Once you have decided on a provider or a broker get everything outlined in an agreement or contract which clearly describes the services guaranteed to you and at what price. If there is anything you are not sure about get someone to go over the contract with you. Patients will need to sign a "terms of business" agreement with a broker, but the contract for treatment is with the hospital and this is where your money will go.
In addition to the procedure, the hospital costs, and accommodation make sure you understand who would cover the cost of additional medical or emergency treatment in case of complications, medicines and dressings and get clarification about the cost of medical repatriation to the UK, correctional or any follow-up treatment that could be required. Don't forget to query the extended stay for friends or family accompanying you.
It is important to clarify the clauses regarding follow-up care and what will happen should anything go wrong. This is going to vary for someone having a hip replacement to someone having dental veneers but it is expected that the provider will stand by their patients and the work and do whatever is necessary to make it right.
Check the contract for details about making complaints. Standards of legal protection for patients varies so visit the Indian embassy or consular office website to find out what protections (if any), are guaranteed to you as a visiting patient/medical tourist. You may find information about patient protection laws on the internet.
Find out about a company's refund policy in case you change your mind before, or upon arrival in India, or if turns you that you have a pre existing medical condition that causes the surgery to be cancelled, or you aren't able to get all the procedures you paid for.
By way of example BridgeHealth International, which sends patients to India for treatment says it is rare that a client decides to cancel a scheduled surgery after arriving at their chosen destination, but they will provide the client with a refund as per their stated refund policy less various costs such as custom implant, operating room reservation expense, a minimum physician consultation fee and a small administrative charge. Equally, the UK based Medical Tourist Company, also says that full refunds will be given less any costs incurred to the stage at which they decide to withdraw or cannot proceed for treatment.
There is always a remote chance of a complication in any surgery, even in the best of facilities anywhere in the world, but it is the provider's duty to identify the right type of facility and operation for a particular patient to reduce the risk of this occurring. Your surgeon may treat a complication (directly related to the surgery) at a reduced fee or you can ask in your contract that if a complication should arise the surgeon will correct it without additional fees.
In terms of financing your treatment there are many specialist finance companies offering competitive loans for people without private health insurance. See our Finance Scheme section for more information.
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