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Breaking Down 7 Myths About Health Check-ups

20/02/2024

Health check-ups are essential for maintaining good health and preventing potential health issues. However, various myths and misconceptions surround these routine examinations, which can deter individuals from seeking preventive care. Let's debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions about health check-ups: Myth 1: "I Feel Fine, So I Don't Need a Check-up" Reality: Feeling fine doesn't necessarily mean you're in perfect health. Many health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, may not present noticeable symptoms initially. Health check-ups help detect these silent conditions early, allowing for timely interventions and preventing potential complications. Myth 2: "I'm Young and Healthy, I Don't Need Check-ups" Reality: Age is not a determining factor for needing health check-ups. Regular check-ups are essential for individuals of all ages to monitor their health status, detect potential issues early, and establish healthy habits. Preventive care is especially crucial for laying the foundation for long-term health and well-being. Myth 3: "Health Check-ups Are Only for Sick People" Reality: Health check-ups are not just for addressing illness; they're primarily for preventive care. Routine examinations help identify risk factors, screen for diseases, and promote early detection of health issues before they become serious. Preventive care is key to maintaining optimal health and preventing future health problems. Myth 4: "I Don't Have Time for Check-ups" Reality: While busy schedules may make it challenging to prioritize health check-ups, investing time in preventive care can save time and hassle in the long run. Many healthcare providers offer flexible scheduling options, including weekend or evening appointments, and telemedicine services that allow for remote consultations, making it easier to fit check-ups into your schedule. Myth 5: "Check-ups Are Expensive" Reality: While there may be costs associated with health check-ups, many preventive services are covered by health insurance plans. Additionally, investing in preventive care can lead to cost savings by preventing costly medical treatments or hospitalizations resulting from undetected health issues. Myth 6: "Check-ups Are Unnecessary if I Have No Family History of Illness" Reality: While family history can influence your risk of certain health conditions, it's not the sole determinant of your health. Many health issues are influenced by lifestyle factors, environmental factors, and individual health habits. Health check-ups assess overall health status and help identify risk factors, regardless of family history. Myth 7: "Once I've Had One Check-up, I Don't Need Another" Reality: Health check-ups should be conducted regularly, as recommended by healthcare professionals, to ensure ongoing monitoring of health status and early detection of potential health issues. The frequency of check-ups may vary based on age, health status, and individual risk factors. In conclusion, debunking myths and misconceptions about health check-ups is crucial for promoting preventive care and encouraging individuals to prioritize their health. By understanding the importance of routine examinations and addressing common misconceptions, individuals can take proactive steps toward maintaining optimal health and well-being throughout their lives. To find out more about the health check-up services we offer, visit our check-up center. Image by batian lu from Pixabay

The often overlooked benefit of regular health check-ups: lower insurance premiums

06/12/2023

The often overlooked benefit of regular health check-ups: lower insurance premiums We’ve previously written about some of the advantages of regular health check-ups, including financial benefits. But did you know that by having regular health check-ups, you can potentially benefit from lower health insurance premiums? Health insurance plans often incentivize preventive care as a means to encourage policyholders to prioritize their health. One of the significant advantages offered by many insurance providers is the opportunity to lower insurance premiums through active engagement in preventive care, including routine health check-ups. By capitalizing on these benefits, individuals can significantly reduce their overall healthcare costs while ensuring better health outcomes in the long run. Many insurance companies acknowledge the importance of preventive healthcare in averting more serious and expensive health issues down the line. As a result, they offer incentives to policyholders who participate in preventive measures, such as routine health check-ups, screenings, vaccinations, and health assessments. Policyholders who actively engage in preventive care by attending regular check-ups are often eligible for reduced insurance premiums or discounts. Insurance providers recognize that preventive care not only benefits the individual's health but also minimizes the financial burden on the healthcare system by averting the need for costly interventions associated with advanced illnesses or chronic conditions. Participating in routine health check-ups aligns with the insurance industry's philosophy of risk mitigation. Insurance companies view proactive healthcare measures as a way to mitigate the risk of higher claims stemming from untreated or poorly managed health issues. As a result, they incentivize policyholders who take charge of their health by actively participating in preventive care. These incentives often come in the form of reduced premiums or co-payments for services related to preventive care. By regularly attending check-ups, policyholders not only contribute to their own well-being but also benefit from cost savings on their insurance plans. Moreover, by promoting preventive care, insurance companies aim to foster a healthier customer base. A healthier pool of policyholders generally leads to lower overall healthcare expenses for the insurer, which can be reflected in reduced premiums for individuals who actively engage in preventive measures like routine check-ups. Participating in preventive care isn't just about immediate cost savings; it's an investment in long-term health and financial well-being. By taking advantage of incentives offered by insurance providers, individuals not only save on premiums but also potentially avoid more extensive healthcare costs associated with undetected or poorly managed health issues. In conclusion, lower insurance premiums offered to policyholders who actively engage in preventive care, including routine check-ups, serve as a win-win scenario. It encourages individuals to prioritize their health while simultaneously reducing their overall healthcare expenses. Embracing preventive care measures not only leads to immediate cost savings but also contributes to a healthier and more financially secure future. *Image credit: Sibeal Artworks from Pixabay N.B. You should always check with your individual insurance provider to see whether you can benefit from lower premiums by having regular health check-ups. Every situation is different and applicability will always be determined on a case by case basis.

