Searching for the best or the cheapest in medical tourism

Searching for the best or the cheapest in medical tourism

Cosmetic surgery is a medical service. Just like all services we receive during our lifetime, it has some unique characteristics. However, the characteristic which cosmetic surgery has in common with all the services we receive, not only the medical ones, is that it is influenced by two factors: quality and cost. In cosmetic surgery, the importance of these two factors is even greater than in other services, as it concerns the sensitive subject of an individual’s health, both physical and mental. This means that the quality sector, which is important in all aspects of our life, becomes crucial.

Should we prioritize cost or quality?

Even though those who are interested in a medical service, when asked, will say that their priority is the quality of the service, in practice they are divided into two categories: those who actually prioritize the quality of the service and those who prioritize the low cost. This occurs because the category which prioritizes the low cost assumes that the quality is a given. In other words, they believe that whoever provides them with this service will fulfil some standards of quality.
It is very common for the doctor, after having finished the consultation, to hear the phrase, “And now doctor, tell me the most important thing.

How much does it cost?” These people expect the quality of the service in which they are interested to always be the same, meaning that the only thing that can vary from one doctor to another is the cost. It goes without saying that this could not be further from the truth.

The standard of the service depends on factors such as the abilities, the skill level, and the experience of the doctor, as well as the quality of the materials and implants which will be used, the quality of the hospital where the operation will take place, the experience of the anaesthesiologist and the rest of the staff which will take part in the operation, as well as the extra time and attention needed for each specific procedure. Each factor mentioned above has a cost. The training of the doctor has a cost, each hospital charges at a different rate, and the price of the materials and the implants depends on their quality.

Is the cheap expensive and the expensive cheap?

The question arises of whether the choice of the doctor who will perform the operation is only a matter of quality of service or cost. What looks cheap may sometimes be expensive. A bad result turns out to be expensive because, in the end, the complications, the extra treatment, the lost time, as well as the mental and physical suffering are added to the total cost.
Of course, this does not mean that the most expensive is always the best. It has occurred many times that someone paid for a very expensive operation, only to receive a service of a very low standard. The only certainty is that the extremely cheap comes with numerous problems. There cannot be a big financial gap between the average price of a service and the extremely low cost which is charged by a doctor without it hiding traps.

The priority is the quality of the service

So, what is the ideal solution? The answer is that one should achieve the ideal quality-price ratio. The high level of service must be prioritized. Among the available options, the ones which offer the best level of service should be chosen and then among them, the question of cost can be raised.

Calculating the total cost

In calculating the cost, all the factors that shape the cost must be taken into account so that all the different options are comparable. If in an option there are charges which have not been calculated, this option will obviously seem cheaper. In addition, receiving a quality service at an average price proves to be much cheaper than receiving a bad-quality service at a very low price. In the latter case, in addition to the physical and mental suffering which the person will go through, they will be burdened with the cost of correcting the complications. In the end, the operation will have costed them more, they will have suffered, and the result will not be satisfactory.

Furthermore, one should take into consideration that a quality operation has some costs below which it cannot go. The cost of the materials and implants or the hospital cannot be reduced below a certain limit. One will assume that the lower cost is due to the lower fee of the doctor. However, the opposite is what usually happens, as the doctors keep their fees the same, and in order to reduce the total cost, they reduce the quality of the services provided. As stated earlier, one should not head in the opposite direction, that is, towards the most expensive. With the right thinking, plenty of research, and the help of their intuition, one has high chances of being led to the right doctor.

Athanasios Christopoulos
Plastic Surgeon