Indexed on: 22 Jul '18Published on: 22 Jul '18Published in: The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal
Medical tourism is a fast-growing business worldwide with almost every country involved as either a provider and/or consumer. The degree of participation may vary depending on the status of health-care system in that country. This study aims to present our experience in the management of patients who sought urologic care abroad or returned from medical tourism with urologic complications. The method of study was based on the documentation of interaction with patients, patients' relations and their agents in a questionnaire between January 2010 and December 2015. The data obtained included, their demographics, indications/motivations for seeking treatment abroad, procedures performed and complications. We also documented the secondary procedures that were performed and complications managed in our center. The data were entered into Microsoft Excel and analysed using descriptive statistics, tables and figures. A total of 113 have either indicated intention of going to seek for urological care abroad or had already had urologic procedures abroad but were attending our clinic for follow up or for management of complications. Only about 12% of these patients were found to have genuine indications for seeking care abroad. Most of the indications were not justifiably based on the current capabilities of our health facility but more due to a lack of trust in the system or at worst pretentious. Patients seek for treatment abroad for variable reasons but and most could not be justified based on available local options. India and some Middle-East countries were the favoured destinations, and the quality of care and relative lower cost are the major attractions. The rising trend in medical tourism is fuelled by the poor state of our health-care system, perceived dearth of expertise and a general apathy and lack of trust.