Choose the right Provider for You
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Hospitals are large medical institutions, generally containing many specialized departments offering long-term treatment. Many also hold an international department that caters only to international patients and their aid. At hospitals you can usually find specific treatments that will be hard to find somewhere else.
Clinics are usually smaller private or public health care facilities catering mainly to outpatients. Many clinics are specialized in particular treatment areas; such as dental clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics and skin treatment clinics. The function of clinics differs from country to country. For instance, a local general practice usually provides primary health care and runs as a for-profit business, while government specialist clinics may provide subsidized specialist treatments and healthcare.
Medical Tour Operators
Medical tour operators (or healthcare travel agents) collaborate with hospitals and clinics, providing them with clients and taking care of the entire process for the patient. The package usually includes administration and travel logistics as well as the actual healthcare and sometimes a recreational holiday. Many tour operators are specialized within different fields, ranging from one particular in- or outbound destination to specific treatments, accommodation and leisure activities. Many global healthcare tourists find this option very convenient since it is considered easy and trouble free.
Spa & wellness centers
The definition of a spa and wellness centre is more imprecise. The term itself is since long ago associated with water treatment, where the water is believed to possess health-giving properties. Today, most spas and wellness centers offer health, beauty and fitness treatments for both body and soul. There are several different kinds of spas available; such as health spas, medical spa, day spas and resort spas.
Things to consider when choosing the right mecial provider and facility
When choosing a health provider that fits your needs it is very important to start with yourself. Which are your main concerns and preferences? What kind of provider are you looking for? State the main objectives of your desire, and use these as a guideline when searching for a provider that answers to these.
Self service vs. full package
If you want to be fully involved in the decision making process, with everything from travel itinerary, accommodation, VISA application to choosing your doctor, you should definitely organize the trip by yourself. By doing all the homework yourself you can save a lot of money. However, many patients find the process complicated and time consuming. Instead you can contact a medical tour operator, which usually can plan and organize the entire trip for you, door to door. This is more convenient, but might be somewhat more costly for you.
If you choose a clinic make sure to ask how far the facilities are from an intensive care unit in case of emergency. Also see how far the facilities are from an international airport and attractions that might be of interest to you.
Clinics vs. Hospitals
Clinics are usually much smaller than hospitals and are by many considered to give more personal care. Many clinics are also specialized in particular treatments with medical staff trained within that particular field. At hospitals, on the other hand, you can usually find medical expertise within many different fields. If sudden complications should arise, a hospital will also have an intensive care unit. Many international hospitals today also provide translational service.
Compare the costs from hospitals/clinics/spas
Make sure that you receive quotes from several providers, and to compare exactly what is included in the cost. Sometimes low prices will initially be offered and then extras could be added on afterwards. Make sure to ask for potential add-ons if a complication arise.
Accreditations and Membership
Medical standards vary around the world, and for a private person it can be very difficult to find information regarding the standards and regulations at the provider of interest. Many health providers today voluntarily sign up for an internal and external evaluation process that provides a universal standard of credibility for the healthcare provider. This process is called accreditation. Spend time researching exactly what kind of accreditations the provider has, and if the business belongs to any global healthcare organization. To find out more about accreditations; please click here.
Choosing the right surgeon/ dentist/ practitioner
It is not only the provider organization itself that needs to be researched. You should also find out as much as possible about the surgeon/dentist/practitioner. Ask for their CV, their accreditations, potential international memberships, how many similar treatments they have performed etc. If possible, try to talk to the surgeon over the phone before you take a decision. Remember, you are entitled to choose whichever surgeon you want to have performing the procedure and not just accept the first one given to you.
Many providers offer in house accommodation at their facilities for part of the recovery period. However, the number of nights offered usually varies. For your own safety, it is always good to be under constant care of the provider for the first crucial days after the surgery/treatment. Make sure how many nights of hospitalization that is included in the price, and how much the cost is for extra nights if needed.
As with surgery at home, it is not always easy to predict the exact outcome of a procedure. No matter how good the surgeon is there are no guarantees for the result. This is particularly true for cosmetic surgery, where the skill of the surgeon is crucial, and the perceived goal might not match the attained goal. However, one guarantee that you can ask for is that the surgeon will do a corrective surgery free of charge.
Contract and agreement
Once you have chosen your provider, you should make sure that you receive and fully understand the contract or agreement between the two of you. The contract should clearly state what is included in the treatment package and at what cost. You should also check for possible extra charges and the clauses regarding potential follow up care. Remember, legal protection varies considerably from country to country, and if the provider will not be able to give you adequate information regarding the legal terms in your contract you should choose someone else.
Patient care and communication
Even though you have not met any of the staff before you agree upon signing a contract for healthcare, you can usually get a good view of the company just through telephone and Internet communication. If the provider does not speedily reply to you and communicates in a professional way; then go for another company. The competition is so fierce on this market so the providers need to put their customers first.
Security and comfort
Last but not least, when it comes to choosing the right provider for you, you just have to go with your own instinct. The provider who you feel most comfortable and secure with will be your best choice. Remember that you, as a paying customer, have the right to ask all questions that you want. If you do not receive satisfactorily answers, take this as a sign and go somewhere else. But when you have found a provider that answers all your questions, has the right qualifications and credentials, is located at your preference and has given you a detailed itinerary of the process and procedure in addition to legal issues etc. you are fit to go!
For more information on Medical Tourism and how to choose the right medical institution, or to receive a Free Online Consultation from a Hospital or Clinic in abroad, Contact Novasans.
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