Medical tourism is a fast growing trend which allows patients to go to a foreign country to avail of medical care. Most patients opt for medical tourism because of the relatively cheaper and more affordable medical care they can get in a foreign country. Some patients also opt to seek medical treatment from a foreign country because of better medical care offered. There are also some who go abroad for certain medical procedures that are not available in their home country.
Whatever your reasons for resulting to medical tourism for your medical care needs, it is important that you fully understand what you are getting into. The first thing you need to do to arrange for your medical tourism trip is to choose the international hospital for your medical procedure.
Here are ten of the most important things you need to consider in choosing an international hospital:
1. Make sure the hospital you are considering has all the international accreditations and certifications. It is best if you choose a Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospital. A hospital has to go through a rigorous process to be able to be granted accreditation from this non-profit organization. The JCI’s main objective is to give accreditation to highly qualified international hospitals.
2. Make sure the doctors practicing in the hospital have board certifications in their home country. It will also help if these doctors have certifications from other countries who offer quality medical care.
3. Choose a fully equipped hospital instead of a clinic. Clinics usually have limited medical services and only cater to a certain medical specialty. A fully equipped hospital on the other hand has all the facilities for all medical specialties and procedures including emergency care, ICUs, blood banks, pharmacy and laboratory facilities.
4. The hospital staff needs to be able to understand your language or at the least have an International Patient Department for easy communication. Clear communication between patient and doctor is highly critical. It is also a big plus if there is someone in the hospital who can read your medical records in your home country’s language.
5. The hospital must have a good local reputation. If you have contacts in this foreign land, ask them to confirm the reputation of the hospital in their country you are considering.
6. Ask the hospital to provide you with some quality indicators you can use in making your decision. You can compare these indicators with that of hospitals in your home town that are known for quality health care. Quality indicators may among others include staff-to-patient ratio.
7. Be careful in choosing the cheapest international hospital. Lowest price can translate to lowest quality. Although price is one of the main reasons why you are opting for medical tourism, be wary of hospitals that offer extremely cheap prices for the medical treatment you need.
8. Consider too the location of the hospital. Make sure they are near hotels and other tourist accommodations. Unless of course you are going to a country with an extremely reliable transport system, choose a hospital that is within the center of the city.
9. The over-all acceptance of the hospital staff and the local population of foreign patients are also of prime importance. Foreign patients should be welcomed in the hospital and city. Good medical tourism friendly locations offer warm hospitality and quality care.
10. Check out the medical tourism patient satisfaction rate of the hospital.
The success of your medical tourism trips starts on your choice of hospital.