FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A Guide to Your Questions

What is Medical Tourism?

Medical Tourism is a ancient concept in health care services dating back from Mesopotamian practices. It essentially means obtaining medical or surgical services while travelling or vacationing in other counties. It is where people who live in one country travel to another country to receive medical, dental and surgical care while at the same time receiving equal to or greater care than they would have in their own country, and are traveling for medical care because of affordability, better and quicker access to care or a higher level of quality of care. It involves travelling to another country or another region in your own country in order to find medical treatment (e.g. dental, cosmetic, aesthetic, wellness treatments) with similar or better healthcare service than at home. The increase in Medical Tourism is due to several aspects: expensive healthcare costs in industrialized countries, technological progress, improvements in healthcare standards and nowadays being able to easily travel to anywhere in the world.

If you have the erroneous impression that patients are flying for complex and routined surgeries alike to a dilapidated jungle clinic in a third world country- followed by some tropical extreme adventure. The opposite is true, although the latter may not be far off. Patients will receive care in high-end, state-of-the-art hospitals in major urban centers, and will plan their trip to allow enough time for a prudent recuperation period before heading home.

What is a Medical Tourism Facilitator?

At George Medical Getaway, we are medical tourism facilitators. We are an independent company that assists and coordinates a patient’s trip and itinerary to another country for medical care. These services include travel and tourism, pre-opt, post-opt, and recuperation services.  A medical tourism facilitator (MTF) provides you with the necessary information you need to make the best decision when choosing where to find your treatment. In addition, a MTF will book your consultation, help find you the best accommodations depending on your needs, keep you informs about how everythings works and helps you with the procedure. MTFs are not medical providers, we facilitate the relationship between our professionals and our clients. Therefore, we cannot provide you with medical advice, but we do get professional consultations and recommendations from the professionals who can!

Why George Medical Getaway as your medical tourism facilitator?

Malaysia is a world renowned destination for medical tourism because we provides the highest quality of healthcare all over the world. At GMG, we want to be promoters of our great Medical system in Malaysia in lieu of being at the forefront of Medical Tourism in Malaysia. We works with facilities and Medical Centre’s which use the latest and most sophisticated technologies, highly skilled and internationally trained English-speaking professionals, and state-of-the-art medical facilities which comply with international and national standards for medical procedures, diagnostic testing, and clinical research to ensure that all our clients feel comfortable and at ease throughout their stay in Malaysia. Our client-focused framework allows us to cater to as many clients required yet still being able to pamper each client individually.

 

Our Story

How do you ask Questions?

Any medical questions that patients have will be directed to specialists, surgeons and consultants for us to give you a more detail response. Upon filing out our free online consultation, we will consult your case with our specialist. Once the specialist has reviewed your query and has given us the proper response for your query, we will reply your query with an additional form -the GMG medical care form. All the information in the medical care form will only be used by our Patient Care Team to ensure the safety of your health and will only be shared with the required parties, such as -but not limited to: hospitals, doctors, medical practitioners, etc. For any questions please email info@georgemedicalgetaway.com

Why are patients travelling internationally for Medical Tourism?

International patients are travelling overseas because of the high quality health care services at affordable price for everyone with better and quicker access to care or better availability of services partly due to lower operating costs -no more long wait times and high medical bills! An added benefit is the multiple avenues of cost saving involved, not only is surgeries abroad cheaper without the need for patients to sacrifice anything, the foreign exchange rate conversion tends to be very favourable to overseas traveller. The cost savings in Malaysia can be up to 90% from North American surgical pricing. However, it is important to note that these prices are dated and may not be an exact representation of actual pricing, and each individual will vary depending on their needs and requirements.

