26th July 2016 Medical Tourism and Occupational Therapy

This week @Sweet_Hiral will be hosting #Otalk

Medical Tourism is booming these days. People are willing to get medical services from best possible care facilities/organizations but lower prices. The definition suggests, “As the cost of healthcare began to rise in industrialized countries, particularly in the United States, the face of medical tourism began to change to include individuals seeking affordable and timely alternatives to surgery or treatment in their home countries” (Bennie, 2014) and such needs created the idea of the Medical Tourism. According to Kher (2006), “Medical services in India are particularly affordable, with prices as low as 10% of those in the United States” (as cited by Horowitz, Rosensweig, & Jones, 2007, p. 2).

As cited by Howard Bye, the reasons for changing health care trend for medical tourism is:

“(1) to receive specific medical treatments not found in their countries;
(2) to obtain more immediate surgery or other medical care;
(3) to receive lower-cost dental and medical services;
(4) to get treatment not covered by their health insurance;
(5) to purchase cheaper prescription drugs; and
(6) to shop for medical procedures not approved by regulatory bodies in their home countries, such as the Food and Drug Administration” (as cited by Bennie, 2014, p. 584).

I found an interesting article that suggested a few facts on why the medical tourism is being utilized more among people from developed countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.

Bennie (2014, p. 585) suggested following four groups of clients who prefer medical tourism for health care services.
• Some are from countries that ration health care, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, and are looking to avoid long waiting lists for treatment in their country of origin.
• Underinsured Americans, including U.S. retirees who do not yet qualify for Medicare
• A third group is composed of middle-class Americans seeking cosmetic surgery that is not covered by their insurance, or that is cheaper than their insurance deductibles
• The final group is the affluent upper-class of developing countries, which seeks medical care in the United States or other developed countries to receive a higher quality of attention than the patient-tourist would win at home.

I wanted to discuss the scope of medical tourism in the occupational therapy field. The occupational therapy service charges are also becoming expensive. In some countries people get treatments daily and in some countries the treatments are restricted to once or twice a week as per the medical insurance policy coverage. That means, services are pretty expensive and not everyone is willing to afford daily and consistent therapy. At such point, I believe, medical tourism is a great option for specific conditions for example, learning activities of daily living or getting trained on how to modify your home environment etc. The qualified occupational therapist would help client to gain recovery within budget even if they count tourism-flight fare and stays. For example, these days many developing countries are providing fascinating medical tourism packages that includes therapy charges with their long term stay.

There is always a thought when you think about getting treatment with minimal prices. But, I believe that is a myth. Today, health care education and organization standards have been raised to international qualification levels. So when developed countries are welcoming medical tourism, they do not risk those standards to get any legal or ethical negative aftereffects. The series would be of similar assessment scale standards, procedures, and equipments to get a name in the OT-tourism field. I believe, the OT tourism would serve the purpose of providing OT care services to the population that never thought could afford it in the same country.

Following questions in this OTalk session will be discussed:

1. What is the client-therapist ratio in your country of work? Are those equivalent to the necessary standards from the governing organization or it is less than what is needed? (For example, one therapist needed per 50 population).
2. Do you think Occupational therapists should know each other globally to develop medical aka OT-Tourism?
3. Have you ever sent any client to some other occupational therapist in another country?
4. Do you think the therapeutic service charges should be similar globally to avoid such tourism ? or you think that it is a great opportunity for clients to get therapy procedures in a budget friendly manner?
5. Have you thought about enhancing your OT-contacts globally for the medical tourism purpose for your client? Sometimes patients from another country visit your country, and at the time of ‘good-byes,’ such contact lists could help you become a global therapist if you could guide/refer them to continue similar therapy in their country.
6. Are there any threats you feel with OT-tourism?
7. Do you know any facility that runs OT-Tourism?
8. Share your Final thoughts


Bennie, R. (2014). Medical tourism: A look at how medical Outsourcing can reshape
health care. Retrieved from

Horowitz, M. D., Rosensweig, J. A., & Jones, C. A. (2007). Medical Tourism: Globalization
of the Healthcare Marketplace. Medscape General Medicine, 9(4), 33.

#OTalk 12th July 2016 – Our #OTMoments

My sister, also an OT, but not a Twitter faring one,came up with this topic. I thought it would be fun for us to share our OT journeys through recollection of some key #OTMoments, it might also be helpful for those looking to study the profession, and those newly graduating, and well, all of us as a little reflection.

