A friend’s dad had a kidney stone while he was traveling in a popular southern European country. He went to the hospital in a small town, where the doctors said he not only had a kidney stone but cancer, as well. They recommended his kidney be removed immediately before the cancer spread.
Fortunately, his son (my friend) had had kidney stones before and was skeptical. So he told his dad not to do anything until he received a third opinion from his doctor back in the U.S. When he returned to the U.S., the doctor studied his exams and ran his own tests and was appalled by the European doctor’s prognosis. My friend’s father didn’t have cancer and the botched job they did on his kidney stone (they put a stent in him that was made for someone 6’5” not 5’3”) almost cost his dad his life.
When you need help, you need help, but the moral of the tip is to be skeptical of small hospitals internationally (and thoughtful regarding medical decisions in general), and to get travel insurance that will cover any medical expenses and/or emergency airlift. (I use Allianz and am one of their brand ambassadors.)
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