The Financial Benefits of Health Check-ups

09/11/2023

Health check-ups are not only essential for your overall well-being but can also prove to be a smart financial decision. Many people often perceive healthcare costs as an expense, but in reality, investing in regular health check-ups can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Let's delve into some of the financial benefits of health check-ups and how they contribute to long-term cost savings. Early Disease Detection: Health check-ups are designed to identify health issues in their early stages. Detecting a condition at an early stage often means simpler and more cost-effective treatments. For instance, discovering high blood pressure early through routine check-ups can lead to lifestyle changes and medication, which is far less expensive than treating the consequences of uncontrolled hypertension like heart attacks or strokes. Prevention is Cheaper than Cure: Preventive care, which includes vaccinations, screenings, and health check-ups, is less expensive than dealing with a full-blown illness or chronic condition. For example, vaccinations are a cost-effective way to prevent serious diseases such as flu, hepatitis, and certain types of cancer. Reduced Emergency Room Visits: Neglecting regular health check-ups can result in unexpected, costly visits to the emergency room when health conditions worsen. These emergency visits can be avoided through regular preventive care, saving you from expensive medical bills. Lower Medication Costs: Health check-ups can help monitor chronic conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol. By managing these conditions effectively, you can reduce the need for costly medications or complications related to uncontrolled illnesses. Lower Insurance Premiums: Some health insurance plans offer discounts or incentives for policyholders who actively engage in preventive care, including routine check-ups. By taking advantage of these benefits, you can lower your overall healthcare costs. Decreased Productivity Loss: Falling seriously ill can result in extended periods of missed work, which can have a direct impact on your income. Regular health check-ups can help you maintain good health, reducing the likelihood of major illnesses that can lead to significant productivity losses. Avoiding Expensive Surgeries: Detecting and managing health issues early can often prevent the need for expensive surgical procedures. For example, identifying and treating gallstones early can prevent the need for costly gallbladder removal surgery. Peace of Mind: Regular health check-ups can provide peace of mind. Knowing that you are in good health and receiving reassurance from your healthcare provider can reduce stress and anxiety, which can have financial benefits in terms of improved mental well-being. In conclusion, the financial benefits of health check-ups cannot be overstated. By investing in preventive care, you not only protect your health but also your financial stability. The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," certainly applies when it comes to healthcare. Taking proactive measures through regular health check-ups is a small price to pay for the substantial cost savings and the priceless gift of good health and peace of mind. So, make sure to schedule your next health check-up, not just as an expense, but as a smart financial move that will benefit you in the long run. To find out more about the health check-up services we offer, visit our check-up center. *Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via Pexels

Second Opinions in Cancer Care: What You Need to Know

17/10/2023

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most life-altering events an individual can face. It comes with a wave of emotions, questions, and decisions that can be overwhelming. In this context, seeking a second medical opinion is not only a right but a valuable step to consider. Second opinions in cancer care can provide critical information, clarity, and peace of mind during a time of uncertainty. The Emotional Impact of a Cancer Diagnosis A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally devastating. Patients often experience fear, anxiety, and a sense of urgency to make decisions about their treatment. At this point, emotions can cloud judgment, and it becomes even more crucial to have a clear understanding of your diagnosis and treatment options. Why Seek a Second Opinion? Confirming the Diagnosis: Mistakes can occur in the diagnosis process. Seeking a second opinion can confirm the diagnosis, ensuring that the right type and stage of cancer are accurately identified. Understanding Treatment Options: Cancer treatment is complex and rapidly evolving. A second opinion can provide a fresh perspective on the best treatment options available, which may include different types of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or clinical trials. Exploring Alternative Approaches: Different cancer centers may have access to varied treatment approaches, including innovative therapies and clinical trials. A second opinion can help you explore alternative treatments not considered in your initial evaluation. Optimizing Your Treatment Plan: In some cases, a second opinion can lead to treatment plan adjustments that offer improved outcomes. This can involve refining the timing of treatments or integrating multiple modalities for a more comprehensive approach. When to Seek a Second Opinion The decision to seek a second opinion in cancer care is highly personal. However, there are specific scenarios where it's particularly advisable: Rare or Aggressive Cancers: For rare cancers or those with an aggressive nature, multiple perspectives can help guide treatment decisions. Complex Cases: Complex cases involving multiple types of cancer or tumors in challenging locations can benefit from additional expert insights. Discrepancies in Diagnosis: If you receive conflicting diagnoses or are unsure about your treatment options, a second opinion can clarify the situation. Prior to Starting Treatment: Seeking a second opinion before initiating treatment is a common practice and can provide peace of mind and ensure the chosen approach aligns with the best available evidence. The Process of Obtaining a Second Opinion Consult with Your Current Healthcare Provider: Begin by discussing your desire for a second opinion with your current oncologist. They should be supportive of your decision and can provide you with medical records, test results, and any relevant information. Research and Identify Specialists: Identify cancer centers, specialists, or oncologists with expertise in your type of cancer. Consider seeking out National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers, which are at the forefront of cancer research and treatment. Request a Consultation: Contact the selected specialists or cancer centers to request a consultation. Many institutions offer remote or virtual second opinions, making the process more accessible. Consultation and Review: During the consultation, the specialist will review your medical records and may conduct additional tests or assessments. They will then discuss their findings and recommendations with you. Discussion and Decision: Engage in open and honest discussions with the specialist about your diagnosis and treatment options. Take time to ask questions and make an informed decision. Challenges and Considerations While second opinions in cancer care can be highly beneficial, they come with certain challenges and considerations: Insurance Coverage: Check with your health insurance provider to understand coverage for second opinions. In many cases, insurance will cover the cost. Coordination of Care: Ensure that your primary oncologist and the specialist providing the second opinion communicate effectively to create a cohesive care plan. Emotional Impact: Seeking a second opinion can be emotionally taxing, as it involves confronting the diagnosis and the uncertainty of the situation. Final thoughts A cancer diagnosis is a life-altering event, and the decisions made in the initial stages can significantly impact the journey ahead. Seeking a second opinion in cancer care is a proactive and wise step to ensure the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. It offers valuable insights, clarity, and confidence during a time when these aspects are most needed. While it may seem challenging, remember that the goal of seeking a second opinion is to make well-informed choices about your health, with the ultimate aim of achieving the best possible outcome in your cancer journey. Here at France Surgery, we can provide you with a second medical opinion in France from just €450. If you’ve recently had a diagnosis and you’ve got some doubts, contact us now to benefit from a second medical opinion. *Photo by Chokniti Khongchum via Pexels

