7 signs of a good service for medical tourism
Tourism can be different – at the beach and active, informative and extreme, group and individual. And tourism can be also medical.
For some people, the term «medical tourism» may seem strange and exotic. But in reality and a rapidly growing direction. Due to the fact that healthcare in different countries is becoming more open and accessible to foreign patients, medical travellers amount increasing day by day.
What is medical tourism?
Medical tourism is a process when patient goes to another country to receive health medical services. Travel related to treatment has nothing to do with ordinary tourism, since its main purpose is not directly related to recreation. In this case, the tourist is a patient who needs the help of a foreign doctors, the diagnosis of the condition and the appointment of a competent treatment.
How to organize treatment abroad?
Can I organize my trip without the mediation and appeal directly to the hospital?
Each country has its own conditions of patient interaction with the clinic.
Many clinics in the world have special marketing departments that enter into contracts directly with patients. However, you need to understand that this document guarantees only the provision of specific medical services that a person will receive when he or she will arrive in the country. For the rest medical tourists should count only on themselves. Finding the right clinic, doctor, medical direction, communication with doctors in a foreign language, translation of documents, legal protection and much more – all this falls on the shoulders of the patient and his relatives. No one will oversee his stay in the country.
Professional organization of medical care abroad
How do specialized medical tourism agencies work?
Medical tourism agencies are professional companies that specialize in organizing the treatment process for clients coming from abroad. Specialists working in this field are not only arranging for clients their travel abroad, they also accompany the patient directly to the clinic, make their stay in the country as comfortable as possible, solve all the problems that arise, etc.
Medical curators save patients time to study offers of foreign health care, provide information about the most high-quality medical services, clinics, doctors, hotels, flights, etc.
How to choose a medical tourism agency?
As in any other service sector, in medical tourism there are not only professionals who value their reputation, but also swindlers. As well as intermediaries who make a minimum of functions for big money and provide services that are reduced to the usual tourist package. It is important to recognize unscrupulous contractors in a time and not to fall for them.
The main difference between a serious company that provides medical tourism services from «fraudsters» – is an absolutely follow the interests of the client. Such organizations are not bound by contractual obligations with any particular clinic, which gives a potential tourist maximum freedom in choosing a medical institution, a doctor, diagnostic methods, cost of treatment, conditions for placement, etc.
Good medical tourism agencies come to the market seriously and for a long time, so they are interested in providing high-quality mediation services, rather than short-term commercial gain to the detriment of their own business reputation.
Intermediary agents, for whom only money is important, behave like the client’s medical problems are truly interesting for them, but at the same time, they voice prices for their services and require prepayment.
What services the medical tourism company should provide:
- Serious work with a client begins even before his arrival in the country. The patient provides to the agency coordinator with medical records (examination results, tests, diagnoses, etc.), on the basis of which an expert can be consulted in absentia. This is often a free consultation that can be used as a second opinion.
- A conscientious medical intermediary should draw up a forecast of treatment and diagnosis, indicating the expected time and cost of a treatment.
- Good specialists know all the details of the work of the medical institutions with which they cooperate. The range of services and specializations, placement conditions, qualifications and regalia of doctors, the availability of licenses and certificates —- all this helps their clients to make an informed choice, make an informed and correct decision. The patient should be offered the newest possible treatment and diagnosis.
- The patient has the right to count on an individual approach and full support of the coordinator 24/7, as well as translation services at all stages of treatment. It is the responsibility of the medical coordinator to ensure that the hospitals fulfil all their obligations to the patient.
- A conscientious medical intermediary respects the budget of his client, optimizing costs in cases where this can be done. The undoubted advantage of agencies is that thanks to the partnership with clinics, their patients can receive discounts on many services. Thus, a trip can cost a lot less than if you try to organize it yourself.
- The final stage is also of a great importance. The mediator must provide the client with documents professionally translated into the language that the patient needs, so that later they can be used to continue therapy in their own country. Feedback must also be provided by the attending doctor after the patient returns home.
- If the patient wish, the medical intermediary organizes transfer and assistance in choosing housing (hotels or apartments), organizes comfortable living conditions, excursions and leisure.
And finally, any sensible person who goes on a medical trip to get a rid of a dangerous diagnosis is primarily concerned with his own health and well-being. The services of a good medical worker will significantly reduce the degree of its tension, tune in a positive way. It is more reasonable to entrust the organizational moments to a specialist who already has experience in managing such trips and will offer the best option.