From time to time, when reliable sources in the media and health care industry report on events that present unreasonable and unwarranted harm to medical travelers and health tourists, Medical Travel Quality Alliance issues warnings to medical tourists.
MTQUA changes the advisory when a situation improves.
MTQUA calls on the governments and medical establishments of named countries to review not only specific incidents but also the underlying reasons for these warnings in order to make medical and wellness travel safer and better for all medical tourists. Download the full report.
Medical Travel Warning: Dominican Republic
MTQUA warns travelers against having any kind of medical, surgical or dental treatment in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic has an excessively large number of medical tourist deaths. This is a dangerous situation for medical travelers.
In the first six months of 2015, four medical tourists have died after having surgery in Dominican Republic clinics. In 2014, a New York resident died during surgery at a clinic in the country. Earlier reports list the deaths of three medical tourists as a result of surgery in 1998 and one in 2004 in the Dominican Republic.
On the internet, many harmed patients describe their poor outcomes and the dangerous situations they experienced in Dominican Republic clinics.
Authorities have taken some but not enough action. The government has now shut down one clinic, that of Dr. Edgar Contreras who has been the subject of three other probes by Dominican investigators over the years.
MTQUA has been observing events in the Dominican Republic for more than a year, after American and European health authorities issued reports of serious harm to medical tourists. Download the full report.
Medical Travel Watch: India
MTQUA advises medical tourists to be extremely cautious in seeking treatment in India through medical tourism facilitators or agents.
India’s tourism minister has called the medical tourism industry in India “unorganized.” Industry experts tend to agree and some even describe it as chaotic.
As the medical tourism industry grows and matures in India, its weaknesses and problems are becoming clearer. At recent government-sponsored meetings in New Delhi, government and hospital officials identified lack of trust, poor quality and limited expertise in care management of medical tourists as major problems.
India’s status as a preferred medical destination is increasingly threatened as more medical tourists arrive in the country and experience the lack of organized care and services both inside most hospitals and outside during the pre-surgery and aftercare periods. Governments in the Middle East and Central Asia that send sponsored medical travelers to India are finding that their medical outcomes are less that optimal. Download the full report.
Medical Travel Watch: Mexico
MTQUA cautions medical tourists when seeking treatment in Mexican “border” towns.
The number of deaths and near deaths of medical tourists receiving medical treatment in Mexico needs to ring alarm bells throughout the medical tourism industry.
American media have reported on the deaths of several American medical tourists at one particular clinic, that of Dr. Mario Almanza in Tijuana, a border town 125 miles south of Los Angeles. Complications and infections from surgery are widespread, and have been reported widely in American media. Scripps Media reporters across the US have reported deaths and complications in medical travelers having weight loss surgery at the clinic. Download the full report.
Medical Travel Watch: South Korea
MTQUA alerts medical tourists to seek treatment only in known top hospitals in South Korea where staff speak your language.
South Korea’s government has announced a crackdown on illegal clinics and agents after a Chinese woman fell into a coma in January 2015 and was pronounced brain dead on the operating table while undergoing extensive plastic surgery in a Seoul clinic.
Other reports detail poor treatment, poor conditions, ghost doctors, price gouging, counterfeit drugs and injectables, and false advertising and other problems.
An online support group in China comprising hundreds of victims of alleged botched cosmetic procedures in South Korea has begun a campaign to highlight the problems, including disputes over malpractice. Download the full report.
Medical Travel Watch: Thailand
MTQUA urges medical tourists to be very careful when seeking a medical or surgical procedure in any clinic in Thailand.
A recent headline in The Nation, a leading English-language Bangkok newspaper read, Another Plastic Surgery Patient Dies.
The death of 24-year-old British woman Joy Williams in October 2014 caused barely a ripple in Bangkok. She died on the operating table during a second surgery to correct problems in her first surgery at the same clinic. Reportedly, the doctor was trying to perform the surgery and administer general anesthesia at the same time. Download the full report.