Statistics by Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council

Medical Procedure Price Comparison by medicaltourism.com

Heart Bypass

Angioplasty

Heart Valve Replacement

Hip Replacement

Hip Resurfacing

Knee Replacement

Spinal Fusion

Dental Implant

Lap Band

Breast Implants

Rhinoplasty

Face Lift

Hysterectomy

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Bypass

Liposuction

Tummy Tuck

Lasik

IVF Treatment

Prices as of 2013:

US Pricing

$ 144,000

$ 57,000

$ 170,000

$ 50,000

$ 50,000

$ 50,000

$ 100,000

$ 2,800

$ 30,000

$ 10,000

$ 8,000

$ 15,000

$ 15,000

$ 28,700

$ 33,000

$ 9,000

$ 10,000

$ 4,500

$ 11,000

 

Prices as of 2013:

Malaysia Pricing

$ 11,500

$ 5,500

$ 11,000

$ 7,500

$ 12,500

$ 7,000

$ 6,000

$ 400

$ n/a

$ 4,000

$ 1,500

$ 3,500

$ 5,500

$ n/a

$ 10,000

$ 2,500

$ 10,000

$ 500

$ 3,900

Is Medical Tourism Safe?

Safety is one of our first priorities in life, especially when it comes to the Medicare we obtain for ourselves. Therefore, the first question one asks when they think of medical tourism is whether procedures done overseas or travelling before a surgery is safe? The answer is simple. In any given surgery or procedure, whether done domestically or internationally entails a degree of risks. Nonetheless, most of the risks entailed is curbed by using highly-qualified surgeons and professionals, state-of-the-art facilities and hospitals, and experienced localities to ensure your safety is not at any additional risks. Moreover, in order to reduce any added risks, we put in a lot of effort to provide our clients with researched information on various options on travel, Medicare, Insurance, and Pre-surgical guidelines. Some of the following things are some of the things we consider when we add any healthcare provider to our network or we use as partners:

  • We work with hospitals and medical centres that are Malaysian Society for Quality in Health Care (MSQH) accredited, in addition to being, Joint Commission International (JCI) or ISO 9001 certified hospitals to ensure that the Hospitals and Medical Centre’s follow the best practices and quality standards in the industry.
  • We seek out service based on Hospitals track record of quality service, low waiting periods, doctor-patient ratios to ensure personal attention from doctors, as well as, feedback from previous patients to ensure we continue to obtain the service from the best professionals in Malaysia for our clients. Quality of service is based on the skill of the surgeon, and the state of the care in the hospital.
  • Experienced Multi-lingual staff with a history in providing excellent services, and translators for our foreign clients, if requested.
  • Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) recognized hospitals with Good aesthetic outlook and state-of-the-art quality facilities to ensure comfortable accommodation for anyone accompanying the patient.

Before going abroad for medical treatment, we encourage our clients to talk with their doctors. Many doctors already know about Medical Tourism, some have and then there are others who do not trust it. Therefore, it is necessary to inform them about our proposal (if they do not have enough information, we are here to help you out -contact our advisors).

How do I get started?

New clients begin by sending us your medical query through our website or via email. Upon filling up the patient care report required to help us understand your medical history, clients will get a FREE online consultation by which we will be able to get a more specific quote from the consultant specialist, and we will give you an estimated cost of your surgery and give you our recommended advice based on your medical needs. For the clients that choose to opt with one of our packages, all their ground travel, tourism, accommodation, and mostly importantly, patient care needs are inclusive in the package. Patients opting for one of our packages may also choose to customize the package to fit their needs, and may do so by emailing us their query.

What is the process involved in medical tourism?

Medical Tourism in Malaysia is very relaxed and laws are not as restrictive as is with our counterpart nations such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and India. Once you have filled out your initial Online Consultation, we will send you a reply that will include our price quotation and initial recommendation based on the information you have given us. We will attach a more detailed survey where you will fill in more personal information, etc. to further help us assess your case. If you pass our criteria and requirement to be one of our Medical Tourist and accept our terms and agreement, we will then begin the planning stages of your trip based on your specific requirement, using the information we gather from your personal survey.

