How to Choose the Right Medical Tourism Agency
How do travellers plan their holiday? Some travellers do it on their own; some people use a travel agent to arrange for flights, transfers, hotels and everything in between.
When it comes to traveling abroad for medical treatment, you can do the same by using a medical tourism agency to help put a comprehensive package together that includes everything you need for your medical trip for one price.
There are many factors such as prospective stay, communication between the patient and the doctor—which are also part of the agency’s responsibility.
However before you decide on the medical tourism company, you need to do proper planning and conduct a thorough research on your doctor and medical tourism destination to ensure you will a take a safe and a successful medical trip.
Do’s and Don’t of using a medical tourism agency
1- DO plan ahead—When traveling at peak tourist times, you will be competing for treatment with other medical travelers and health tourists as well as leisure tourists for hotel space. Most doctors have limited slots and have full schedules, so it’s wise you plan ahead and decide on your medical tourist company fast enough to secure your spot.
2- DO your homework—Research your treatment and healthcare services offered in your medical tourist destination. Consider all the facts and figures related to the surgery. Look into all the possible alternatives and costs; and avoid making any snap decision.
3-DO consult with the doctor—After deciding on your medical tourism agency, makes sure to ask for a pre-consultation with the appointed doctor. Ask for the doctor’s CV, credentials, awards, years of experience, patient’s reviews—only then you should go ahead with discussing the complete plans with the agency.
4- DON’T just rely on the internet for your research—Read patient testimonials, patient ratings and additional sources of information. Be wary of advertising gimmicks that are used to promote certain hospitals, which often contain outdated or inaccurate information especially about staff and costs.
5- DO get everything in writing—All the correspondence and communication with you the medical tourism company should be done in writing. Before you embark on a medical trip, you should know your costs, procedures, dates and times of the consultation and surgery, number of nights in the hospital—and contact names and telephone numbers your family and loved ones can use to reach you.
6- DO get a final price quote—Before packing your bags and traveling across borders, ask for a final quote by the agency regarding the estimated cost of the entire trip. Plan and ask for complete itinerary that entails all the post-operative care packages, accommodation details and travel.
Advantages of using a medical tourism agency
- Knowledge and expertise. While you may know the right people and can choose the right hospital, it’s easier for the medical tourism companies to provide you with a wide range of options. One of the biggest advantages of having a medical tourism agency is the privileged access you get to their knowledge and experience. Instead sifting thought a mountain of information and endless clinics to find the best doctor, they will be able to recommend the best one for you, based on whatever criteria important to you. The relationship the medical tourism companies maintained over the years mean that you may get a reduced rate or a priority for your treatment date.
- Reduced package prices. Medical tourism agencies can exclusively get access to special deals and discounts not available to the public, including discounts on your treatment, special accommodation offers and, sometimes, free transport services. At FlyHealth, we offer our patients a cell phone with a local number to help make communication easier with us, or if they wish to stay in contact with their families and friends at home.
- Customized medical packages. Not only do medical tourism companies connect you with the right medical care center, they also handle the entire consolidated plan from travelling to the medical destination to travelling back to the native country after the treatment. By choosing a specific package, everything will be included—treatment cost, hotel accommodation, transfers in the city and interpretation services—so it will be easier to budget for your trip and you will have no hidden costs.
- Patient host. Upon reaching the medical destination, a guide associated with the agency is assigned to every patient. The patient helps in the smooth running of your treatment, interpreting your communication with doctor, if needed, and helping in custom barriers and being at your beck and call during your stay for treatment.
- Peace of mind. Choosing a medical tourism agency also gives you the comfort and convenience that you will have someone on call during your stay to sort out any problems. Rest assured that as soon as you arrive in your medical destination—from the initial ‘meet and greet’ at the airport, to the constant support and advice throughout your trip—knowing that there’s someone on your side and speaks your language in a foreign country.
Heeding to these tips will help you choose the right medical tourism agency and you will be well on your way to a smooth surgery and exciting medical trip overseas. We wish you a safe and successful medical trip.