IHC has developed the following guide for medical tourist and expatiates on how to select a hospital abroad.
The first step in selecting an international hospital is to gather as much information as possible about the hospital organization. This can be done by viewing their websites, calling their “International Services Department”, or Medical Director, or contacting the IHC to obtain information we have on a particular facility. The more you know, the more prepared you will be.
Another important consideration is the destination country. You should be aware of visa requirements and extension allowances. This is an important consideration when balanced on the outcome or requirements of your treatment.
Ratings and Accreditations
Make sure the hospital has both domestic and international hospital accreditation from reputable certifying bodies. The most renowned hospital rating accreditation from the International Healthcare Commission (IHC) and the most renowned quality the accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI). You should check if the clinic or hospital has accreditation with IHC and/or JCI and if their certification is still up-to-date.
“Joint Commission Accreditation”
Another populate international quality accreditation to look for is from the International Standards Organization (ISO), which accredits hospitals based on international standards for quality and procedures. ISO is the most common international quality accreditation throughout the world.
Check to see if the foreign hospitals have medical tourism packages and international patient services. You should be able to see this from their website. However, you can also check with the medical provider if they also offer accommodation packages as part of their overall offer. Some hospitals focused on medical tourism offer 5-star accommodation in their own hotel rooms, or they can offer package deals and discounts with nearby hotels.
All-inclusive medical travel package are becoming very popular with Preferred Provider Hospitals. Such deals not only include hotel accommodation, but also consider other basic requirements like hotel and airport pick-up, meetings and check-ups with doctors before and after surgery or procedures, and aftercare recovery facilities.
IHC advises you to do your own research and become informed of local costs, prices of meals and transportation. It is important to determine for yourself, whether it is safe to travel to the destination country.
Hospitals and Services
Explore our list of Preferred Provider Hospitals as part of your preparation for a medical journey. The following are key aspects for you to consider:
One of the key advantages of medical tourism is the cost saving. Medical tourists can usually have outstanding care in luxurious healthcare facilities. In this regard, the medical traveler should enquire about or demand the following from the medical provider.
Your care will often continue after you are discharged from hospital. This recovery time is important for your body to recuperate and heal from the surgery or treatment. Ask your preferred provider hospital the following aftercare issues.
Medical records and documentation is a very important factor when selecting a hospital for your treatment. These documents will be important reference material for your physician back home, should you require follow-up check-ups or periodic post-treatment examinations. Make sure the hospital can produce these records in English.
heck if the hospital utilizes Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems to store and access patients’ files including digital images, laboratory tests and examination records. Make sure these medical files can be sent electronically to your recipient hospital or doctor of choice when you return home.
If the hospital or clinic has no EMR capability, check if they can provide a complete duplicate of your records, which you can carry back with you when you go back home.
Many foreign hospitals competing in the Medical Tourism industry have standards for reporting their performance measures and quality indicators. These hospitals should be ready and willing to provide such disclosures on request. In this way, the patient can gauge the hospital’s quality track record for a particular treatment or procedure. These quality disclosures should be obtainable from their websites or should be provided upon request.
In ever hospital there is risk of complications. The following questions should be asked regarding the hospital or clinic’s policy on malpractice and liability.
On top of malpractice and liability concerns, the patient should also be familiar with how the foreign hospital or clinic handles safety issues and concerns. The following are guide questions that patients could use.
Doing your own research is a very wise move in obtaining complete details about a destination hospital or clinic for medical tourism. However, seeking information and recommendations from a third party source would also be a valuable resource. This includes the following: