The Role of Medical Tourism Facilitators

Medical tourism is on the rise, and it’s not going anywhere! With the rise in medical tourism, there has also been a rise in the number of medical tourism healthcare facilitators and agencies. In fact, the Medical Tourism Association reported that 74% of patients would prefer to use a medical tourism facilitator to organize their trip. These facilitators simplify the process for both patients and hospitals. In addition, they can help provide patients with a sense of trust and calm when beginning their medical tourism journey. If a facility is approved and used by a reputable facilitator, the patient will be more likely to trust it. When a person is traveling to a foreign country to receive medical care, trust is of the utmost importance! Just what is the role of a medical tourism facilitator, and how important are they in the industry?

Why Facilitators Exist

Medical tourism facilitators serve as a gateway into medical tourism for patients who may be cautious of the industry. In some circles, medical tourism still has a reputation for being dangerous, something where operations are completed in questionable facilities by practitioners with little experience. This is as far from the truth as you can get! The medical tourism that so many people across the globe are doing looks almost exactly like visiting a hospital at home would – only in a foreign country! The benefit of going through a medical tourism facilitator is that they have already vetted each hospital, surgery center, and practitioner that they partner with. They are truly on your side, as advocates for your care. 

Facilitators and agencies provide a sense of professionalism in an industry that is often believed to need more regulations. These companies perform services such as helping patients choose a facility, connecting them with their doctor before their trip, and booking their travel and accommodation. These are certainly tasks that a patient could do on their own, but most prefer to leave it to the professionals! 

In addition to serving as the patients’ advocate, facilitators are also the hospital’s recruiter in a sense. By partnering with reputable medical practitioners and facilities, medical tourism agencies and facilitators increase their business by sending patient after patient the hospital’s way. With greater inflow of international patients, medical facilities and hospitals can only increase their standing in the medical tourism industry. It is in their best interest to get involved with these facilitator businesses! 

Resources 

It’s clear to see how important medical tourism facilitator businesses are within the industry! If you are a patient considering traveling abroad for medical care, consider checking a database such as the IMTJ’s (International Medical Travel Journal) list of facilitators and agencies all over the world.

Medical Tourism Facilitators Need Insurance Too 

We can help provide your medical tourism agency with group plans to benefit your customers. Please reach out to us today for more information!

Medical Tourism Facts: Canada

In part due to the nature of their universal health care, Canadians often face longer wait times for medical procedures. The wait for an elective surgery is one of the longest that a Canadian patient can face. This is why more and more Canadians are turning to medical tourism to get top quality care without waiting months on end for an opening. 

Why Do Canadians Choose Medical Tourism? 

Aside from bypassing long “lines” for procedures, why would a Canadian patient choose to travel abroad for medical care? Similar to patients from other countries, one big draw is the cost savings. In Canada’s universal health care system, not everything is without cost; provincial healthcare plans do not cover dental services, elective surgeries, cosmetic work, or plastic surgery. These are some of the most common types of care that medical tourists choose to travel abroad for! 

On top of these reasons, Canadians also enjoy the added bonus of indulging in a well-deserved vacation as they recover from their medical procedure. The tourism aspect of medical tourism is an attractive pull for patients of all nationalities. By traveling to an exciting, foreign destination to receive medical care, Canadians get to enjoy sights that they cannot find at home. A tropical vacation and reduced-cost medical care? It’s a great deal. 

Many patients are wary to engage in medical tourism because of the associated risks. While risks do exist, medical tourists can put their minds at ease by investing in complications insurance for themselves and their travel partner. We can help. 

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Medical Tourism and Financial Savings

If you’re interested in medical tourism, you may have heard that you can achieve up to 90% cost savings by traveling abroad for your elective procedures. MedHalt reported that cost savings are the driving factor for 80% of people who choose to engage in medical tourism. However, while you can save money by going to another country for medical care, the amount you save varies greatly depending on the country you go to and the procedure you have done. Here are some financial factors to consider when planning your medical tourism experience.

Choose the Right Country 

Some countries offer greater cost savings to medical tourists. However, you must still factor in the cost of travel and accommodation – lower cost savings in one country may actually prove to be the best deal once you factor in these additional expenses. MedHalt reports that Mexico, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Taiwan, and Turkey offer the highest levels of cost savings, ranging anywhere from 45% at the lowest to 90% at the highest. They rank the countries of South Korea and Singapore as moderate savings, with a range of up to 45%. Depending on where you are traveling from, a country with “moderate” cost savings could prove the best deal for you. Just make sure to do your research and do the math! 

Perform a Comparative Analysis 

Undergoing medical tourism can be very rewarding, both in the satisfaction of having good medical work done and in the cost savings. However before you pack your bags and jet off to a foreign country, make sure that it is actually the right decision for you. You will need to perform thorough research on what your desired procedure would cost you to have it performed at home. Speak to local medical providers and to your insurance company, if you have insurance. Compare your findings against the costs of medical care abroad plus your travel and accommodation costs. In most cases, you will find that engaging in medical tourism is the most cost effective option overall, but you always want to be certain before making the move to go abroad. 

