How to choose a clinic abroad
Medical tourism has become very popular in recent years. Despite the fact that there are modern clinics with qualified specialists in their native country, more and more people are choosing treatment abroad. Every year, more than 16 million people are sent to foreign institutions for various medical procedures. Treatment in another country is considered better and more effective.
Modern medical equipment, high level of service, comfortable and well-equipped wards - all these factors attract. That is why many people decide to trust their health to foreign specialists. In addition, treatment abroad has become more affordable, which allows you to get highly qualified care and comfortable conditions at a favorable price.
Health is the most precious thing in every person's life, so trusting it to the right hands is a difficult task. To go for treatment abroad, you need to choose a suitable clinic.
Where to start
There are two ways to choose a medical institution abroad:
- To organize your own trip;
- To contact a special organization.
A company that deals with medical tourism will not save the patient from the difficult choice of every aspect of treatment abroad. But the advantages of such companies are that they take over all the organization associated with the trip, search for information, as well as negotiations with representatives of clinics. In addition, if necessary, they provide the service of accompanying the patient abroad.
How to choose a destination
When choosing a clinic, you must immediately decide in which country it will be located. To do this, it is worth considering the following aspects:
- What diseases do clinics in a particular country specialize in?
- Do I need a visa and how quickly can I get one?;
- What is the cost of consultations, diagnostics, treatment and other medical procedures?;
- Does the cost of living and travel exceed the patient's financial capacity;
- What is the duration of the flight to the country and what distances the patient is able to endure;
- The level of medicine and features of the health care system.
Germany ranks first in Europe in terms of the quality of medical care. Local specialists are regularly retrained, and clinics update their equipment. Italy is known for the treatment of severe oncological diseases, the successful implementation of complex operations on the heart and brain. The medicine of this country is in second place among European countries. It is in Italy that patients with the most severe cases are admitted. Another equally popular destination for medical tourism is Israel. Patients with cancer often choose treatment in this country. In terms of the quality of medical services, Israeli clinics are in no way inferior to Germany or Italy. But the cost of treatment is much lower. And Switzerland is known for its premium service.
India, China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are no less relevant when choosing a clinic for treatment abroad. The price of the services is optimally combined with the quality. The specialists of these countries try to keep up with their European counterparts, but they are not able to achieve success in all areas due to the insufficient human and financial potential of the state. Therefore, it is recommended to choose the place where you were able to succeed in the development of the desired medical field.
Types of clinics abroad
The health care system in each individual country is arranged differently, but, despite this, all medical institutions for treatment abroad can be divided into:
- narrow-profile clinics;
- multidisciplinary institutions or municipal hospitals;
- university clinics.
Multidisciplinary hospitals deal with a wide range of diseases. If the patient needs the advice of several specialists, he does not need to move to other medical institutions. All additional examinations and therapies will be carried out in one place.
University medical centers are considered to be the best type of clinics for treatment abroad. Their work consists in close cooperation of doctors and scientists. Such clinics are located at medical universities, so they have access to the latest treatment methods and modern developments. Treatment in university centers is more expensive than in other centers.
Criteria for choosing a clinic abroad
To choose a clinic for treatment in another country, you need to study carefully all the details about each of them. Information about any medical center can be easily found on the Internet or requested from a company specialized on medical tourism.
The main criteria for choosing a clinic are:
- Availability of accreditation of national and international organizations, as well as certificates of specialized communities. To obtain such documents, the medical institution must pass various checks. They guarantee a high quality of service, the services of qualified specialists and the availability of modern advanced equipment.
- Methods and equipment. The more modern the equipment used in the medical center is, the more effective and safer are the procedures and treatment. In addition, it is very important to know the range of procedures and techniques that are used in the clinic.
- Statistics of treatment of patients with a similar diagnosis. Often, the clinic provides information related to the treatment of patients with various diseases. Data, which procedures were performed for a patient with a similar diagnosis, as well as which of them were effective and which were not, have a great influence on the choice of a particular medical institution.
- Conditions of accommodation in the wards of the clinic for the patient and accompanying person. This aspect is also important when choosing a clinic. Usually, a medical center provides several types of wards, which can be either single or for a larger number of people. In addition, the conditions of the accompanying person's stay with the patient are important, because living in the same room with the patient is not always allowed. In such cases, hotel accommodation is available. This information can be checked on the clinic's website.
- Available services. The more services a medical center provides, the more likely it is that the patient will choose it. Transfer from the airport and back, availability of an interpreter during the consultation, meals – are the issues that should be discussed with the clinic before arrival. Such services can either be included in the price for treatment, or be for a separate fee.
- Information about specialists. No matter how good the reputation of the clinic is, the health and life of a person is entrusted to a specific doctor. Therefore, it is very important to know all the details about the specialist who will treat the patient. The doctor's specialization, the experience of performing operations in the profile and how many of them were successful, certificates and awards, scientific publications prove the qualification of the chosen specialist.
- Insurance and liability. When choosing a clinic, you need to know the policy of the medical institution regarding insurance in the event of a doctor's error and whether the contract implies payment of compensation.
- Postoperative care. The patient should clarify the conditions of stay in the clinic after he has been treated. It is important to find out how and where to purchase medicines, what are the requirements for a second visit, and whether it will be possible to keep in touch with the medical staff after returning home.
- Patient reviews. Opinions about the clinic and about the specialists can be obtained directly from former patients who have already been treated in the clinic. Their reviews can be found on the website of the medical center itself or on special forums and blogs. It happens that some of the information provided by the clinic differs from the opinion of the patients.
Types of clinic accreditation
When choosing a medical center, the first thing you need to pay attention to is its international accreditation. After passing the test, the clinic confirms compliance with the level of medicine in developed countries, which means that it is able to provide high-quality services.
The most important and popular certificates are:
- Joint Commission International (JCI) is the most prestigious type of accreditation in medical tourism. The presence of this certificate confirms the high level of the clinic, because the selection is carried out according to strict criteria. The clinic needs to confirm it every three years.
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Accreditation is carried out by an independent international organization. It implies the quality and safety of medical equipment and services.
- Temos International is a German organization that offers specialized accreditation programs designed for eye and dental clinics, reproductive and rehabilitation centers, university hospitals, and even for travel coordinators. Ensures the quality of care for foreign patients.
- Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) is an independent international organization that develops and promotes high standards of services and care for medical tourists. The company's mission is to provide foreign patients with the greatest support. It issues a certificate only to those institutions that have passed a strict selection process
Choosing the best clinic for treatment abroad is an important matter, because your health depends on it, and sometimes the life of you or your loved ones. It's up to you to decide whether to do it yourself or trust the experts from special organizations . We have tried to share with you all the necessary information to help you make a difficult decision.