Here are some of the questions that we will use to guide the chat tonight. Please do remember to follow guidelines re confidentiality.

  • When you were little what did you want to be ‘when you grew up’? (I wonder how many of us can say OT?)
  • When do you first remember hearing about OT?
  • When did you decide to study OT?
  • What was your route onto your OT course?
  • What university/college etc. did you attend?
  • What was your favourite part of studying to be an OT?
  • When was the moment when you knew OT was right for you?
  • When did you feel confident to call yourself an Occupational Therapist?
  • Have there been any occasions that have made you question being an OT?
  • When have you truly understood the power of occupation? In your own or others lives?
  • What are some other key #OTMoments in your career so far?
  • What #OTMoments are you working towards now?

Hope to see you tonight. @kirstyes

Post Chat Updates

The Numbers

2,619,929 Impressions
855 Tweets
94 Participants

Online Transcript from healthcare hashtags. 

PDF of Transcript. #OTalk 12 July 2016

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk News Flash – OTalk Research Chats.

OTalk Research.

Over the last few months there have been discussions going on behind the scenes of OTalk about an exciting new development. We are pleased to announce that as from October the first OTalk of every month will pick up a research related topic to support the promotion, use and conduct of research in the day to day practice of occupational therapists. So the first OTalk research chat will be 4th October 2016.

A sub-group of the OTalk team has been formed to lead this slot comprising Lynne Goodacre, Emma Hooper, Jenny Preston and Nikki Daniels. Information about the team can be found on the about us page. All of the team have a strong commitment to focusing on promoting research within a clinical setting and to ensuring that the talks are relevant, accessible to all and, like all the OTalks, great fun to be part of.

OTalk Research will run in exactly the same way as every other OTalk and we would encourage anyone interested in leading a talk to submit a proposal in the usual way. by completing the application form. The scope of the talks will be broad and might include a topic like choosing an outcome measure, or a focus on a specific method of data collection such as conducting great interviews or be related to developing a clinical academic research career like making an application to NIHR. The scope is endless.

We are all excited about this development and hope you are too.

Lynne, Emma, Jenny and Nikki.


The #OTalk team would like to take this opportunity to say welcome to Lynne, Emma, Jenny and Nikki. We are very pleased to have you onboard and look forward to this exciting development.  `

#OTalk 5th July 2016 – Demystifying Expert Witness Work

This #OTalk will focus on the skills needed to become an expert witness.

Simon Dickinson Expert Recruitment  Manager from Jacqueline Webb will be on twitter using @jwebbexperts to host the chat.

The pre-blog reading is a copy of his recent article from The OT Magazine ‘What experience do I need
to be an Expert Witness?’

You can download/view a copy of the PDF here.

Post Chat Updates:

Online transcript from Healthcare Hashtags 

PDF of transcript: #OTalk – 5 July 2016

The Numbers

797,061 Impressions
349 Tweets
33 Participants

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 28th June 2016 Live from #COT2016 – Making the Connection.



Making the Connection.

This weeks chat will be hosted live from the College of Occupational Therapist annual conference in Harrogate. The chat will follow on from the Social Media Networking Event, which the #OTalk Team are supporting. So if you want to come along and support the event, meet with your fellow tweeters then please pop along. For those stopping on for the chat we have arranged some nibbles to see us through the chat. Got to have snacks for #OTalk!

We thought it would be an excellent opportunity to explore how the use of social media (twitter & #OTalk) is utilised by the community with a focus on ‘connections’. For all those not at conference, sorry we won’t see you at the networking event, but we can certainly tweet you there and the #OTalk will be the usual format just some of us will be together in Harrogate.

Some pre chat questions to get you thinking….

  • What do you use social media for?
  • What is important to you when making decisions about which platforms you use?
  • How do you connect social media to your CPD activities offline?
  • How do you connect your online learning and offline communities, colleagues, teams, employers etc?
  • What connections have you made online that impacted on your offline activities?
  • What collaborations are you involved with that have benefited, yourself, clients, services etc?
  • What are your top tips for ‘Making the Connection’.

We hope to see lots of you at conference, but we also look forward to chatting with everyone not at conference as usual. If you are online between 18.40-19.25, do drop us a tweet with #OTalkonTour so we can share with our great community whilst we F2F network.

Also we have an exciting development for #OTalk which we will share with everyone during #OTalk 20:00-21:00 as usual.  

