What to Do If Medical Tourism Goes Wrong

If you're somebody on a set income with only limited resources, you may often find that you have few choices when you really want to buy something. This can be especially problematic if you want to get some cosmetic work done and cannot seem to find the money to do so through the Australian health care system. In this case, you may have been looking at your options and have decided that you're going to go overseas to get this elective work done. Why do need to think carefully before you do so?

Assessing the Risks

There are dozens, if not hundreds of facilities across Asia that offer all kinds of treatments as part of the medical tourism industry. Prospects are encouraged to take a holiday and fit in the treatment when they are there and many of these places are strategically located in tourist areas to facilitate this. However, regulatory standards may not be as stringent as they are in Australia and there have been cases where an individual has returned to their home country, only to seek local care because something went wrong.

In this case, the unfortunate individual may end up spending a lot more money than they had originally intended, including domestic costs when they return. Do they have any way of pursuing the original treatment provider and is it possible to bring litigation in a foreign land?

Lodging a Case

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to pursue the surgeon or service provider in their home jurisdiction. Often, the law simply does not allow this, or the costs involved could be prohibitive. It may be possible to initiate a case in Australia which names the overseas treatment provider as a defendant, but whether you would be able to collect on any judgement in this case is another matter, as they are outside Australian jurisdiction.

What about the Agent?

However, if you went through an agent to reach the provider and the agent has a presence in Australia, it may be possible to initiate an action against them, which could focus on misrepresentation or even deceptive conduct in some cases.

Is It Worth the Risk?

While many people do elect to become a medical tourist and come away with an acceptable outcome, this is not always the case. Therefore, it's important to consider what options you may have in the worst-case scenario.

If you ever find yourself in this position, you need to get help from an experienced attorney.