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Dubai strives to become a medical second opinion hub

We now live in an era where we are exposed to an overload of information on the internet, whether from friends or elsewhere. While easy access to information can make medical patients know more about their ailments, sometimes it can be confusing, especially when it comes to new, experimental therapies. This is an example of where a medical second opinion can come into play. Not only can a second opinion provide extra peace of mind, it can also help us make more sensible medical decisions.

Thanks to the emirate’s wide range of state-of-the-art technologies, and large pool of medical talent, Dubai has always been the destination of choice for medical tourists to the UAE. Now, identifying the growing importance of medical second opinions, The Health Tourism Council of the Dubai Health Authority plans to make Dubai the leading medical second opinion destination in the region.

So when is a medical second opinion necessary? Why do people seek medical second opinions? What can a second opinion do for the patient? How has technology reshaped second opinion services? Today, Pacific Prime Dubai will uncover the answers to these questions in detail.

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Why do people seek a medical second opinion?

The reasons people look for a second opinion are multifaceted, including deciding which treatment to undergo, confirming a diagnosis, and evaluating the risks of certain therapies. In some cases, it is an insurance company that requires its clients to seek a second opinion before covering a treatment cost. In such cases, more health insurance companies are already offering second opinion services that use either their national/global network, or a specialist second opinion service.

Medical second opinions are especially crucial for patients who may undergo major surgery, such as heart valve replacement, or who commit to a potentially life-changing medication. Getting a medical second opinion can reduce the chance of medical errors and complications arising from surgeries, such as doctors or medical facilities suggesting unrequired, experimental procedures.

How has technology reshaped medical second opinion services?

Global insurers are also striving to widen 24/7 healthcare services with the latest artificial intelligence, video technology, and apps. In the Thumbay Annual Health Insurance Conference and Award Ceremony 2018 in Ajman, the Dubai Health Authority-Medical Tourism Council announced that a centralized call center will be established in Dubai. In the future, health insurers will be able to connect their customers to assessed and monitored accredited health facilities and medical specialists in the country. This is one prime example of integrating modern technology with medical opinion services.

While traditional second opinion consultation usually involves a one-time encounter between a specialist and a patient, and requires traveling to a destination, healthcare group Aster exemplifies how to avoid such a hassle by introducing an inbuilt system. This system facilitates doctors to discuss the course of a patient’s treatment with a multidisciplinary team, allows 2,000 doctors across 20 hospitals to provide medical opinions, and allows 80 clinics worldwide to discuss reports and lines of treatment.

What can a second opinion do for a patient?

Generally, a medical second opinion can help a patient in the following aspects:

  • Become a more educated healthcare consumer

You will know more about the details of a disease, your treatment options, and the underlying risks of different treatment methods, so that you can make a more well-judged medical decision.

  • Confirm that your diagnosis is appropriate

A second opinion can help you ascertain whether all symptoms have been identified and all possibilities have been taken into account, so as to eliminate the risk of misdiagnosis.

  • Confirm that the recommended treatment is appropriate

A second opinion can help you evaluate whether the suggested therapy is correct and can provide the desired result.

  • Compare outcomes of the treatments you are offered

A second opinion can also help you eliminate the need for unnecessary invasive procedures or surgery.

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How do you seek a second opinion?

To get the contact of a second doctor, you can ask family or friends who have previously been treated with the same condition, or obtain a list of approved doctors from your insurance agent.

When you see the doctor, you should bring a full set of your medical records with you, and ask specific questions to clarify your situation. You may also bring a significant other to sit and listen with you, and jot down important points when the doctor is explaining. Last but not least, you can ask the second doctor to send his note to you and the first doctor.

If two medical opinions differ, you should stick to the one that you feel makes the most sense, involves the least risk, and focuses on the medical issues that are crucial to you. If you are still unsure, consider having a third opinion.

As with any big decision in life, it is crucial that you stay prudent and seek additional information before making up your mind. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

With over 18 years of experience and nine offices across the world, Pacific Prime Dubai is an established insurance intermediary specializing in a range of insurance products including international health insurance. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a free price comparison!