Once the facilitator-client relationship is established, the next step is planning for your trip. Before we begin, we will sign a contract/bond between the patient, agency (GMG), and hospital/doctor to foster tangible commitment from all parties involved. Clients will be required to pay a downpayment at the point of signing the contract for future service rendered (please see payment plans). We offer a variety of services divided into a comprehensive package or a selective package for our customers to choose from. We have a team continually seeking out the best deals both online and in the real world so that we can give you great deals. After you select your preferred package, sit back and relax; it is our job to plan and send you all your travel and medical itineraries, as well as a trip planner, which will state important dates, to guide you on your journey when you are in Malaysia.

Clients will be responsible for the purchase of their own airfare tickets and travel insurance (as medical complication insurances will be provided by GMG) and are also responsible for giving up a copy of their travel itinerary at least 60 days before travelling so that we can arrange all the necessary arrangements in Malaysia and schedule prospective surgical dates with the medical providers and doctors on your behalf. George Medical Getaway does provide travel services as we do partner with travel agents, but are not responsible for the clients air ticket to and from Malaysia.

What is the GMG Process?

Each quote details what is included and our recommendations. Once received, please feel free to contact us for any questions you may have. Our online preliminary survey and consultation is complimentary with our service. Once you are in Malaysia, patients will be assigned a case-manager and will go to face-to-face consultation with the specialist surgeon they will be working with to get further recommendation.

We recognize the importance of confidentiality of your health and medical information and will only use your medical information to serve your medical needs. We pass the information required to our network of hospitals for their assessment to receive a price quotation before we begin to organize your trip and get you the BEST deals. For more information, please read our Health Privacy & Confidentiality Statement.

A Step-by-step Process of Our Services:

In Your Home Country:

  • You write in to us with your medical query, and enclose your medical reports and fill-out our customer survey to determine your validity as a prospective patient. We send you an estimated cost of treatment, if you accept the evaluation, we will continue with our services to provide you a comprehensive package so that all you have to do is to pack your bags.
  • You tell us the date of your travel, at least 60 days prior to traveling, so that we can arrange all necessary requirements for your trip and help you create an detailed itinerary for your trip. Every country has specific visa requirements, and although patients are recommended to purchase their own tickets and GMG offers ticketing services for those who seek it.
  • The next step will be payment to GMG and Immunizations requirements. Since many countries may have different diseases and viruses, it is the job of the prospective patient to find out what immunization is required from their local GP before travelling to Malaysia. Full payment is due at least 3 weeks before travel. For more information, please see our payment plans.

In Malaysia:

  • Once you have arrived in Malaysia, the rest is up to us. We will assign a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) to each of our clients, they will meet you and pick you up from the airport and drop you at your hotel. We will drive you to and from your accommodation and hospital and other medical facilities. Your PCA will be with you for every medical or non-medical need you may have such as translation, etc., our PCA’s are trained to cater to the needs of the individual. Your PCA’s will be with you up till the moment you are dropped at the airport.
  • You will be given a hardcopy of your itinerary, upon which you will be driven to your preferred hospital to meet your surgical specialist, and other medical professionals, for your preoperative consultation. During this consultation, prospective patients will be educated on their surgeries, what to expects, and the risks it entails. Since GMG is not a medical provider, your decision to get surgery is between you and the hospital.
  • Once you have set your surgery date, you will be taken on tours of Malaysia, according to your choosing. Here you will get to see the diversity and beauty Malaysia, you will truly understand how beautiful this paradise really is!
  • Before or After your tours, you will be taken to the medical facilities in charge of diagnostics and dental treatment. Patients with additional surgeries like Lasik, Dental Surgery, etc. will be taken in for their second surgery.
  • Once your surgery is complete and you are discharged, we arrange your post operative housing and patient care services to fit your specific needs and wants. Our job is to do everything that is required to ensure you have a wonderful and memorable trip, so that you can just live it!

What is the GMG payment system?

Since most cosmetic and dental surgery procedures are not covered by health insurance. Fees for various procedures will depend on the extent of work involved, the accumulated time required, and whether or not any special treatment is required or any special equipment or tools are necessary. Fee quoted represent an approximate total amount that may be subject to change; fee include surgical fees, anesthesia, nursing, medications, etc.

