Medical Port at the Medical Travel Summit 2017

Medical Port CEO Belén de Vicente was a guest speaker at the Medical Travel Summit in Croatia, an event organized by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ).

The Medical Travel Summit in an event for senior-level professionals working in the medical travel sector and international patients market. Through different panels, guests were invited to share their knowledge and best practices for the future, while addressing the main concerns of this industry.

Belen de Vicente at IMTJ
Photo credit: IMTJ

Belén de Vicente, from Medical Port, presented her experience at the workshop about facilitators. The workshop was moderated by Elizabeth Ziemba, an expert in the industry. Belén de Vicente talked about the added value that medical travel facilitators bring to the parties involved (insurances, clients and healthcare units) as well as upcoming challenges. The knowledge and expertise gathered by Medical Port along its 5 years of operation were also presented.

According to Belén de Vicente “The presentation generated genuine interest among the attendance because in a market that is clearly a niche – against all the forecasts from the international consultancy companies and the American Medical Tourism Association – the experience of the few ones that have been able to sustain and grow their business is extremely relevant”.

The event took place in Croatia from 25 to 27 April and welcomed hundreds of people.

 

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Porto: Best European Destination 2017

Nominated three times and three times winner, setting a new record. The city of Porto is once again the Best European Destination.

The city of Porto.
The city of Porto.

Never has the choice of the winning city been so unanimous among travellers from all other the world”, that’s how the annoucement of the winner starts. With votes coming from over 170 countries, Porto was the first among 19 destinations that included remarkable european capitals like Paris, Rome or London in the competition pomoted by the European Consumers Choice, an organization of consumers and specialists.

Thinking of coming to Porto in the future? Here are some of the highlights:

Torre dos Clérigos: The icon of the city of Porto. After climbing nearly 250 stairs, you will be rewarded a unique 360º view of the city.

Serralves: Fundação Serralves hosts an impressive modern art museum, surrounded by 18-hectare gardens where you can also find see some artwork by contemporary artist along with the plants and trees.

Casa da Música: “Casa da Música” means “House of Music.” An internationally praised building with modern, futuristic architecture, home to music and other events that will surely impress you.

Douro river & wine warehouses: Visit the port wine warehauses at the other side of the Douro river, in the city of Gaia, and take the oportunity to gaze at the colouful houses fitting in each other, with the beautiful D. Luís bridge also within your view. All this while enjoying a glass of Port.

Francesinha: Not the healthiest option but it can’t hurt once in a lifetime. A sandwich with multiple layers of meat, covered in cheeses and soaked in a beer sauce, ranked among the best sandwiches in the world.  And if you want to know more about Porto gastronomy, stay tuned! Anthony Bourdain is currently in the city shooting an episode of his CNN travel and food show “Parts Unknown”, which means we will be seing more of this side of Porto in the future.

Are you visiting o living in Porto and want to also take some time for your health? Medical Port’s network of partners extends to this city as well, offering multiple speciality consultations, a large variety of check-ups options and fertility specialists. Visit our website or contact us for more information

 

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Coping with Burnout

Are you feeling too much stressed out about work, even during the holidays? Feel tired all the time? Don’t care as much about yourself anymore and don’t have much motivation to start a whole new day? You may be suffering from burnout – and you are not alone.

Burnout is a syndrome of overwhelming mental exhaustion, a result of emotional and interpersonal stress factors on the job. Burnout tends to happen more in occupations that deal with people, like healthcare, social services, justice and education, but it can extended to other professional areas and affect people on all levels, from interns to CEOs.

Image: Medical Port
Image: Medical Port

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), quoting authors Maslach and Jackson, there are three main characteristics of the burnout syndrome: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment. Unlike depression, which is considered to be context-free and pervasive across all situations, burnout is specifically job-related.

In a recent article, CBS News reports that people in their 20s and 30s who have lower job satisfaction demonstrate worse mental health and are at higher risk of developing health problems when they reach their forties.  Indeed, according to current research, there are higher rates of burnout among people in their 20s and 30s.

