January 10, 2017
Don’t get lost in translation when you have a medical emergency

Imagine being in a foreign country and falling ill or having an accident? You may think that arriving at the emergency room where nobody speaks your language will leave you up a creek without a paddle. Or, what happens if you’ve decided to undergo a cosmetic procedure in another country but you cannot speak the native language?

medical travod

How sure can you be that you’re not going to get a new nose when you really ordered an eyebrow lift? Fortunately, there is a new angle of health care on the rise: medical tourism.

What is medical tourism?

More people are choosing to undergo medical treatments in different countries to where they live, with South Korea being the top choice. Whether it is due to cost or better health care, elective procedures, cosmetic surgeries, and even complex surgeries like spine fusions, are being sought. While it may be cheaper, or the health care may be of a higher standard to the patient’s home country, language barriers can be a significant issue.

What this means for patients

For patients, overcoming language barriers means having all your medical documentation translated into the language of the country where you have elected to have a procedure. These may include:

  • Health insurance documents
  • Medical histories
  • Test results
  • Emergency contact details

Even if the elected facility has a translator, it is better to err on the side of caution and have your documents professionally translated into the native language.

What this means for medical teams

As for the teams providing the medical services, the issue of language can be a complex scenario. They need to translate as much information as possible into their target clientele’s language. Materials that they should consider having professionally translated include:

  • Track records
  • Lega guidelines
  • Certifications
  • Brochures

Where is medical tourism booming?

The most common destinations for medical procedures are:

  • United States
  • India
  • Israel
  • Thailand
  • Costa Rica
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Mexico
  • Malaysia
  • Turkey

South Korea remains tops, though, with 1 in 5 people going under the knife in the country.

What are people electing to have done?

Now, tourists are electing to have procedures like dentistry, orthopedic, cardiovascular, and even cancer treatments performed in a country that is not their home.

In Asian countries like South Korea, there has been a significant boom in cosmetic surgery. People are flocking to the continent for superior treatments, five-star comfort, and outstanding medical attention, all on a modest budget where they can save as much as 70% on surgeries. Best of all, patients can recover the likes of tummy tucks, rhinoplasty, and facial reconstruction in a dream destination, making a vacation out of the entire process.

Most of the Asian hospitals that are popular with tourists have dedicated wards for foreigners and the surgeons boast degrees from international medical schools. But, before you head off on an international medical trip, it is important to ensure your treatment, pre- and post-operative care, and all the necessary medical documents do not get lost in translation.

TRAVOD offers certified medical translators

We have over 3,000 medical translators who have extensive experience translating medical documents, including:

  • Medical reports
  • Drug inserts
  • Patient information
  • Training materials
  • Protocols and many more.

If you’re keen to go under the knife but want to save cash by having the procedure done in another country and enjoy a vacation while you’re at it, Contact us for your medical tourism translations.