Although surgical fees are dictated by the Federal Government of Malaysia, the quality of service varies from surgeon to surgeon. We have made it our business to establish a relationship with the best surgeons in Malaysia and connect them with our clients. As such, there is no one exact same procedure that all surgeons use, thus the results of your surgery would vary from surgeon to surgeon.

George Medical Getaway is not the medical provider and cannot accept payment for your medical expenses but we do facilitate the deal between the hospital and the client. Since our jobs as facilitators keeps us distanced from the surgical aspect of medical tourism, any surgical procedures done by a preferred facility or a facility of your choice will be at your own cost and at your own risk. As such, our package will encompass a brokerage fee all agents -depending on the package, to be paid by the client so as to forbid bias, and to keep our focus on the clients we are serving.

These quoted fees are a rough guide as each patient is different and their needs are different, but nonetheless it should act as an approximation to aid you in your cost calculation in preparation for your trip. Patients will get an accurate estimation of their surgical fees when they consult with their specialist/consultation to get examined upon arrival in Malaysia. This will be an opportunity for the Doctor and Patient to get acquainted and to discuss your goals and vision for surgery with your doctor. The exact fees are based on the complexity of your case and the amount of time our partnered Doctors estimate your procedure would require. Please note the initial quotation is an estimate, actual fees may vary based on your individual situation.

What is GMG's Cancellation Policy?

Cancellation Policy:

There are no surgery cancellation charges if you decide not to go ahead with surgery, but if you decide to cancel or return home early, there are some fair cancellation charges:

All accommodation, travel and tourism bookings must be paid in full, on receipt of your invoice. Bookings not paid for will be cancelled with the surgeon and other non-surgical services.

For events where a cancellation, in writing to George Medical Getaway, is received more than 15 days prior to arrival, once the accommodation is paid for; a penalty of 7-nights accommodation will be forfeited, plus the additional bank and/or credit card fees. However, if you choose to rebook your medical travel at a later date, the payment will be a credit towards your hotel, the cancellation fee will be waived, and the balance put in credit towards the next booking.

  • For events where a cancellation, in writing to George Medical Getaway, is received once the other non-surgical services, including, but not limited to, wellness packages, travel & tour packages, etc., is paid for, a penalty of a 30% of the fee for these expense will be forfeited, plus the additional bank and/or credit card fees. However, if you choose to rebook your surgery holiday at a later date, the payments will be a credit towards the added services, and the balance put in credit towards the next booking.

Where a cancellation, in writing to George Medical Getaway, is received within 14 days of arrival, once the accommodation is paid for; a penalty of 7-nights accommodation will be forfeited, plus the additional bank and/or credit card fees. However, if you choose to rebook at a later date, the payment will be credited towards your hotel for the later booking, the cancellation fee will be reduced to 2 nights forfeit and the balance put in credit towards the next booking.

  • For events where a cancellation, in writing to George Medical Getaway, is received once the other non-surgical services, including, but not limited to, wellness packages, travel & tour packages, etc., is paid for, a penalty of a 50% of the fee for these expense will be forfeited, plus the additional bank and/or credit card fees. However, if you choose to rebook your surgery holiday at a later date, the payments will be a credit towards the added services, and the balance put in credit towards the next booking.

Where a cancellation is received less than 72 hours before the time of arrival, or in the case of a ‘no show’ the full accommodation charge will be forfeited, plus the additional bank and/or credit card fees. If you choose to rebook at a later date, the payment will be a credit towards your holiday, and the cancellation fee will be reduced to 4 nights forfeited and the balance put in credit towards the next booking.

  • For events where a cancellation, in writing to George Medical Getaway, is received once the other non-surgical services, including, but not limited to, wellness packages, travel & tour packages, etc., is paid for, a penalty of a 75% of the fee for these expense will be forfeited, plus the additional bank and/or credit card fees. However, if you choose to rebook your surgery holiday at a later date, the payments will be a credit towards the added services, and the balance put in credit towards the next booking.

