because you need someone who is objective (and informed) that is looking out for you, the patient..
In this article, at International Journal of Medical Travel, Kevin Pollard talks about the need for regulation of medical tourism in cosmetic surgery. I wholeheartedly agree – in fact, Mr. Pollard and I conversed about this very topic in a series of emails last week.
After all – it is why I do what I do, and publish it here for my readers. The industry does need to be regulated – medical tourism companies shouldn’t pick providers by “lowest bidder” and patients need to be protected (from unsanitary conditions, bad surgeons, and poor care). But what form will this regulation take?
Will it be Joint Commission certification – which covers facilities and not the physicians (and their surgical practices themselves)?
Will it require facilities to pay a lot of money for a shiny badge?
Or will it be someone like me, low-key and independent, going into facilities at the behest of patients; interviewing surgeons and actually observing the process and talking to patients?
and who pays for this? The beauty of what I do – is that I am independently (read: self) funded. True, it hurts my wallet but I have no divided loyalties or outside interests in doing anything but reporting the unvarnished truth.
and ultimately – will this be done in a fair, open and honest way? Or it is really a witch hunt led by disgruntled American and British plastic surgeons? Will they bother to discriminate between excellent surgeons and incompetent ones who will it be by geography alone?
I guess we will just have to wait and see.