Your Ultimate Medical Tourism Checklist

10/08/2023

Embarking on a medical tourism journey is a unique experience that combines healthcare with travel and cultural exploration. To ensure a seamless and successful trip, careful planning and consideration of various factors are essential. This comprehensive checklist covers everything a medical tourist needs to consider before, during, and after their journey, ensuring a safe and rewarding experience. Pre-Travel Preparations Medical Assessment: Consult your primary healthcare provider to determine if you are medically fit for travel and the intended medical procedure. Research: Thoroughly research your medical condition, treatment options, and potential destinations to make informed decisions. Medical Records: Gather all relevant medical records, including test results, prescriptions, and treatment history, to share with the chosen medical facility. Consultation with Specialists: Schedule online or telehealth consultations with potential medical providers to discuss your case, treatment options, and expectations. Travel Arrangements: Book flights, accommodations, and transportation well in advance, considering factors such as proximity to the medical facility and post-treatment recovery needs. Selecting the Right Medical Facility Accreditation and Certification: Ensure that the medical facility is accredited by recognized organizations and adheres to international healthcare standards. Doctor Qualifications: Research the credentials and expertise of the medical professionals who will be treating you. Reviews and Testimonials: Read reviews and testimonials from previous patients to gauge the quality of care and the facility's reputation. Treatment Costs: Obtain a detailed breakdown of treatment costs, including medical procedure, hospital stay, medications, and post-treatment care. Communication: Confirm that the medical staff can communicate effectively in your language or provide translation services. Understanding Local Laws and Regulations Visa Requirements: Check the visa requirements for your chosen destination and ensure you have the necessary travel documents. Health Insurance: Review your health insurance policy to understand coverage for medical treatment abroad and consider purchasing additional medical travel insurance. Legal and Ethical Considerations: Familiarize yourself with local medical laws, regulations, and ethical practices to ensure a safe and compliant experience. Consent and Privacy: Understand the facility's policies regarding informed consent, medical privacy, and data protection. During Your Medical Journey Arrival Preparation: Arrive a few days before the scheduled procedure to acclimate to the new environment and time zone. Facility Visit: Prior to the procedure, visit the medical facility in person to meet the medical team, tour the facility, and address any concerns. Communication: Maintain open communication with the medical staff, asking questions and seeking clarification as needed. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions, as well as medical staff's practices, to foster a positive and respectful relationship. Post-Treatment Care Recovery Period: Allow sufficient time for post-treatment recovery before traveling back home. Follow-Up Appointments: Schedule follow-up appointments with your local healthcare provider to monitor your recovery and address any concerns. Medications and Instructions: Follow prescribed medication and post-treatment care instructions meticulously. Contact Information: Keep contact information for the medical facility and treating doctors for any post-treatment queries or emergencies. Share Feedback: Share your experience and feedback with the medical facility to contribute to their ongoing improvement and help future patients. Final Thoughts Embarking on a medical tourism journey requires thorough planning and consideration of various factors. By following this ultimate medical tourism checklist, you can ensure a safe, rewarding, and transformative experience that blends healthcare, cultural exploration, and personal growth. Remember, informed decisions and thorough preparation are the keys to making the most of your medical tourism adventure. Of course, you could save yourself the time and hassle associated with many of the above points by partnering with a reputable company like France Surgery. Contact us today to find out more. *Image courtesy of Photo by Porapak Apichodilok via Pexels

