doctors are trained in the hospitals of UK and US. The costs of healthcare services are very low as comparet to US. Thailand is popular in organ transplant and cardiac surgery at lower prices.


Moreover British and Canadian medical tourists don’t wait long and travel to Germany for medical treatments. Novel cancer and spine surgery are well treated in Germany at lower prices. Dentistry services in ukraine are provided at lower costs. High class material and equipment is used in dental clinics and hospitals. There are many suitable places for medical tourism but a medical tourist chooses according to his own choice and afforability.

Bacterial Pneumonia – Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, And Treatment

A recent article on a science website claimed that the deadly 1918-1919 influenza epidemic was made more lethal by bacterial pneumonia infections in influenza patients. While an epidemic of the same scale has not recurred, bacterial strains of pneumonia continue to kill around 40,000-70,000 people annually across the globe. It infects more than three times that number.

So, what causes this disease?  Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Bacterial infections are the deadliest and the most common cause of pneumonia in adults. Bacterial pneumonia results in an inflammation of lungs. The major bacterial agents of pneumonia are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes. Other strains include Pneumocystis jiroveci, which can cause life threatening infections for those afflicted with HIV. Even TB germs can lead to pneumonia in patients with an insufficient immune function.

Is There A Way To Prevent Infections?

Studies have shown that some people are at a higher risk of developing bacterial pneumonia than others. Besides people grappling with poor health and illnesses, such as heart problems, diabetes, liver malfunction, immune system disorders, dementia or impaired neural functioning, smokers, people living in crowded facilities and nursing homes, and those suffering from recurring lung and breathing problems are at higher risk. Identifying the population at risk is the first step to prevention.

Maintaining hygiene is one of the most effective ways to curb infections. Always wash your hands after visiting the restroom, changing diapers, and before meals. Sneeze in a handkerchief or tissue paper. Ask your doctor for information on vaccines for bacterial pneumonia, which is administered to high risk population, including patients with critical illnesses.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms Of Bacterial Pneumonia Are Often Mistaken For Common Flu. Watch Out For:

* Difficulty in breathing
* Fever and persistent chills
* Chest pain
* Rapid weight loss
* Phlegm that is tinged red-brown
* Loss of appetite
* Sweating

If you are at a higher risk of infection, you should contact your doctor if your “cold” lasts for more than three days.

Diagnosis And Treatment

A doctor will use a stethoscope to find out if your lungs make unusual sounds while you breathe. If the doctor feels you have bacterial pneumonia, he might ask you to undergo an X-ray. Additional diagnostic procedures include blood tests, CT scan, and sputum test.

Based on the doctor’s assessment, you might be admitted to a hospital or be administered antibiotics at home. Hospitalization is recommended for patients who have nobody to care for them at home, are not showing any signs of improvement through antibiotic treatment, or suffering from other illnesses.

Besides medication, you can improve your chances of recovery by drinking a lot of water, following doctor’s instructions closely, and taking a few days off from work to rest. You must also take adequate precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

Bacterial pneumonia might cause complications in HIV affected and diabetic patients. In such cases, the patient might need to be hospitalized and put on a ventilator or undergo surgery to remove fluid collecting around lungs.

Fact Sheets Home Health Care

Home health care helps seniors live independently for as long as possible, given the limits of their medical condition. It covers a wide range of services and can often delay the need for long-term nursing home care.

More specifically, home health care may include occupational and physical therapy, speech therapy, and even skilled nursing. It may involve helping the elderly with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Or it may include assistance with cooking, cleaning, other housekeeping jobs, and monitoring one’s daily regimen of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

At this point, it is important to understand the difference between home health care and home care services. Although they sound the same (and home health care may include some home care services), home health care is more medically oriented. While home care typically includes chore and housecleaning services, home health care usually involves helping seniors recover from an illness or injury. That is why the people who provide home health care are often licensed practical nurses, therapists, or home health aides. Most work for home health agencies, hospitals, or public health departments that are licensed by the state.

