Israel’s Health Ministry warns about risks of medical procedures abroad

Science and Health

Israelis who travel abroad to save money on plastic surgery, dental work, hair transplants and other procedures may find themselves returning with serious complications that they desperately need to be treated in Israeli hospitals, the Health Ministry has warned. Some return with serious infections, lifetime scars and even the risk of death. 

Following a number of reports that it received on severe complications and significant hospitalizations after performing plastic surgery and other treatments abroad, it stressed that undergoing them abroad at private medical facilities and without sufficient supervision can harm health and cause severe damage. Turkey is the most popular country for Israelis who seek less-expensive treatments abroad. 

Health ministry advises further research before seeking treatment abroad

The ministry recommended that Israelis who nevertheless choose to undergo treatments abroad should check the success rates of the medical institution that carries them out; regulatory supervision in the country; and the quality of treatments offered abroad. It is recommended to make sure that the procedures are performed according to the accepted protocols. 

“In Israel, there is an excellent public health system that provides free services within the health services basket,” the ministry spokesman said. “There is no reason for an Israeli resident to seek medical care abroad except in rare cases in which special skill is required that does not exist in here. Going abroad for care should be coordinated with one’s attending physicians in Israel.” 

The Israel Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ Organization said in response to the ministry’s announcement that “we welcome the official about the warning to deter the public from undergoing medical procedures performed abroad. For the last six years, we have been receiving complaints about complications from operations performed abroad, and information that the plastic surgeons convey to it. Every year, an average of 80 Israelis who were treated abroad were rushed to emergency rooms and plastic surgeons here to deal with complications.”

Dr. Meir Cohen, chairman of the organization, explained that “it’s essential that the public understand that every procedure has risks and requires a period of recovery under the supervision of the plastic surgeon who knows how to prevent and treat complications in advance. It’s like driving a car without brakes. Sometimes you manage to halt but in other times, it ends very badly and requires repairs.”