France to reimburse patients’ remote monitoring costs

06/07/2023

France has become the first European country to reimburse the costs associated with remote monitoring of patients with chronic medical conditions. The initiative aims to reduce hospitalizations and enhance patient well-being. Starting from July 1, the country's health insurance scheme, Assurance Maladie, has begun refunding the expenses incurred during these remote checks, which are sometimes conducted through video calls. What is medical remote monitoring? Medical remote monitoring, known as "télésurveillance médicale" in French, involves the use of video or biomedical devices to allow healthcare professionals to monitor a patient's condition. This can include devices such as glycemic monitors, pacemakers, or other biomedical tools. It's important to note that télésurveillance médicale differs from téléconsultation, which refers to doctor appointments conducted via video. However, video calls may be incorporated into medical remote monitoring if necessary. Distance monitoring eliminates the need for patients to make frequent in-person visits to healthcare practitioners or rush to the hospital in case of an issue. Instead, patients may need to perform specific regular tasks at home and report the results to their doctor. For instance, they might be required to measure their blood pressure, monitor their weight, and complete a brief questionnaire every week, with the data being sent to their doctor. One patient, Jean-Louis Bernard, aged 74 from Caen, shared his experience with Le Monde, stating, "When you have a chronic illness, your condition can rapidly deteriorate, and if you're not careful, you may end up in the emergency room, even after consuming a meal that's too salty. Thanks to this tool, medical teams can respond to even the slightest alert and advise me remotely." His wife, Michelle, emphasized the invaluable assistance provided by remote monitoring, as it has prevented Jean-Louis from being hospitalized since he started using it, whereas hospitalizations were previously frequent. Why has reimbursement been extended to all individuals in need? The decision to make remote monitoring reimbursements accessible to all aims to achieve the following objectives: - Enhance the quality of care for patients undergoing distance monitoring. - Reduce hospitalizations and emergency room admissions by enabling patients to receive care at home. - Update healthcare processes and enhance care organization. - Improve patients' quality of life and overall comfort. Which conditions are eligible for distance monitoring? Since 2014, remote medical monitoring has been covered on an experimental basis under the ETAPES program (Experiments de télémédecine pour l'amélioration des parcours en santé) for the following five conditions: - Chronic respiratory failure - Chronic heart failure - Chronic renal failure - Diabetes Cardiac arrhythmia requiring cardiac prostheses The ETAPES program has now concluded, and distance monitoring can be implemented for any patients whose healthcare professionals determine the necessity, particularly for those who are at risk of hospitalization or health complications. The Ministry of Health has emphasized that patients must be fully informed about the process and provide their consent for monitoring. Which healthcare professionals can offer télésurveillance? According to Assurance Maladie, any doctor can refer a patient for remote monitoring. However, only healthcare professionals "whose specialities are referred to in the ministerial decrees registering telemonitoring activities, whatever their sector of practice and their place of practice” are authorized to carry out remote medical monitoring. These professionals can operate from general practitioner surgeries, nursing homes, health centers, hospitals, or clinics. *Photo by John Valette via Pexels

A beginner's guide to medical tourism: how to plan your trip and choose the right provider

02/03/2023

Medical tourism can be a great option for those seeking affordable and high-quality healthcare, but it can also be daunting for those who are new to the process. If you're considering medical tourism, it's important to do your research and plan ahead to ensure a safe and successful trip.  Here are some tips for getting started: 1. Determine your healthcare needs Before you start researching medical tourism providers, it's important to have a clear idea of the medical procedures or treatments you require. Consult with your physician to ensure you are a good candidate for traveling abroad for treatment. 2. Research potential destinations and providers  Look into popular medical tourism destinations and the providers that operate there. Consider factors such as the cost of treatment, quality of care, and the reputation of the facility and its doctors. Look for providers who are accredited and have positive patient reviews. [Related reading: Beyond borders: the benefits of having medical treatment abroad] 3. Check your insurance coverage If you have health insurance, check to see if it covers medical treatments abroad. If not, you may need to purchase travel insurance or consider self-insuring for any potential risks. 4. Plan your travel logistics Once you've chosen a provider and destination, you'll need to plan your travel logistics, including transportation, accommodations, and any necessary visas or vaccinations. 5. Prepare for the treatment Before you leave for your medical tourism trip, be sure to prepare yourself for the treatment. Follow any pre-treatment instructions provided by your provider, and pack any necessary medications or supplies. 6. Follow up with post-treatment care After your treatment, it's important to follow up with any post-treatment care instructions provided by your provider. If you experience any complications or have concerns about your recovery, be sure to contact your provider right away. By following these steps, you can help ensure a safe and successful medical tourism trip.  Here at France Surgery, we can take care of many of the aspects mentioned above to ensure your medical procedure here in France is seamless. If you’d like to find out more, contact us today. *Image by Gustavo Fring

Significant proportion of older adults develop new health conditions after COVID-19

16/02/2022

Initially, when the COVID-19 outbreak first happened, many thought the SARS-CoV-2 virus caused mainly respiratory problems. And while that assumption still holds true, new research shows that the disease can actually impact multiple organs in a person's body.   The new study, the results of which appear in the BMJ, sought to discover whether adults develop other health conditions after a SARS-CoV-2 infection.   For the research, a team led by Dr. Ken Cohen, executive director of translational research at Optum Labs, studied the health insurance records of 133,366 adults aged 65+ in the United States who had received a COVID-19 diagnosis before April 1, 2020.   The researchers compared the records to individuals who did not have COVID-19 in 2019 or 2020 and individuals who had a lower respiratory tract infection but not COVID-19.   The team then identified new conditions occurring 3 weeks or more after each participant’s COVID-19 diagnosis.   Of those individuals who had a SARS-CoV-2 infection in 2020, 32% sought medical attention for a new or persistent condition. This was 11% higher than the comparison group from 2020.   Among the new or persistent conditions were respiratory failure, fatigue, high blood pressure, memory issues, kidney injury, mental health-related diagnoses, hypercoagulability and cardiac rhythm disorders.   Dr. Alicia Arbaje, director of Transitional Care Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine and a clinician at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, said: “I think this work is significant. First, because it focuses on older adults, and this is the population that’s most likely to demonstrate long-term effects from this infection, and so I think it’s important and timely given the phase of the pandemic that we’re in.”   [Related reading: Long Covid may hinder women's response, recovery from exercise]   *Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Telemedicine to save healthcare industry $21bn globally by 2025