How Do I Make Sure That Home Health Care Is Quality Care?
As with any important purchase, it is always a good idea to talk with friends, neighbors, and your local area agency on aging to learn more about the home health care agencies in your community.
In looking for a home health care agency, the following 20 questions can be used to help guide your search:

  1. How long has the agency been serving this community?
  2. Does the agency have any printed brochures describing the services it offers and how much they cost? If so, get one.
  3. Is the agency an approved Medicare provider?
  4. Is the quality of care certified by a national accrediting body such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations?
  5. Does the agency have a current license to practice (if required in the state where you live)?
  6. Does the agency offer seniors a “Patients’ Bill of Rights” that describes the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and the senior being cared for?
  7. Does the agency write a plan of care for the patient (with input from the patient, his or her doctor and family), and update the plan as necessary?
  8. Does the care plan outline the patient’s course of treatment, describing the specific tasks to be performed by each caregiver?
  9. How closely do supervisors oversee care to ensure quality?
  10. Will agency caregivers keep family members informed about the kind of care their loved one is getting?
  11. Are agency staff members available around the clock, seven days a week, if necessary?
  12. Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available to provide on-call assistance 24 hours a day?
  13. How does the agency ensure patient confidentiality?
  14. How are agency caregivers hired and trained?
  15. What is the procedure for resolving problems when they occur, and who can I call with questions or complaints?
  16. How does the agency handle billing?
  17. Is there a sliding fee schedule based on ability to pay, and is financial assistance available to pay for services?
  18. Will the agency provide a list of references for its caregivers?
  19. Who does the agency call if the home health care worker cannot come when scheduled?
  20. What type of employee screening is done?

When purchasing home health care directly from an individual provider (instead of through an agency), it is even more important to screen the person thoroughly. This should include an interview with the home health caregiver to make sure that he or she is qualified for the job. You should request references. Also, prepare for the interview by making a list if any special needs the senior might have. For example, you would want to note whether the elderly patient needs help getting into or out of a wheelchair. Clearly, if this is the case, the home health caregiver must be able to provide that assistance. The screening process will go easier if you have a better idea of what you are looking for first.

Another thing to remember is that it always helps to look ahead, anticipate changing needs, and have a backup plan for special situations. Since every employee occasionally needs time off (or a vacation), it is unrealistic to assume that one home health care worker will always be around to provide care. Seniors or family members who hire home health workers directly may want to consider interviewing a second part-time or on-call person who can be available when the primary caregiver cannot be. Calling an agency for temporary respite care also may help to solve this problem (see the Respite Care fact sheet for more information about these services).

In any event, whether you arrange for home health care through an agency or hire an independent home health care aide on an individual basis, it helps to spend some time preparing for the person who will be doing the work. Ideally, you could spend a day with him or her, before the job formally begins, to discuss what will be involved in the daily routine. If nothing else, tell the home health care provider (both verbally and in writing) the following things that he or she should know about the senior:

  1. Illnesses/injuries, and signs of an emergency medical situation
  2. Likes and dislikes
  3. Medications, and how and when they should be taken
  4. Need for dentures, eyeglasses, canes, walkers, etc.
  5. Possible behavior problems and how best to deal with them
  6. Problems getting around (in or out of a wheelchair, for example, or trouble walking)
  7. Special diets or nutritional needs
  8. Therapeutic exercises.

In addition, you should give the home health care provider more information about:

  1. Clothing the senior may need (if/when it gets too hot or too cold)
  2. How you can be contacted (and who else should be contacted in an emergency)
  3. How to find and use medical supplies and medications
  4. When to lock up the apartment/house and where to find the keys
  5. Where to find food, cooking utensils, and serving items
  6. Where to find cleaning supplies
  7. Where to find light bulbs and flash lights, and where the fuse box is located (in case of a power failure)
  8. Where to find the washer, dryer, and other household appliances (as well as instructions for how to use them).

