Spectrum of neurosurgical complications following medical tourism: challenges of patients without borders
Background and objectives: The cost of medical care and availability of resources (human and facilities) which differs from nation to nation are amongst others, factors driving medical tourism (MT) despite its potential drawbacks. The aim of the study was to analyse all patients that presented with neurosurgical complications following MT.
Methods: A single institution prospective study was carried out. Data which included patients’ demographics, diagnosis, Glasgow coma scale score at admission, type of complication, and outcome were collected over a 3 year period and analysed.
Results: A total of 23 neurosurgical cases were seen during the study period with a median age of 42 years (17-70 years). India is the most common country visited by Nigerian patients. Nine patients died from various complications on arrival in Nigeria. There was no significant statistical difference between the outcome and patients clinical status prior to travel (p=0.107), country where the surgery was done (p=0.776), admission GCS in Nigeria (p=0.169), and redo surgery in Nigeria (0.181).
Conclusion: Government in different nations should have legislations to ensure that medical tourists' receive appropriate care abroad, proper follow-up care upon their return, and also promulgate laws to regulate quasi and organised MT agencies that are operating in a regulatory vacuum.
Keywords: Medical tourism, Morbidity, Mortality