11/05/2021

Telemedicine will save the healthcare industry a staggering $21 billion in costs by 2025, new research suggests. This represents an increase of over 80% in the next four years, rising from $11 billion in 2021. According to the study by Juniper Research, teleconsultations, a service that enables patients and physicians to interact remotely with patients, will play a key role in enabling these significant savings. However, Juniper cautioned that such savings would be restricted to developed countries where people have access to required devices and suitable Internet connectivity. Indeed, Juniper predicts that North America and Europe will realise over 80% of savings by 2025. The Jupiter report also reveals how telemedicine usage has soared as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with remote consultations rising from over 280 million in 2019, to 348 million in 2020. By taking advantage of telehealth solutions, doctor’s offices have been able to significantly reduce the number of face-to-face appointments they’ve needed to accommodate, cutting the risk of waiting room Covid-19 infections. However, the report did warn that the significant investment required and obligation to abide by data protection laws, such as the US’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), could discourage telemedicine adoption among smaller healthcare providers. “Any deregulation must ensure that patient confidentiality is not undermined,” said research author Adam Wears. “Additionally, we recommend that innovative and emerging teleconsultation services are integrated into existing healthcare technologies, such as electronic health records, to maximise their benefits to healthcare providers.” Jupiter Research’s report, Telemedicine: Emerging Technologies, Regional Readiness & Market Forecasts 2021‑2025, is available here: https://www.juniperresearch.com/researchstore/key-vertical-markets/telemedicine-research-report *Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

New data shows usage of telehealth services has increased by more than 2,000% since last year

22/10/2020

The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released new data that shows usage of telehealth services has jumped significantly over the past year. According to the figures, more than 34.5 million services were delivered via telehealth in Medicare and in the Children's Health Insurance Program from March through June. This represents an increase of a whopping 2,532% in services delivered via telehealth compared to March through June 2019. Furthermore, the agency also notes that there is always a "claims lag" between the time a service occurs and when the claim is reflected in its database. Taking this into account, the actual number of services delivered via telehealth is likely to be higher than reported. The CMS data reflects the relaxation of federal regulations around virtual care at the start of the pandemic, which caused usage of telehealth services to skyrocket. Speaking about the figures, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement: "This revolutionary method of improving access to care is transforming healthcare delivery in America." [Related reading: Telehealth in the ER affords better outcomes for both patients and healthcare providers – research]

Online doctor appointments could save UK employers more than £1bn

06/08/2020

The total cost in lost working time of UK employees travelling to appointments with their doctors last year was a staggering £1.5bn, new research reveals. According to a report published by health insurance firm AXA PPP Healthcare, online General Practitioner (GP) appointments could play a significant role in boosting efficiencies across both business and healthcare. The report, produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), suggests that if virtual appointments were used in the first instance, the number of face-to-face GP appointments conducted last year could have been reduced by 50m. In addition, virtual appointments eliminate the need for patients to travel, thus reducing their chances of being exposed to the novel coronavirus. Furthermore, they allow GPs to reduce their risk of exposure too. The CEBR report also highlights how online consultations, which can be more easily booked, amended, and cancelled, would help reduce the number of missed appointments. NHS Digital figures show that this is an issue, with one in 20 GP appointments recorded as ‘did not attend’ in 2019. By enabling patients to more easily manage appointments, online GP services could free up the equivalent of 60 years of GP consultation time per year. Whether the prevalence of virtual GP services continues to grow once the COVID-10 pandemic is over remains to be seen. What is certain is that they are playing a vital role as the crisis continues.

Latinx individuals more vulnerable to COVID-19 — study

30/07/2020

We recently wrote about how being overweight or obese increases COVID-19 risks. Now, a new study has revealed how Latinx individuals are significantly more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 —, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — than any other ethnic or racial group. The researchers who conducted the study believe crowded living conditions, plus an economic necessity to continue working outdoors throughout the pandemic have contributed to the higher infection rates among Latinx communities. Furthermore, the researchers say that members of these communities are disproportionately less likely to have health insurance than their peers from other ethnic and racial groups. This reality, the researchers say, has contributed to the disparities we see today. For the study, the researchers analyzed over 35,000 COVID-19 test results from hospitals and outpatient clinics in the Baltimore-Washington area. They found that 16.3% of the tests were positive. Of those positive results, Latinx individuals accounted for 42.6% of the total, followed by black people (17.6%), “others” (17.2%), and white people (8.8%). Another uncovered discrepancy was that Latinx patients who tested positive and were subsequently hospitalized were significantly less likely to have been previously diagnosed with a health condition, something, the researchers suggest, could be due to them having poorer access to healthcare. The research, which is published in JAMA, involved a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the university’s Center for Data Science in Emergency Medicine.