Although most states require that home health care agencies perform criminal background checks on their workers and carefully screen job applicants for these positions, the actual regulations will vary depending on where you live. Therefore, before contacting a home health care agency, you may want to call your local area agency on aging or department of public health to learn what laws apply in your state.


The cost of home health care varies across states and within states. In addition, costs will fluctuate depending on the type of health care professional required. Home care services can be paid for directly by the patient and his or her family members, or through a variety of public and private sources. Sources for home health care funding include Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, the Veterans’ Administration, and private insurance.

Medicare is the largest single payer of home care services. The Medicare program will pay for home health care if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The patient must be homebound and under a doctor’s care;
  2. The patient must need skilled nursing care, or occupational, physical, or speech therapy, on at least an intermittent basis (that is, regularly but not continuously)
  3. The services provided must be under a doctor’s supervision and performed as part of a home health care plan written specifically for that patient
  4. The patient must be eligible for the Medicare program and the services ordered must be “medically reasonable and necessary”
  5. The home health care agency providing the services must be certified by the Medicare program.

To get help with your Medicare questions, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227, TTY/TDD: 1-877-486-2048 for the speech and hearing impaired) or look on the Internet at

There are several national organizations that can provide additional consumer information about home health care services. These include the following:

  • The National Association for Home Care, which can be reached at 202-547-7424 or by visiting its website at The postal address is: 228 7th St., SE; Washington, DC 20003.
  • The Visiting Nurse Associations of America, which can be reached at 617-737-3200 or by visiting its website at The postal addresses are: 99 Summer St., Suite 1700; Boston, MA 02110.

To find out more about home health care programs where you live, you will want to contact your local aging information and assistance provider or area agency on aging (AAA). The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the Administration on Aging (at 1-800-677-1116 or  can help connect you to these agencies.

Case Study

Because it is not always clear to the average person when an ailing senior needs home health care and when he or she needs nursing home care, it is usually best to consult a medical professional for advice. The following case study describes one situation in which home health care proved to be the right choice.
Francis is 84 years old and recently had a stroke. She was hospitalized briefly and then discharged to continue recovering at home. To enable her to return home, her doctor called a home health care agency, and the agency gave Francis a complete home health care plan for six weeks. Since the doctor ordered the home care for Francis, Medicare paid for it.

For the first week after Francis went home, a nurse visited her every day. The nurse met with Francis’s family to discuss her special dietary needs and to arrange for exercise therapy to help Francis regain her strength. Once that was done, the nurse visited Francis twice a week to check on how well she was recovering. The home health care agency also sent a homemaker, a personal care attendant, and a physical therapist to visit Francis several times during the week. The homemaker would do the shopping and cook light meals. The personal care attendant would help Francis bathe, get dressed, and walk. The physical therapist would keep Francis moving and see to it that she got some exercise to aid in her recovery.

The Psychological Treatment Center Quiz

Psychological treatment centers have been growing popularity in the past few years, as they have become the source of solace for many Hollywood stars. More importantly, it seems like somebody knows somebody who has been to a psychological treatment center and has gotten better. However, a lot of people still do not understand what a psychological treatment center is. So, we have prepared a little quiz for you to test your knowledge about this type of facility. Ur answers are based on the top psychological treatment center in the state: The Psychological Care and Healing Treatment Center. Are you ready? Let’s start!

1,) What is the Psychological Care and Healing Treatment Center?

a.)    A facility that seeks to treat depression.
b.)    A facility that requires patients to live in the facility for some time to receive intensive treatments.
c.)    A facility that offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere that enables the patients with psychological disorders to actually feel at home and be open to the treatments.
d.)   All of the above.

The answer is: letter D. All of the above.

It is true that the Psychological Care and Healing Treatment enter is a place for people who suffer from the psychological disorder called depression. However, it does not exclusively treat the said disorder. The Psychological Care and Healing Treatment Center treats most psychological disorders. However, unlike mental institutions, this facility actually provides a place for patients that is homey and comforting which is bound to make them more receptive to treatment. However, this is not to say that the treatments here are light. They offer intensive treatments that fast track the patients into the world without psychological disorders.

