Medical tourism is defined as the process in which patients to seek health care abroad. Healthcare services may range from dental procedures to complex surgeries. It is a rapidly growing phenomenon spurred on by patients searching for quality, affordability, availability, and accessibility in healthcare. Medical travelers are able to find outside traditional healthcare models an adequate, cost effective solution to their medical needs.
Factors that contribute to medical tourism
- Growing trend towards globalization of services, health care services included.
- Recognition of cross-border medical tourism.
- Growth of the elderly population, which increases their need of care for degenerative conditions.
- Limited availability of medical expertise and state of the arts technology and infrastructures.
- Extremely long waiting times and lists.
- Rising costs of Healthcare.
Choosing a Medical Tourism Facilitator
A medical tourism facilitator serves as an intermediary or primary point of contact between patients and health care providers. It is advisable that you choose a certified facilitator by internationally recognized organizations such as the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) and the International Board of Medicine and Surgery.
The role of a medical tourism facilitator is two-fold:
- Educate potential patients about the various medical facilities and physicians available taking into consideration their needs and expectations.
- Manage the flow of information and coordination of services between patients and health care providers due to their well-established business alliances.
Services provided by a Medical Tourism Facilitator
- Price quotes.
- Transfer of medical records.
- Coordinating travel arrangements for patients that may include flights, lodging and transportation.
- Following up treatment and care plan for patients, once they return home.
- Translation services.