Symptoms

Symptoms of burnout can include: continuous exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed by the smallest work activity, lack in concentration, negativism, irritability, frustration, lack of motivation, among others, even including temporary memory loss. A study from an American HR-focused research firm from 2015 revealed that over 50% of the 2500 workers they surveyed reported the burnout syndrome.

Why you should care

Burnout syndrome will not develop overnight, so pay attention to some warning signs such as the symptoms described above. Seek professional help if you fear you may be suffering from burnout. By not seeking treatment, you are putting your work, health and personal life at risk. As you take less care of yourself and develop nocive behaviors like increased use of alcohol and caffeine and lack of sleep, your immune system may be compromised and you may become more prompt to illness. Burnout treatment will help you regain confidence, restore your brain functions, identify risky behaviors and help you achieve more positive emotions.

Why not overcome burnout by taking some time in a warm and sunny location?

Portugal is a peaceful, welcoming country with good quality of life. If you decide this is your destination for a well-deserved break, you can find many tips throughout this blog, whether you want to visit bigger cities like Lisbon or Oporto or choose a calmer, picturesque area like the Douro region. Additionally, if you wish to get help recovering from a burnout during your stay, Medical Port can help you get an appointment at a prestigious Portuguese psychology clinic, Oficina de PsicologiaRead more on burnout  or contact us now.

 

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Have you taken your child to the pediatrician this year?

August celebrates children’s Eye Health month and Safety. Now it’s the perfect timing to get a pediatric consultation and ensure all is well with your children, just before school starts again. Medical Port can help you book a pediatric consultation while you are enjoying your stay in Portugal.

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 40 million children under 5 were overweight, a number that tends to rise in all regions. Among teenagers, risky behaviors like alcohol or tobacco use, a sedentary lifestyle, unprotected sex and violence are some of the factors that can put their health at risk, with consequences for the future.

Society, parents and other carers should work together so that children can be first properly informed and followed to grow in a healthy way. A routine visit to a pediatrician is a good start to predict risks and promote a healthy lifestyle.

What can you expect from a visit to the pediatrician? Medical Port has prepared an infographic that covers the most common issues that are evaluated during a pediatric consultation, including physical, behavioral and development aspects.  If you want to know more about getting a pediatric consultation, visit our website.

 

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Looking for sunny and safe holidays, tourists turn to Portugal

As some common holidays destinations like France and Turkey deal with the threat of terrorism, the number of tourists in Portugal increases. While this country remains a good choice regarding safety, the government has also worked on improving security measures.

Vista da ponto 25 de abril a partir de um terraço com uma mesa decorada com flores e com um copo de vinho.

Bloomberg points out that Portugal, along with its neighboring country Spain, is already registering a growth in the number of tourists who are seeking sunny destinations. It comes in the aftermath of multiple terrorist attacks in France and the failed coup d’etat in Turkey, a nation now facing internal conflicts in addition to the already existing terrorism threat.

Tourism represents about 10% of Portugal GDP. In 2015, hotels registered over 16 million guests and 70% of those were foreign. The number of British and German visitors increased the most. Algarve, Lisbon and Madeira were the most sought-after regions.

Investment in the future

Bloomberg quotes the Portuguese minister of Economy, Miguel Macedo Cabral, who says that the country is working to promote different segments to attract more tourists, not only during summer, but year-round. The government is also looking to expand tourism to other places in the country.

Portugal ranks 5th in the 2016 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, climbing 6 positions compared to the previous year. Yet, in the light of the terrorism events in Europe, the government has also invested in improving measures in airports and common tourist destinations.

However, this is not the only index where Portugal gets an honorable place. It is the 12th out of 207 countries in the KOF Index of Globalization for 2016. The Portuguese health care system ranked 12th in the world by the World Health Organization. In fact, Portugal has some of the highest rates when it comes to available hospital beds and number of physicians. You can learn more about Portugal and the Portuguese health care by visiting our site.

