How to Grow As a Medical Tourism Facilitator?

As we all know currently there is no qualification required for starting a Medical Tourism Facilitation Company but that does not mean that anyone and everyone can successfully manage a Medical Tourism Facilitation business because it requires a lot of in-depth healthcare knowledge to suggest best healthcare facility in the host country, extremely good relations with the Healthcare Providers in the host country to provide seam less and hassle free patient experience to the incoming patients, and supportive relations with the Medical Tourism Facilitators in home country to provide pre-arrival support and follow-up care after the treatment in the home country of the patient, Process also includes preparing for the worst as things can go wrong at one of the best institutes also. So what we see is Medical Tourism Facilitation business is a complex mix of sharing Knowledge, building network, Trusted Overseas Partners and Mitigating Risk, if a Facilitator fails in any one of the domain then they are doomed to fail in the fast changing business.

Knowledge Sharing: This is a very important step to succeed, let’s say you are a very knowledgeable person in Healthcare but how do other people know that you are most knowledgeable person in healthcare domain? The answer is simple, By sharing the healthcare knowledge we have with the industry, It will serve two purpose, First It will increase your followers who are searching for the matched Information they are actually Patients looking for information and secondly while conversation with the other healthcare leaders more learning will happen.

Building Network: Having a big pool of trusted Healthcare providers is very important for the success of your medical tourism company. Why it is Important? Say one patient from US came to India for complex heart treatment and after the initial evaluation of the patient, Patient is uncomfortable with the Healthcare Facility/Surgeon/Locality or any other thing then how a new facility will be arranged in such a short notice if you don’t have big pool of trusted network. If we have a good network then you will be able to offer range in treatment price also which is good for the patient, and what is good for the patient is ultimately good for a Medical Tourism Facilitator.

Trusted Overseas Partners: Medical Tourism Facilitation not only includes precise arrangements in host country but also include lots of important arrangement in the home country of the patient, Medical Financing is one important aspect and Most important is timely Follow up care in the home country after the treatment is over, this follow care is extremely important and difficult to provide if you do not have presence in the home country of the patient, and I know most of the Facilitators are present in either home country of the patient or the host country of the hospital, so it is really important for the facilitators to have strong and healthy relations with facilitators of other country, either to coordinate for the medical treatment or to provide the follow up treatment to the patient.

Risk mitigation: Yes Medical Tourism trip has its share of risk and fear involved with it, so until the fear of the patient is mitigated there won’t be growth in the sector, Medical Tourism Facilitators and Healthcare Providers should come together to mitigate the risks and fears of the patient by providing Comprehensive Medical Malpractice Coverage. It is a very vast field but there has to be two important constituents of this coverage first is Medical Malpractice Insurance before the procedure so that patient do not have to spend again out of pocket if anything goes wrong in the surgery, the insurance should cover price of secondary procedure in the home country or price of whole trip to the host country (If required).

Someone has correctly said ‘There is no key to success, success is a journey’, So lets start a journey in which knowledge sharing is appreciated, building trusted networks is rewarded,making trusted partners is necessary and mitigating risk is eminent.

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Medical Tourism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Medical tourism is not something that has begun just recently. Earlier too people used to travel long distances for health. However, its conceptualization is new and so is its wide acceptance and popularity. Patients love the touch of tourism that has been added to health care and are not hesitant to travel across the globe to experience this phenomenon. The medical tourism hot spots in different parts of the world have been gaining immensely too as patients from around the globe flock to these countries to get world class yet affordable medical treatment. The medical tourism industry is expected to cross US$60 million by the year 2012 and its is only going to get better from there. People from United States and other western nations flock to Asian medical tourism hot spots like India, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to get affordable treatments and travel at the same time.

Today, close to 6 million US patients travel abroad for a broad spectrum of health care treatments and surgeries and this number is expected to grow by manifolds in the coming years. Negative factors like lack of post-operative care, infections and negligence, which have been major causes of worry for the patients from western country till now, have been easily done away with. The medical facilities in Asia, Latin America and Middle East are at par with the world, their surgeons are internationally trained and their techniques are up-to-date.The sophisticated research work going on in every field of medicine today is providing a great impetus to the future growth of medical tourism. The latest developments in the fields of treatments and diagnosis has boosted the confidence of patients who are now ready to cross borders and get the best of treatments done at most pocket friendly prices.

Today, medical tourism packages are available in plenty with your traditional travel agent, as well as online travel consolidators. Most hospitals and medical facilities engaged in medical tourism have business associations with local hotels, in insurance agencies and travel agents to help patients get good accommodation, get cheap flights and assist them with legal formalities. Health care centers even take care of all your post-operative needs, infusing a new confidence in them and giving a boost to medical tourism. Patients today need not undergo the hassle of making all arrangements on their own. Today, it’s a one-step process where you just need to consult a medical tourism agent who will have a tailor-made package customized just for you! This reduction of burden on the part of the patient is another factor that has sealed a great and successful future for this.

Since the urge of people to get affordable medical treatment and to travel to distant land cannot die, the field of medical tourism is only set to soar higher. Its improves the financial status of developing nations who can use the revenue earned to further improve their medical facilities and attract even more medical tourists! The future of medical tourism lies in bringing down the negativities and taking advantage of the available resources to build a much better medical infrastructure that seeks to provide best of medical facilities at much cheaper rates. To help the industry flourish, it’s important to have future goals that focus on quality of health care globally, policy relations, safety of patients, global health care policies and collaborative role of global agency. Developing favorable global health care policies in future would also ensure that patients keep traveling abroad for best quality and affordable health care.

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