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A friend of mine needs regular kidney dialysis. Nevertheless, he loves to travel. However, during the last years, he wasn't on holidays, because of the regular need to go to a clinic for the dialysis.

Now he heard news that more and more patients travel despite these problems. It seems that it is possible to organize kidney dialysis in other countries.

That's why I'm looking for more information about this topic. My friend would like to travel in Europe. Where can he find more information about that?

  • this website can be useful – Dirty-flow Dec 17 '12 at 13:07
  • If your friend is EU/EEA citizen, they might take advantage of the European Health Insurance Card, however for specialized treatment such as dialysis they'll need to arrange this in advance. See EHIC website for more info. – mindcorrosive Dec 17 '12 at 13:51
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    I wish your friend the best and I hope he finds a permanent treatment for his kidneys. – Nean Der Thal Dec 17 '12 at 18:58
  • Where is your friend from? Legalities could affect the answer - and some options may be cheaper depending on his citizenship. – Mark Mayo Dec 17 '12 at 19:50
  • He's from Switzerland. – RoflcoptrException Dec 17 '12 at 19:51
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+150

In principle it is possible. However, one has to foresee one or two extra steps before starting to plan the trip per se.

Your friend should first talk to his doctor. He is the person to ask. In principle dialysis patients can travel, but not without receiving green light from their doctors. The local hospitals can assist patients to make the necessary arrangements for the dialysis abroad.

Dialysis patients probably can't go everywhere in the world. They have to go to a place where they can receive the appropriate treatment. Dietary requirements are also likely to restrict the choice.

The most obvious and easy option for your friend would be to travel within Switzerland. Distances are short, the country has a lot to offer, arrangements can easily be take and reimbursement is not an issue.

Travel in Europe should not be a big issue either. Check with your health insurance what the exact modalities and possibilities are.

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Though a little off-topic, I can give some hint about south Asia.

Just bring the medical docs and consulting doctor's recommendations. And, of course sufficient regular medications and surely some more $$$.

Arrangement is simple.

  1. see an local Nephrologist doctor. Every big city have some. Get the local prescription. Make sure you also showed him your current medicines. If possible, make the dialysis arrangement through him.
  2. visit dialysis center with the new prescription. It is quite inexpensive around here; in Bangladesh, it's around $50 (per shot) in the best ones.
  3. Now, enjoy your travel. For Bangladesh, you should be able to visit almost every interesting places within dialysis period.(unless you need dialysis every other day.)

bon voyage !

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I can not tell you where to find information, I only hear about the dialysis when the trip has been organized. I have too much for a comment so I make it into an answer.

My sister in law works in a clinic where they do the dialysis, it is their only work there. They often have people coming in for a few sessions while they are staying in the country.

It takes preparation, sending your medical details before you travel, with time enough for the clinic or hospital where you will go to come back to your home clinic or hospital if there are things which are not clear.

If you travel to a country where they speak a different language, you may need to bring someone to translate for you, (which can be your host if you stay with a relative) or it can be a phone service which is on call to help you if needed.
It is very important that you can talk with the medical staff before the session. You are the one who knows what is the usual procedure and you are also the one who suffers when something does go wrong.

And their clinic often send information about patients (on their request and only with their OK on it) to other medical locations, where their regular patients will visit on their travels.

Often they are in telephone contact on the first day of treatment in the other location, to make sure there are no misunderstandings on the medical side.

As someone who needs dialysis, he is likely to be low on energy part (or even most) of the time. Which makes travel more of a burden than it was in the past. There are still options though.

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