Consider Opportunity Cost 

This can go both ways. As mentioned above, you need to acknowledge the cost comparisons between having your medical procedure performed at home and having it done abroad. However, there is one aspect that was not touched on above. This is opportunity cost. For example, if you have your medical procedure performed near your home, you may miss a few days of work but depending on the procedure, it should not be too extensive. However when you go to a foreign country to have medical work done, and perhaps to convalesce as well, you will likely be missing much more work days than if you had stayed home. Again, do the math and figure up these expenses to see whether engaging in medical tourism is truly the best value for you. In most cases, it likely will be. Another aspect of medical tourism is, of course, the tourism aspect! In regards to opportunity cost, you could weigh the costs of missing work and traveling abroad against the projected costs against the anniversary vacation with your spouse that you’ve been wanting to take. If you wrap your medical treatment and a wonderful vacation together in one, you’ve created opportunity cost savings. 

Medical Tourism Insurance 

If you find yourself needing medical tourism complications insurance, we are your premier resource. Please reach out to us today to receive a quote

Is Medical Travel Safe?

If you are considering going abroad to a foreign country to have medical work performed, one of the foremost questions on your mind is probably, “Is it safe?” The short answer is yes, but it depends on how you go about your journey. Here are 3 ways you can ensure your own safety when practicing medical tourism. 

Find a Reputable Medical Facility 

The facility you choose makes all the difference in how safe your medical tourism experience will be. There is no shortage of disreputable facilities that will pretend legitimacy then provide low-quality medical work or have predatory financial practices. This is why when you engage in medical tourism, you need to do substantial research to determine where to receive care. We recommend looking at facilities with JCI accreditation or ones recommended by the Medical Tourism Association and other professional organizations. You can trust these resources to help you find a safe hospital or facility to undergo your medical tourism treatment. 

Bring a Travel Companion 

When you’re in an unfamiliar country that you may never have visited before, you will probably feel more comfortable with a companion at your side. Your companion can not only make your recovery more enjoyable, but they can also keep an eye on the proceedings and perhaps even speak to the medical staff for you. You can make traveling easier, safer and more enjoyable by going with a friend or family member! 

Get Properly Insured 

If you’ve done any research into medical tourism, you’ll know that elective medical procedures performed abroad are typically not covered under your regular health insurance – if you have insurance at all. So when we say to get properly insured before undertaking medical tourism, we are not talking about your typical medical insurance coverage. Insurance for medical tourists is designed to protect you against financial loss in the event that you experience complications. There is also coverage available for your travel companion! 

Get a quote from us today. 

5 Types of People Who Should Consider Medical Tourism

Medical tourism – traveling abroad to receive medical care or procedures – attracts many types of patients. There are several types of people who may be especially suited to practicing medical tourism. These people include: 

Patients seeking cosmetic procedures like plastic surgery. 

Since cosmetic surgery and other procedures such as cosmetic dental work are often not considered “medically necessary,” they are known as elective procedures. Elective means that the patient chooses to have them done. This type of medical work is one of the most common reasons that patients engage in medical tourism. Since having medical work done in a foreign country can cost less (including travel and accommodation) than having it done in a patient’s home country, medical tourism is a great option for those looking to have some cosmetic work done. Depending on where the patient goes, the standards can be extremely high and the work amazing – all for less out of pocket than having the procedure done at home! 

Retirees who want procedures not covered under government sponsored health plans for seniors.

Many countries provide government sponsored health insurance plans for retired or senior individuals. However, this coverage has limits and often may not extend to cover high cost surgeries or experimental treatments. For older patients seeking this kind of care, medical tourism is a smart choice. As long as the patient is well enough to travel, the options are endless for receiving care abroad. 

Uninsured or underinsured individuals looking for cost savings. 

When someone has inadequate or no medical insurance, having medical procedures performed can be a huge deal. This is especially true of more involved procedures such as surgeries. When an uninsured or underinsured individual travels abroad to get medical work done, their total costs can easily be less than the cost of having the work done at home. There are still costs involved, but the cost reduction makes it well worth the expense for these individuals. 

Patients seeking alternative medicine or procedures not approved in their home country.

Even the highest developed countries may not have alternative medicine or homeopathic procedures that are widely available. Countries such as India, Mexico and Malaysia offer many popular alternative medicine procedures that international patients may not have access to at home – all for a great price. 

Adventure seekers who want to get a foreign vacation alongside their medical treatment.

One of the most attractive bonuses of engaging in medical tourism is the tourism aspect! With so many excellent destinations to choose from – different countries often specialize in different procedures – you can have a relaxing vacation in a beautiful spot while receiving top quality medical care. Compared with receiving care in your own country and recovering at home, getting to recover while on vacation abroad sounds pretty great.