 

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Medical risk map for 2016 puts Portugal with low risk

International SOS releases every year a worldwide medical rating that rates countries by their health care risk.

Considering there is risk everywhere, due to many factors, many countries have a good standard of medical care and that means they pose a low risk for who goes under medical care there.

The medical rating is based on the standard of local medical and dental care available, the access to prescription drugs, the presence of serious infectious diseases and cultural, language or administrative barriers to access health care.

The rating divides countries by very high, high, medium, low medical risk and rapidly developing.

Most countries in Europe and North America have a low medical risk, including Portugal.

The low medical risk medical is defined by: “International standard of care throughout the country. Most specialist care widely available. High quality emergency and dental services and a wide range of prescription drugs available. Low risk of infectious diseases.”

Countries like Turkey, Poland, Hungary, and Mexico are considered medium risk countries for medical care. These countries are known for their low prices for health care and are popular among those who chose to go abroad for medical care. Although there are great health care facilities in these countries, a quality standard isn’t always met and in some cases the medical care goes wrong and patients get serious injuries.

In Portugal the access to medical care is widely available in both public and private facilities and Portuguese medical professionals are recognized internationally for their work.

Medical Port has partnered with the most outstanding health care facilities and doctors to give our clients the access to the best options and provide effective treatments.

Learn more about the Travel Risk Map here.

Learn more about Medical Port here.

 

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Most common plastic surgery procedures

Plastic surgery is increasingly popular all over the world. The number of procedures done increases every year and no signs of deceleration emerge.

There are two types of plastic surgery patients: the ones who always wanted it, and the ones who only realize the need for plastic surgery at a certain point in their lives.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of procedures in the United States in 2014 rose 3%, with a total of 16.5 million surgeries performed.

Although some surgeries see increased popularity from year to year, other procedures are always on trend. The most common procedures are: liposuction, breast augmentation, nose reshaping (also known as “nose job”), abdominoplasty (commonly known as “tummy tuck”), and facelift.

Weight-loss surgeries are also on the rise due to obesity, which is a global issue. After weight-loss surgeries, many patients want plastic surgery to correct the sagging and excess skin. Only after the complete weight-loss period the person should look for plastic surgery, as the weight must be stabilized. The reshaping surgeries are abdominoplasty, breast lift, upper arm lift, and tight lift. These surgeries are beneficial both for the psychological and physical wellness of the patient.

Recurring to plastic surgery is no longer only accessible to wealthy people, it is widely available all over the world. Some prefer to do it at a local hospital or clinic and others prefer to do plastic surgery abroad. Those who decide to have a surgery abroad do so because they are looking for the expertise of a well-known practitioner or hospital reputation, for money saving reasons, and even for privacy concerns. To decide where to have your plastic surgery done, three variables need to be taken into consideration: the expertise of the doctor – that needs to have a specialization in plastic surgery, the quality of the materials used in the surgery, namely the implants, and the safety of the environment where the surgery is going to be performed. The price of the surgery is conditioned by these three variables, so take care when the prices are very very low – some things might have been cut. In Portugal, plastic surgery is a common practice and the Portuguese plastic surgeons are known for their skill and experience.

Medical Port offers surgery options in hospital context in various procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction or facelift. If you like to know more about plastic surgery abroad, contact us.

Weight loss surgery abroad

For the past few years, weight loss surgeries have seen great evolution, allowing those who suffer from excess weight to find the most adequate solution to lose the unhealthy mass and start a new life.

Weight loss surgery is performed not only for weight loss itself (the visible aspect and the most immediate one), but also for disease prevention and overall health improvement. Those who suffer excess weight can develop several diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and joint problems, among others. Lose weight is a struggle for those who suffer from excess weight and have a history of unsuccessful tries.

According to Stanford Health, “Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. Each year obesity-related conditions cost over 150 billion dollars and cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US.”

Patients for weight loss surgery are subject to careful evaluation from several specialists, including nutritionists and psychologists.