Once travel commences, there are no refunds with accommodation should you want to upgrade or downgrade, or if you decide to return home early. Similarly, once travel commences, there are no refunds with the other non-surgical services, including, but not limited to, wellness packages, travel & tour packages, etc. We will assist you with changes and transfers to your booking, however there will not be refunds.

The above fees are administration charges for services rendered. Please note a large amount of time is spent on planning and arranging your surgery holiday and putting everything in place for your arrival, including, but not limited to, visits and communication with the surgeon/hospital/hotel etc., before your arrival.

I'm unsure of receiving treatment in a foreign country. Where do I find out more information?

Being hospitalized and getting treatment abroad can be a very scary process, especially if it is something you have to do all by yourself. Therefore, the more you know the more at peace your mind will be. At George Medical Tourism we want to ensure that we take the heavy burden of planning and sorting your trip for you but also want to give you a peace of mind by including your every need into our planning stages. Since knowledge is key, we encourage our potential patients to research and discover the benefit of medical tourism, but more importantly the benefits of medical tourism in Malaysia. We at George Medical Tourism will be more than happy to answer all of your questions via email or telephone to provide you with all of the necessary information you would need so that you can make a sound decision. Please feel free to contact our Medical Tourism Information Centre directly at [+ insert number] or [+ insert email] to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to answer all your questions.

For additional information on Medical Tourism in Malaysia, please visit:

Malaysia’s Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) Medical Tourism website at http://www.medicaltourism.com.my/en/index.aspx

For more benefits on Medical Tourism in Malaysia, please see our Why Malaysia? page.

Are there any hidden costs?

In anything you do -as a fact of life, whether it is building a house or buying a car there is potential for hidden costs to emerge. Similarly, travelling for medical treatment means there is a chance that you will run into some unexpected costs. The important thing is to try anticipate these situations so that you will not be caught unprepared and have to pay more money. Some common culprits are:

  • Extra airline luggage fees – We ask that our clients do not overpack and also pack with care as you may shop or buy souvenirs while traveling.
  • Additional rental-car fees for insurance coverage or extra perks such as GPS systems or Child Seats – We also offer our clients a driving service at affordable prices so that these costs will be included into your packaged deal.
  • Unexpected Medical Costs

Unexpected Medical Cost:

With every surgery, there is a risks for medical complications. To counter such complication, we employ the best and highest qualified surgeons and practitioners. Fortunately for us and our clients, medical complications, especially with routinely practiced procedures, tend to be rare. Nonetheless, if one should occur, you might be responsible for paying additional medical costs. This depends on the type of medical procedure package you purchased or on your insurance/health plan and coverages.

Fear not, part of our package includes a medical complication insurance protection to protect our clients from these types of situation. In addition, you should also educate yourself about the potential risks and complications associated with your particular procedure(s), and try to lower your risk for complications by following the doctor’s instructions.

There may be events where you may have to stay at the Hospital for longer than was originally anticipated due to medical complications or simply because you are not recuperation as per schedule. In other instances, your medical attending may ask you to spend a few days in your hotel for additional recuperation. In either case, it is important to be prepared to pay additional charges, especially if you do not have insurance coverage.

What if I need a follow-up?

All patients will be required to go through a post-operation follow up with their specialist/surgeon to ensure that they are fit to fly. This follow up will be done at the end of the recuperation period. If any additional follow-up, if needed, can be done by a doctor of your liking in your home country. We suggest that any follow-up, if needed, be arranged prior to your trip abroad.

Is it ever too late to say 'NO' to surgery?

Travellers wanting surgery must be given approval from their surgeon upon their preliminary consultation before becoming a surgical candidate. Any surgery that is to be schedule will be carried out in the middle of the trip. Therefore, a surgical candidate has the option of canceling their intended surgical procedure until 48 hours before their scheduled surgery.

What is Shared Responsibility?

Shared Responsibility is the process of Minimizing Your Risks

The question that is asked most often by medical tourists is: “What happens if something goes wrong?”

