Alabama Bariatrics & Minimally Invasive Surgery

Bariatric Diet Orbera Gastric Band Sleeve Gastrectomy Gastric Bypass

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791

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Contact Us

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791
EMail: drsuggs@alabariatrics.com

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Should you Worry about Disease with Global Medical Tourism?

sick-man-wearing-mask-23SR4LPMedical tourism can come in all shapes. Some people want to get a decent price, so they are willing to find a country with a cheaper price range. Others believe that some countries are much better trained in certain procedures than others, so they travel there. Whatever the case may be, there are a variety of factors that have patients traveling from between different states and countries. However, there are a few obstacles that are becoming a threat to the very industry. One of the biggest ones is the spread of disease. Specifically a combination of legitimate concern and illegitimate panic over things like the coronavirus.

So, that begs the question. How much of the plague is the Coronavirus? Is it really worth canceling appointments and refusing entry over? And if it is, could interstate travel pose a less of a threat but still offer a decent value?  Let's find out. 

The Current Medical Tourism Climate with the Coronavirus

According to CNA, a reputable English news source in Singapore, fear, and precaution regarding the coronavirus has caused concern for both doctors and patients. Singapore is the world's top country for plastic surgery and medical facilities, and have famously high standards for their medical professionals. Some of the surgeons have even obtained celebrity status. Patients from neighboring countries, notably Indonesia, have come to them for procedures thinking the travel is worth it because of quality. However, some of them are canceling their appointments for fear of the coronavirus. 

Some of these patients are canceling of their own volition. Some doctors are advising their patients to avoid going to an appointment by plane. So, how bad is it? What is the coronavirus exactly?

True Facts about the Coronavirus

The coronavirus or the 2019 novel coronavirus is a new strain of a very common human virus. The names that virologists come up with for it is based on the shape of the virus and the initial location. The effects of the virus range from the common cold to severe respiratory diseases such as SARs. Much like the flu, the people who are most likely to die from contact with the virus are the elderly and those with already compromised immune systems. 

The reason that this is considered an epidemic, and why people are alarmed at the presence of this virus is that it is a new strain. And that isn't too far of a stretch. 

Mutation and Adaptation

Viruses mutate. They evolve and change given the environment it grows in. They have short life spans and multiply quickly to make up for it. And if biology is anything to go by, when a virus is in a new environment, like from a bat to a person, it will either die out quickly or adapt very well to its surroundings. That is why we don't expect polar bears to survive in Huntsville, AL. 

This virus was not previously found in humans. This makes it little known and unpredictable to doctors and the public. People aren't that good at handling unpredictability either. We survive and work through pattern recognition. Anything that throws a spanner in the works disorients us. 

But those same patterns can save us. We can apply the precautions that have been tried and true for us in the face of an outbreak. Washing your hands regularly, avoiding crowded places, avoid fecal matter and avoid people who are coughing, and keeping small children and the elderly out of hot spots.  If we use basic public precautions while scientists are figuring out how that new virus works, we will mostly be okay. 

In other words, treat it like the flu and you should be fine. 

What Does an Outbreak mean for Medical Tourism?

I predict that on an international scale, especially where flying is concerned medical tourism will be on hiatus for a little while. But this is far from becoming a death knell for the industry. Like anything else in life, we will adapt and it can be business as usual.

Luckily patients who are looking into it have more options. If you worry about traveling to a medical danger zone but still want a procedure done at a reasonable and professional rate, they can get things like weight loss surgery and other bariatric services right here! Alabariatrics in Huntsville, Alabama has a cheaper bariatric surgical rate than most states. We also speak English, have payment plans and we don't require a plane ticket. 

If you have questions about our medical tourism program visit us at www.alabariatrics.com