How should I choose a hospital for treatment abroad?
The issues of obtaining high-quality medical services are more important than ever. The deterioration of the environment, the growth in the number of new previously unknown diseases, the traditional mistrust of doctors from local polyclinics, and even private medical offices lead to the fact that more and more people choose treatment abroad. However, it is extremely important to check carefully the hospital or clinic in another country before doing treatment abroad. This not only guarantees your safety but also gives you peace of mind and confidence that you are in safe hands. Not many people can afford to travel to different countries for checking the hospitals out in person. Therefore, you may have the question of who can you turn to for reliable information.
On many questions, you can find answers on the personal website of the clinic, by calling the clinic or through the company for health tourism. If you plan to use the services of the company, then the package usually includes the full cost, excluding food and personal expenses. Nevertheless, it is recommended to specify from the company of health tourism what exactly is included in the package of services, which they offer.
Choice of hospital
The main stage in the organization of treatment abroad is not even the treatment itself, but the choice of the medical institution in which it will take place. An important criterion for this choice is the compliance of the medical institution with international standards. The availability of appropriate certificates will guarantee you quality treatment.
To get the maximum result, you should take a responsible approach to choose a hospital abroad. You should consider several basic criteria.
- Accreditation of JCI (United International Commission). JCI is the leading organization for the accreditation of medical institutions around the world. If the hospital, clinic, medical center is accredited by JCI, this indicates a high quality of medical services offered by this institution. You can find a list of such medical facilities on the official website of JCI.
- In addition to JCI, there are other international organizations involved in the accreditation of medical institutions around the world:
– Canadian Organization for the Accreditation of Medical Institutions (CCHSA)
– Trent Accreditation Scheme (TAS)
– The Australian Council for Health System Standards (ACHS)
– International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua)
– European Society for Quality in Health Care (ESQH)
– International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- An indicator of the importance of hospitals, quality of care, and treatment is the availability of links between the treatment institution and major prestigious universities, and with companies providing health services.
- Usually, information about such links can be found on the official website of the medical institution, in the “About Us” section. The absence of a hospital website should make you think it is not the hospital where you would like to be treated. All large, prestigious, certified hospitals and clinics are necessarily represented on the Internet.
- Each country has its own system of certification of medical institutions. Be sure to check that the hospital, clinic, or medical center has a license for the provision of medical services in general and the services you need in particular.
Qualification of doctors
It is believed that doctors in Europe or the United States have higher qualifications than doctors in other countries are. Largely, this opinion is conditioned by the traditions and quality of medical education provided in Europe or the USA. Nevertheless, the status of a European doctor is not enough to entrust him with your health and maybe even life. There are good and not very good doctors in any country in the world, regardless of the level of education and medicine.
Your task is to choose a good doctor. Before the final choice of a doctor, you need to check his professional qualifications and specify the following:
- Place of training of the doctor, year of manufacture.
- Place and duration of his internship and additional training.
- The availability of certificates received by a doctor (both international and national), the year of their receipt.
- Membership in national or international medical society.
In addition, you can specify information about the foreign language skills of the doctor. Physicians and medical personnel, first, speak their native language in any country in the world. However, it is a great advantage for you if the doctors in the chosen clinic are English speaking. Then, when choosing a doctor, you should indicate that you speak this language. In most cases, in Europe and the Middle East, doctors can speak English fluently enough. Many health tourism companies also offer the services of a personal guide-interpreter during your stay abroad. The cost of such a service is usually quite high and depends on the number of work hours of an interpreter. You can order this service if you have enough cash. This will make your stay in a foreign country more comfortable.
Care after the course of treatment
Nursing after a complex medical procedure is an important component of any medical care. Before choosing a medical facility, be sure to specify the following questions in the clinic:
- Options for postoperative care, offered by the clinic, medical center.
- The required length of stay in the hospital after receiving the necessary treatment.
- The availability and possibility of purchasing medical products that will be required during the period of postoperative care.
- Ability to communicate with the hospital’s medical staff after returning to your home country.
- Requirements for a second visit.
Insurance and liability
An important factor in treatment abroad is the responsibility of doctors and hospitals or clinics. Any treatment involves a risk. Before the trip, be sure to specify the following points in order to avoid misunderstandings:
- Is the liability of the doctor insured?
- Is there a provision in the contract for insurance in the event of a medical mistake? What is the insurance coverage in such cases?
Accommodation and other non-medical factors
When choosing the place of residence, it is necessary to consider the following factors:
- Accommodation options offered by a medical center or hospital. Do they offer their own housing or have partners with whom they actively cooperate?
- Distance to the hospital
- Is the transport service provided from the place of residence to the hospital and back? Do they provide transfer service from the airport and to the airport?
- What types of meals are offered at the hotel?
The basic information that you need when choosing a hospital, you can be provided by a health tourism company, with whom you have signed a contract or the medical institution itself. However, do not forget that those people who have already undergone a course of treatment in your chosen hospital can only give the most informative reviews to you.