No surgeon or hospital anywhere in the world can ever guarantee absolutely no problems and complications, but George Medical Getaway does work with all our clients to minimize the possible risks from surgery. Through our “Shared Responsibility” we work with you to lower your risks of surgery and recover as quickly as possible.

While we guide you, we ask for your help to help yourself with your recovery. If you travel with us for surgery, and take the following advice, your risks will be minimized and you should be very happy with your long-term results:

  • Pre-surgery surgeon consultation – please ensure that you ask all the questions you need to your surgery and are clear about the answers. If you need more clarification, or explanation, please ask. If you are unsure of any procedure, please do not agree to go ahead with your surgery. You will most likely be very nervous, so it is a good idea to write down your questions before hand, this way you do not forget to ask any questions. The pre-consultation is the most important meeting of all to understand your surgery and what to expect. At any time, you can cancel a procedure if you are not sure!
  • Time on holiday – we strongly recommend that you stay at your destination until your wounds have completely closed – if they haven’t by the time you are due to go home, then you may need to extend your stay a few days. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase flexible air tickets that allow you to change. Our team can assist you to change your flights, and extend your accommodation; we will help you as much as possible, so please remember to book flexible air tickets.
  • Rest – we do ask if you rest and recover as much as your body requires. Shopping, eating out is always so tempting, and of course you can do some when you feel better, but as much as possible, do rest and relax. We find that the less stress a patient has, the better and quicker they do recover. We do have ‘get together’ lunches to get everyone out of their room, but this is normally stress free – we will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the restaurant and then back again to your hotel.
  • Diet and hydration – it is important to eat as fresh, healthy as possible and drink lots of water (2-3 litres a day) during your recovery to keep your body hydrated.
  • Swimming – GG doesn’t recommend any swimming in a public pool for the first 10-14 days after your surgery. You can go – and it is recommended – to use the sauna. You can sit in the sun, but do keep all your wounds completely out of the sun, and also if you have had facial peels, you must wear a hat and factor 50 sunscreens at all times.
  • Nursing care – in the first 3 days we will have an assistant nurse come to your room and dress your wounds. If you need additional days, do let us know, these extra appointments are chargeable, but it is not much to ensure your wounds are clean and dry every day.
  • Above 70 years old? Then please do ensure that you select our Extra Care package for your stay. Also, we highly recommend that you only have 1 procedure. (Extra Care or Platinum package currently only available at our Malaysia destination)
  • Supplements to take – do ensure you bring with you and start taking – Arnica supplements (available from chemists), Vitamin C (for healing and recovery). Do NOT take Vitamin E.
  • Smoking – if you smoke before or after surgery, your risks of infections and complications increases. For this reason we have a strict no smoking policy and if you smoke, the GG Guarantee will be void. We really strongly recommend that you don’t smoke at any time before or after surgery.
  • Antibiotics – if your wounds are taking longer than average to heal then you may ask your surgeon for more antibiotics. Ask for his advice in what to take to speed up recovery and healing.
  • Returning home – we recommend that you do not book yourself with work or social commitments for at least the first week or 2 after you arrive home, so you give yourself a chance to rest and relax after your trip and your surgery. If you have had breast surgery or tummy tuck, you must not lift children, any heavy items or do strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks. Be sure to plan for this before your trip, so you are not expected to have a lot of work and family commitments.

We will help through your recovery, but we need you to cooperate with us also to minimize your risks. If you follow our advice and really rest, relax and look after yourself, then the chances of any infections or complications is really very low.

What if something goes wrong?

Our team at GMG will assist you with the any legal help you may need. However, because we will only work with the highest quality service providers whose livelihoods and money are vested in their reputation and job reviews, their work would be off par so that they would be able to limit the chances of failure to avoid any negative publicity that will affect their business. They take great care of their patients to ensure that results are achieved and satisfactions is guaranteed. Nonetheless, every surgery still entails a degree of risks.

Disclaimer: Any information provided above should only be used as a guide. For more information please send us a email or give us a call.