Reduce Your Risk of Infection: Some Advice From The CDC

medical travel safety and risk

We believe that medical tourism can revolutionize the way people look for and find health care. However, we also recognize that there are some risks involved with getting medical care in another country. Make Medical Trip helps keep our patients safe by insisting that clinics be accredited.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US previously published an article about how patients can reduce the risk of receiving medical care abroad. 

With adequate research, thorough preparation, and realistic expectations before you leave home, surgery abroad can be safe and deliver quality outcomes. – Centers For Disease Control

The CDC recommends that patients traveling abroad take these steps to minimize their risk of infection at clinics abroad:

  • Find out if the doctor is board-certified and a member of professional organizations
  • Find out what type of facility the procedure will be performed in (hospital or ambulatory facility) and whether the facility is accredited by Joint Commission International
  • Does the facility use the World Health Organization Checklist?
  • Find out what the facility’s rate of surgical infection is and how it compares to the average for your procedure
  • What is the facility’s practices regarding antibiotics before surgery?
  • How does the facility sterilize surgical equipment? Make sure they disinfect equipment between patients
  • When you are at the practice, make sure staff members clean their hands in-between patients and change their gloves
  • Consult your local physician about any vaccines you should get before leaving home. Make sure you mention you will be undergoing a medical procedure as this might affect whether or not you get the vaccination

Some other tips for preventing infections include:

  • See a travel medicine practitioner 4-6 weeks before your trip to discuss healthy travel before and after the procedure.
  • Check the qualifications of the professionals who will be treating you and make sure the clinic is accredited.
  • During your consultation, ideally the first time you meet the doctor face-to-face, make sure you understand what costs and expenses will be covered by the cost of the procedure
  • Determine what your legal rights are in the country you’re visiting if something goes wrong with the procedure.
  • If you don’t speak the language in your destination, make sure ahead of time that you’ll be able to communicate with your doctor.
  • Obtain copies of your medical records and any labs or studies that are related to your condition and any allergies you have. While planning your procedure before you leave, the clinic should ask for everything it needs but bring them just in case
  • Prepare copies of all your prescriptions and a list of all the medicines you take including the brand names, generic names, manufacturer, and dosage. Also include any vitamins or supplements you take.
  • Arrange for follow-up care from your local doctor when you return
  • Before planning any vacation or tourist activities for before or after your procedure such as sunbathing, drinking alcohol, or taking tours, check to make sure it’s a good idea with a doctor
  • Get copies of all medical records at the clinic abroad before returning home
  • The list talks specifically about surgery, but the advice really covers all medical and spa treatments. Email us at [email protected] if you have any questions. We’re here to help!

About Make Medical Trip’s Staff makes medical travel easy by connecting patients with clinics, hospitals, and medical tourism agencies worldwide, completely free of charge. We have clinics specializing in everything from dentistry to bariatrics. Lean more about how Make Medical Trip works at


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