NHS England looking to crack down on health tourism

24/10/2017

In a step designed to help save the NHS in England money, providers of treatment are now required to make sure patients are eligible for free care before they receive it. If they aren’t, healthcare providers will ask them to pay upfront. It is hoped the measures, which will only apply to planned, non-emergency care, will contribute to £22bn of savings needed in the NHS. Accident and emergency (A&E), general practice and infectious disease treatment will remain free to all. Once the new measures are in place, patients will be asked where they have lived over the past six months. If they have lived abroad, they will be required to prove they are eligible for free treatment on the NHS, by showing a non-UK European Health Insurance Card or similar. Speaking about the proposed changes, Health Minister Lord O'Shaughnessy said: “We have no problem with overseas visitors using our NHS as long as they make a fair financial contribution, just as the British taxpayer does. “The new regulations simply require NHS bodies to make enquiries about, and then charge, those who aren't entitled to free NHS care.” However, the British Medical Association has warned that the changes could prevent vulnerable individuals from getting treatment they need. 

FAQs

04/07/2016

Frequently Asked Questions (GENERAL)   ·         Why should I come to France for an operation? W.H.O ranked the French health system no. 1 in the world. In France you can find elite doctors who are some of the best at their practice, for an affordable rate: Experienced and world-renowned surgeons Clinics carefully selected for their state-of-the-art technologies and the best level of care and safety Highly-personalised services Complete and appropriate medical treatment An excellent recovery environment Short waiting times: 7 weeks on average (as of validation of your file) The best value for money In addition there is the fact that France is the most visited country in the world. Why not use your recovery period to spend time with your family to discover France and all its richness: culture, food, architecture, etc.   ·         Why should I put my trust in France-Surgery as opposed to than another facilitator? France-Surgery has more than 20 years of expertise in the French and international medical industry. These decades of experience allows us to keep contact with the best professionals and select only the most suitable health professionals, for the most precise medical or surgical treatments. We have received the Award for Best Medical Travel Agency in London, April 2015 and are the only certified medical facilitators in France.   At France-Surgery all your requests will be dealt with professionally for your peace of mind and that of your loved ones. We subscribe to the rules of best practice enforced for medical tourism, including the selection of partners accredited by the French Department of Health: Clinics and Hospitals offering the highest level of security, evaluated and accredited by the French National Authority for Health (HAS), Elite surgeons and doctors are members of the French Medical Association (Ordre National des Médecins). They participate in scientific development of their specific medical fields which are subject of scientific publications both in France and abroad. France-Surgery is an all-inclusive, one-stop service, our services include: Personalized information and professional advice to help you in making your decision Administrative procedure support Negotiation of preferential rates with clinics and partners Putting you in direct contact with the clinic and the specialist Support and assistance throughout your stay (clinic and post-operative care) from collection on arrival and drop-off Management of transfers, visits, accommodation, catering for patients and their loved ones     Do all the doctors within France-Surgery’s network work on the same campus?    France-Surgery’s extended medical network spans 120 clinics and hospitals all over France.   France-Surgery will put you in direct contact with any of our 1500 recommended specialists and surgeons.  It is the patient who usually gets to choose which French city would please them most.   All hospitals within our network are renowned for their excellence. Partners within our network are in located dynamic cities that also have a wealth of culture and activity  - including, Toulon, Bordeaux, Monaco, Béziers, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille.   What types of license and credentials do your doctors have? Our team is composed of several reputable physicians and healthcare professionals with over 20 years of experience in the French medical sector. Aside from the obligatory and rigorously strict national qualifications, France Surgery recommended surgeons and doctors are elite members of the French Medical Association (Ordre National des Médecins).  They participate in scientific development of their specific medical fields, which are the subject of scientific publications both in France and abroad. Many of our doctors teach their peers at hospitals around the globe (eg. In USA, India, the UK) the newest techniques which have been developed within their specific field. What training and licensing do French nurses, pharmacists, imaging technicians and lab technicians receive?   French nurses, pharmacists, imaging technicians and lab technicians of go through rigorous, high quality training in order to pass examinations so as to obtain licenses to practice in France.  Nurses are re-certified every few years. Furthermore, intensive care nurses must receive higher training in specialized areas.   What is the rate of infection in France?   Out of the millions of patients treated at French hospitals each year, the rate of infection is less than 7%. This very low rate is because there is an extremely strict and thorough national infection control programme, which is re-evaluated every 4 years; in order to reduce hospital acquired infections in France. Under French law, clinics and hospitals have to collect data for this 4 yearly evaluation, data that includes (but is not limited to): - Yearly consumption of antiseptic hand-wash products for 1000 hospital days, - Incidence rates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, - Incidence rates of surgical site infections, - Monitoring antibiotic consumption. This information is then required by law to be made available to the public.   The objective is to constantly strengthen and monitor infection control and to improve the quality of care provided in health care institutions.   How do the international patients communicate with doctors and medical staff?   English is widely spoken by most of the doctors within our network. The France Surgery team can also provide French - English (and vice versa) interpretation both linguistically and of documents in situations where it is necessary.     How do I begin / make an appointment?   If you are interested in our offer you can contact France-Surgery directly at (+33) 953 02 03 09 to make an appointment or email us to request a free quotation.   You can also visit our website at www.france-surgery.com where you can then create your medical file in a secure area. This is where where we invite you to specify your pathology and you can upload your medical history and fill in the pre-diagnostic questionnaire intended for the surgeon or doctor on this highly secure eHealth platform.   