Those of the #OTalk Team attending conference @Helen_OTUK, @OT_rach, @OTontheTracks and our shiny new student digital leader @KLO2_KAY will be sporting these great little bags (thanks to @OT_rach for organising them) so you should be able to spot us.


@kirstyes and @GillyGorry will be tweeting in with us, unfortunately @GeekyOT has other plans for the Tuesday evening, but will be joining us at conference Wednesday and Thursday so look out for her too!

Any thoughts, questions or general chatter give us a tweet!

Post Event Updates

Tweets from #OTalkonTour at #COT2016. <<<click link

Post Chat updates from the #OTalk chat.

The Numbers

2,708,560 Impressions
951 Tweets
142 Participants

#OTalk Participants

Online Transcript from Healthcare Hashtags. 

PDF of Transcript: #OTalk 28 June 2016

#OTalk – 21st June 2016 – Seating Patients with a Bariatric Condition ​

Obesity is becoming a worldwide challenge with a growing number of people becoming overweight. According to a recent global study that reviewed the prevalence of obesity in the world, 2.1 billion people (close to 30% of the population) are overweight or obese, putting themselves at risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

According to another study, the number of severely obese patients quadrupled between 1986 and 2000 from 1 in 200 to 1 in 50 people.

Close to 10% of medical spending is spent on bariatric patients. For the healthcare system, this presents a unique challenge.

Moving and handling concerns are magnified with bariatric patients due to their size and weight and the risk of injury to staff and patients alike. There is also a lack of proper bariatric seating available, meaning a person is often spending significant amounts of time in bed. However, in bed, the ability to do simple tasks such as reading, writing and personal care is greatly reduced.

In addition, inactivity due to bed rest can result in a 10-20% decrease in muscle strength per week. For patients spending prolonged periods of time in bed, this reduces their ability to sit upright, stand and walk, leading to longer hospital stays and increased costs to the healthcare system.

We’ve discovered from speaking to clinicians, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists across the world during training sessions and at industry shows, that there is an increasing need for guidance and support when dealing with patients with a bariatric condition who have low mobility. There is currently a lack of both proper equipment to optimise postural support and pressure redistribution, and understanding of how to best treat this patient category
Common Mistakes and Challenges
The most common challenge for clinicians in seating patients with a bariatric condition, is in getting the measurements of the patient correct. This can be often a daunting task and clinicians might require extra help from another clinician to make sure the measurements are as accurate as possible.
Points to think about in advance of #Otalk 21st June 2016
• What are the challenges you face when seating patients with a bariatric condition?
• What extra complications can this present concerning:
o Patient and caregiver safety
o Dignity of patient
o Keeping the patient as independent as possible
• Consider the benefits of getting patients with a bariatric condition up from bed rest into a suitable seat on overall health and wellbeing and how we can best encourage this
At Seating Matters we are working hard to educate clinicians on best practice, our guidance is available on our website http://seatingmatters.com/bariatric-seating/

Post Chat Updates

The Numbers

1,596,377 Impressions
537 Tweets
69 Participants

#OTalk Participants

Online Transcript from HealthCare Hashtags. 

PDF of Transcript. #OTalk – 21 June 2016

Announcement: Student Digital Leader Intern Position Filled!

The #OTalk team are thrilled to announce that after a brilliant application, Kirstie Lawrence (@KLO2_KAY) is going to be joining the team as the new #OTalk Student Digital Leader Intern.


We asked Kirstie to introduce herself to the community… Here’s what she said:



Hi there! My name is Kirstie; I’m a Coventry University Occupational Therapy student and an Occupational Therapy practitioner currently working in Dementia. My areas of interest include the therapeutic use of Lego, Animals as therapy and of course the use of social media for role promotion and shared learning experiences. When it comes to the professional use of Twitter I strongly believe in its versatility and accessibility and when used correctly and well, it is an untapped source of knowledge and opportunity.


Even when using social media for professional purposes I still feel there should be an element of ourselves shared as that is part of what makes us the type of professionals we are. If you have ever stopped by my Twitter profile (@KLO2_KAY) you will have seen frequent Occupational Therapy and healthcare related posts interwoven with those about cats, food and the traditional student moans and groans, as that is pretty much what sums me up as a person! Part professional and part normal human being (Most of the time!).


If you are at #COT2016 you can meet her in person at the Social Media Networking Meeting: #OTalkonTour. But in the meantime please show Kirstie some OT Love on twitter and welcome her to the crew.