2.) What type of services does the Psychological Care Treatment Center offer?

a.)    They provide intensive treatments for people with psychological disorders.
b.)    They provide day treatment programs for those who have mild psychological disorders, or those that are trying to transition from intensive treatments into simple assistance while moving back into the “real world”.
c.)    Rehabilitation programs for drug and alcohol abusers.
d.)   All of the above.

The answer is: letter D. All of the above.

The Psychological Care and Healing Treatment Center has their primary focus on providing intensive treatments for several different kinds of psychological disorders. The include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and even drug and alcohol abuse, as long as it stems from a psychological disorder. Usually, these intensive treatments last for a little over three weeks until a month. After this period, the patient is then evaluated by a psychological health expert and the matter on whether he is to extend his stay/treatment is decided. If they do not extend their stay, they may simply go back to their normal lives and enrol in a day treatment program which serves as a support system for people whoa re transitioning from the intensive/residential treatment program into the real world.

Obviously, this type of treatment centers provides several levels of relief and help for several different types of psychological disorders. It is therefore important that one gets checked in a facility that offers this broad a spectrum of services to get treated properly.

Treatment for Depression

Lots of people undergo from depression, and it’s not something that anyone need be embarrassed of. This is an essential starting point for those who are in need of treatment. Depression should be treated like any other physical illness, and like other physical illnesses it can often be fixed with prescription drugs. Having said that, it can also often be dealt with without drugs, through psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy unfortunately also has a stigma surrounding to it in the minds of various people, but it is nothing more than a method of counselling where the depressed person is given an occasion to discuss about life and the way they feel. The very procedure of being able to talk about pain and unhappiness in a non-judgemental atmosphere can have an extremely healing effect, especially for those who are suffering mild or moderate cases of depression. Severely depressed persons do not typically benefit from psychotherapy and counselling to the same extent. Severe depression generally requires supplementing counselling with other depression treatments. Even so, counselling is not only a good starting point in the process, but a professional counsellor will generally be the best person to provide advice as to the need for further treatment.

Severe depression needs medication and sometimes hospitalisation. Even then, it can frequently take some time to get treatment right, as there are a collection of antidepressant drugs available on the market and some of them can have risky side-effects.

Part of the reason for the popularity of antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft is that they usually have few and far between side-effects, apart from a regular decrease of libido, and hence are relatively safe to prescribe. However such drugs do not work at all for some people who may require ‘tricyclics’ such as Vivactil, Norpramin or Pamelor. The problem with tricyclics is that it can cause problems for those already suffering with heart disease, and getting the precise dosage right is far more complex than with Prozac or Zoloft. People certainly have been known to gravely overdose on tricyclics.

These issues highlight the need for antidepressant medication to be administered by a trained psychiatrist and not by a general practitioner. A good psychiatrist will also be the best person to decide if the subject requires hospilisation.

For those who need to be hospitalized, electric shock therapy (ECT) is another form of treatment that has proven very advantageous to some people. This is generally only used with people who have rare and acute symptoms of depression and who have become manic. ECT is normally only considered for those who have not been successful on antidepresasnt medication and when all other methods of treatment have failed to make the symptoms of the depression less serious.

ECT involves electrical stimulation that causes the brain to seizure in order to ease the depression. While this sounds awful, this treatment should not be connected with the torturous forms of shock therapy often portrayed in the cinema. Today, patients who are given ECT you are also given muscle relaxants so as to get rid of all discomfort and pain. ECT is generally used in conjunction with both antidepressant medication and counselling. Sometimes the ECT will allow a person to become free of a depressive episode after which they will be able to keep up their equilibrium through the use of normal antidepressants.

Dealing successfully with depression can evidently be very tough, and the cost (financially as well as physically) can be high, but these costs generally pale in comparison to the toll taken by depression that is left untreated.