Then you will be invited to pay the €50 administrative charges, which will be directly credited to your travel account. The eHealth platform secure area will allow: You to transmit your medical file directly to your doctor The surgeon or doctor can contact you directly You can discuss with your doctor or surgeon, the diagnosis and the organization of your future treatment. When you fly back home, you have the ability to send X-rays or other examination documents, for a more thorough post-surgery follow-up. The definitive cost of your treatment will be determined by the healthcare team, after the analysis of your medical file and the first meeting by telephone or videoconference.     How would you recommend the most suitable doctor?   If you request it, we can make a recommendation for you based on your pathology, the medical information you provide us, your desired city, and the appointment date. Otherwise we will send you profiles of doctors of which you can choose.   ·         How do I organize my stay? Once your medical file has been validated, the France-Surgery team will take over, through your secure area, to assist you in organizing your trip: administrative assistance, travel bookings, etc. Our team will contact you to discuss the organization of your travel as well as for the persons accompanying you, and will make proposals corresponding to your wishes and your budget. All your tickets, vouchers, reservations, information, etc. will be sent via this area.     Does France-Surgery make accommodations for the patient’s family members or friends etc.? Should you and your loved ones consider staying at a near-by hotel, France-Surgery would be happy to help you with reservations at hotels near to your clinic. Generally (for a small fee) one relative may accompany a patient in the single rooms at the hospital.  * It is highly recommend that patients travel with a family member or loved one with whom they are comfortable sharing a high level of privacy. *   Are there fun activities we may participate in outside of the hospital stays and appointments?   Based on the type of surgery you have received, your interests and your doctor’s prescription, France-Surgery can help you and your accompanying loved ones find cultural activities (festivals, museums etc) that are available in the city of your surgery. Other wise, each city in France has its own official website. For suggestions of activities happening in your city at the time of your surgery, you may also visit your cities website (eg. Cannes.com), Which will detail the calendar of events happening in that specific city all year. ·         How is the post-operative follow-up organized? After your procedure and during the recovery period in France, your surgeon may wish to see you again (once or twice) for post-operative consultations. During this time, a nurse will provide necessary care, e.g. changing dressings, medications, etc. directly at the hotel where you may be recovering.   When you return home, your surgeon will remain in contact with you by telephone if necessary, and may even contact your general practitioner to make sure your recovery is going well.   Two new check-ups by your French surgeon will take place at the 2-month mark and at the 6-month mark, by exchanging of X-rays/Images and other examinations through your secure area on the France-Surgery’s eHealth platform (login to your account at france-surgery.com)   Should the recovery be unsatisfactory, the surgeon will indicate to you the procedure to follow, and will consider a possible return for another procedure.  In this case, all healthcare costs (consultation and procedure by the surgeon as well as the recovery stay) will be at the expense of the surgeon and clinic. Transport expenses remain the responsibility of the patient. Do you have a pick-up service and drop off service for the airport? Yes! Based on the patient plan you have selected, France-Surgery can pick you up at the airport, and at the end of your trip ensure your safe and timely arrival at the airport for your flight.  Please provide us with your flight arrival time and patient information, prior to your travel date. Additional service charges may apply.     Where is France-Surgery located and what is nearby?   Our offices are located in Toulouse (south-west) France, which has the affectionate nickname ‘la ville rose’ (the pink city) due to the architecture made of pinkish bricks.   Toulouse is conveniently located just a few hours drive from Spain and our international airport provides easy direct access to many major cities including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels and Munich. Toulouse is a stop on the trans-European network of trains, so you can also easily hop on the train for a more scenic trip to any of these cities. Within walking distance of Toulouse city-centre are many of the most popular hotels, embassies, restaurants and major shopping destinations.   For map information click here.   Does France-Surgery offer cost estimates?   Yes, simply to click the "free quote" icon and fill in the questionnaire at www.france-surgery.com to request a quote and inquire about treatment costs. The total in-patient and out-patient cost estimate includes surgical fees, doctor’s fees, lab tests, medicine, and room fees. It also includes (based on the patient plan you have selected) the assistance of France-Surgery. We assist patients with issues such as translation services (both documents and linguistic), transportation logistics, hotel stays, arranging post-surgery follow-ups by nurses at your hotel, post-surgery comfort packs to help with long flights home, guarantees that you can stay in touch with your French doctor even after you arrive back to your home country. Can my medical costs be covered?   It all depends on the health system of your country. If you are from a country within the European Union, after your treatment stay, you will be given an invoice in English. When you return home, this invoice must be sent to the health care received abroad form that has been duly filled in – this form is available from your health insurance fund – which you send to your insurance company to obtain reimbursement for the health care.   France-Surgery International tel. no.: +33 953 02 03 09 E-mail: contact@france-for-health-surgery.com   ·         Can I pay in several installments? To make your trip easier, France-Surgery allows payment in 3 installments at no additional charge. ·         What are the administrative procedures to follow? For EU citizens – http://europa.eu/index_fr.htm For non-EU citizens – http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/   We can also support you in the entire administrative process.     What happens should I decide to cancel my procedure?   You have the right to change your mind! If you decide to cancel or postpone your trip, you have up to 15 days in relation to your arrival date, to modify or cancel without charge. After this 15-day period, 100% of the paid amounts will be retained due to late cancellation.   What is the legal recourse to take should something happen during my medical treatment? France Surgery is a medical facilitator; we assist with medical travel and accommodation plans. We furnish information about the best health specialists, hospitals and clinics for specific pathologies and conditions. We do not provide medical services ourselves. Although we use a reasonable level of skill and professionalism in choosing our medical network, France Surgery cannot be held responsible for any errors of the doctors, hospitals / clinics (third parties). In case of medical misconduct by any member of a medical team, the patient is directed to contact the third parties directly. By law all French doctors and clinics have to publicly list the details of their insurance (the number etc should be attached to all invoices). Should something happen during surgery, patients should make note of the insurance contact details of the medical professional or institution. Disclaimer: In terms of liability the medical facilitator (France Surgery) is not legally responsible for the actions of the medical staff.      