The nutritionist will be interested in reviewing with the patient the bad eating habits and creating new ones. The psychologist will be reviewing the possible causes of the excess weight, and work with the patient to overcome and control them before the surgery. The psychologist will also help the patient deal with the uncertainty of the final outcome and the struggles associated to weight loss. Along with psychological support and nutritional advice, health professionals guide patients during several months before and after the surgery in order to guarantee the success of the procedure lasts for the long term. For those considering weight loss surgery it is important to keep in mind that a change in lifestyle is the first step to the successful outcome of the surgery. Individuals who undergo this kind of surgery must be prepared to eat well, exercise often and maintain healthy habits after the surgery so that there is an actual long-term change. These individuals will need to be always on track of their goals and stay motivated.

No long-term results can be achieved without a change in the individual mind-set.

Medical Port developed programs for those who would like to have weight loss surgery abroad, including the initial assessment and diagnosis of obesity, the surgery and the overall treatment. If you would like to learn more about these programs, click here. In order to contact us, please send an email or call us at +351 220 973 751.

 

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Medical Tourism is a growing trend among Americans

Every year it is estimated that more than 750, 000 American residents travel outside the country to seek medical care abroad, according an article of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The choice of travelling outside the country of residence for medical care can be for several reasons. Some decide based on price, based on the reputation of the doctor, the reputation of the hospital facilities, the geographic proximity, or particular connection to the country. The article adds: “The most common procedures that people undergo on medical tourism trips include cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and heart surgery.”

A common concern among those who travel for medical care is safety. The role of those who plan and organize medical care abroad, like a medical tourism facilitator, is to ensure people receive the best medical care.

Maintain a clear communication is essential to keep the client confident.

One of the ways to ensure the medical care is safe, and follows international standards is the international accreditation from Joint Commission International. This organization has been accrediting hospitals all over the world since 1994 to ensure consistency, safety and standard rules for medical care. Hospitals and clinics that receive this accreditation follow and maintain strict standards for patient safety, minimizing the risks of medical procedures. A JCI seal of approval means the patient will return home the best way possible in the least amount of time.

Medical Port partnered Hospital Lusíadas Porto and Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa that are accredited by Joint Commission International.

This partnership is a guarantee that our clients will receive the best care they need and the course of their treatment is under the supervision of top professionals. The international accreditation by JCI ensures that patients will be treated with the same quality standards, as they were back home in the United States, in a welcoming and private environment.

 

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Breast reduction and breast lift surgery

Breast size can affect women in various ways, whether they are too big or too small for comfort.

We have previously discussed about breast augmentation for women who feel their breasts are too small. Now we will discuss when women have such big breasts that interfere with a normal life. These women are often diagnosed with macromastia and opt for a breast reduction surgery. In many cases, big breasts means suffering from discomfort or back pain.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast hypertrophy or macromastia is the increase in volume and weight of breast tissue more than the normal in women.

The effects of big and heavy breasts include muscular pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. Rashes and skin inflammation can occur in the submammary region or cleavage area. And it can impact daily activities like practice exercise or even find a comfortable position to sleep.

It is genetically common for women to have large breasts, often intensified with pregnancy or weight gain. Before a breast reduction surgery and for better results, doctors sometimes ask their patients to lose weight. Sometimes women also have asymmetric breasts – being one breast much bigger or smaller than the other – and the breast reduction surgery also entails the correction of the symmetry.

Associated with the breast reduction surgery in many cases there is the breast lift procedure. Both are done to alter the shape of the breast. Breast lift consists of raising the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. It improves the appearance of sagging breasts. The goal is to improve the shape of the breast while minimizing visible scars. This surgery is also known as mastopexy. For some women, after a considerable weight loss, their breasts also appear too big for their bodies. In those cases, a breast reduction surgery might not be the solution, but a breast lift surgery might.

If you would like to know more about breast reduction or breast lift surgeries, feel free to contact us. We have partnered with the best plastic surgeons that will evaluate each particular case to provide the best course of action. You can also send us an email or call us at +351 220 973 751.

 

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