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Health officials caution about elective surgery overseas

January 5, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State health officials say local hospitals have seen an increase in the number of people who’ve traveled to other countries for medical procedures and returned home with serious infections.

That prompted the Rhode Island Department of Health to caution residents Thursday about the risks of traveling abroad for medical care, including varied standards for care and for the sterility of medical equipment.

The department says several patients with recent complications had procedures performed in the Dominican Republic. It says Rhode Island hospitals are treating people who returned home with antibiotic-resistant infections.

The department says common procedures associated with traveling for health care include plastic surgery, oral surgery and heart procedures, which can be less expensive abroad.

State health officials discourage residents from traveling to other countries for elective medical procedures.

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