Research Shows 71% of Australians Would Consider Downgrading Health Cover

09/03/2015

The recent 6.18% inflation hike on health insurance premiums may force Australians to rethink their health cover. The rise, which was announced by the Australian Health Minister, Susan Ley, puts increasing pressure on households to revise their budgets, including their health insurance cover. Health insurance comparison website comparethemarket.com.au commissioned the study, which surveyed 1,000 Australians with private health insurance. Its findings were that a staggering 71% of respondents said they already have, or would consider, downgrading their health cover to cut costs. Only 51% of those surveyed said they had full cover which offered a range of benefits. This means that an alarming 41% of Australians hold just a basic cover already. Abigail Koch from Compare the Market said: “the reality is, avoiding cover now could lead to a heftier bill should you need medical treatment in the future." With so many Australians considering dramatically altering their health insurance policies due to price hikes, there has never been a more pressing case for Australian citizens to seek medical alternatives abroad. Discover now how France Surgery can help you secure world-class medical care at highly affordable prices, without the waiting times experienced in most countries today.

New York Governor Unveils New Health Insurance Policy Tax Plans

04/02/2015

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has recently unveiled a set of new healthcare spending proposals, including an almost $69 million tax on health insurance policies – a step which is designed to fund the administrative costs of continuing New York’s health insurance exchange. The additional tax is being introduced in an attempt to aid the state’s health insurance exchange become self-sustaining this year – something which may prove difficult as New York has struggled to generate enough revenue to fund its annual operating costs. The “modest” tax will equate to an additional $25 per person insured under the plan; a cost that is almost certainly going to be passed on to consumers. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act helped state-based health exchanges launch initially, but now requires that they become self-sustaining this year. Opponents to Governor Cuomo’s proposals believe that consumers are the people who will ultimately suffer due to more costly premiums. Paul Macielak, president of the New York Health Plan Association, said: “The governor proposes to add a new tax on premiums to pay for New York’s health exchange, making health insurance less affordable for New Yorkers”. Health care costs in the U.S. are still rising and American households are approaching the limit of what they can afford. The additional cost burdens mean that many Americans could simply forgo care in the future. To find out how France Surgery can facilitate highly affordable, world-class medical procedures with minimal wait times, contact us today.

What is the Haute Autorité de Santé?

29/09/2014

Established in August 2004 by the French government, the Haute Autorité de Santé is an independent public body that was set up to ensure high standards of patient care and guarantee equality in the French healthcare system. Even though it is regarded as the French National Authority for Health, it is not a government body and it has financial autonomy. However, the Haute Autorité de santé is ultimately accountable to the French government and has to provide them with reports on its various missions – which it is mandated by law to fulfil. The HAS has close ties with French government healthcare agencies, research organisations, patients’ representatives, national health insurance funds and unions of healthcare professionals. Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of the HAS’s 60 million Euro annual budget is made up from taxes on the promotional spending by drug companies. HAS is built on three founding principles: a very broad field of action, a high degree of scientific rigour and independence. HAS facts and figures: Over 400 permanent staff, including GPs, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists and health economists Collaborates with some 3,000 hospital and non-hospital professionals 35 regional facilitators who help implement the continuing professional development initiatives 775 surveyors who undertake accreditation visits to both private and public healthcare organisations Every hospital in France has their annual results and statistics published every year on the HAS website, where they are viewable by the public. The HAS ensures that the standard of French healthcare remains among the very best in the world and is just another reason why undergoing a surgical procedure in France is a fantastic option nowadays.

What is all the fuss about ‘Obamacare’?

16/10/2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was an American bill that was signed by President Obama in 2010. As the bill was championed and signed by President Obama, the law has been nicknamed ‘Obamacare’ by both the American people and the government, including President Obama. The purpose of Obamacare is to increase the affordability of health insurance within the United States of America. In turn this is intended to have an impact on the number of uninsured citizens because it will expand the coverage of both the public and private insurance. Arguably the biggest changes will be to the individuals and employers. Obamacare is also intended to improve the quality of the healthcare system in the USA and to reduce the cost of health insurance. Whilst the intention and the aims of Obamacare are to improve health services in America, its implementation is not without controversy and opposition. To many people who already have private medical insurance, Obamacare will not necessarily make a difference as if people are happy with their coverage they do not need to change. However, for people without insurance more options will be made available. For people who are not entirely happy with the system under Obamacare medical tourism is a very real and valid option. Traveling to somewhere such as France where the healthcare system is ranked no.1 in the world is a fantastic opportunity tht can be very competitively priced. Photo Credit: © Ivelin Radkov - Fotolia.com

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