Author: Daniel Benzler
As we all know Medical Tourism is growing exponentially in many countries around the world like India, Thailand, and Mexico. With this growth, Medical Tourism has given way to a new type of professional agency known as ”Medical Tourism Facilitators”. Over the last three or four years, thousands of these companies have popped up, most sporting names synonymous with health and travel. They function much like a travel agency, requesting and obtaining passports, booking flights, and arranging a medical tourism patient’s lodging, transportation and tours. The key difference, of course, is that they also serve as the liaison or mediator between the patient and the international hospital and doctor. In effect, it is the facilitator’s job to repackage the medical provider’s service offering, make it more appealing, and then guide you along the medical tourism process.
Sounds great right? Under the right instances the advantage of a one-stop Medical Tourism shopping experience can greatly reduce the headache involved in the planning process.
But medical tourism facilitators come in all shapes and sizes, and, looking at their websites, it is difficult to accurately determine the real scope and quality of the services offered. As with most emerging industries, there will be a multitude of companies – some little more than one man operations, promising the world, without a regulatory entity making sure they deliver the goods. The internet only amplifies this problem as one website looks as good as another.
As exemplified by the recent article “The Unholy Nexus”, Kuldeep Chaudhary shares his view on these Non-Accredited Medical Tourism Facilitators and the demand for industry regulation.
…Their [Illegitimate Facilitators] only qualification is their nationality and their ability to speak the language of their
country. Most of them in India are on student or tourist visa and make more money than the CEO of any mid size company in the country. They are the `pimps’ of the Indian Healthcare. They have free access to the chambers of the most distinguished doctors at top hospitals while accompanying hapless patients from their own country. In the name of Medical tourism, they, in collusion with the hospitals make fool of the patients who do not understand anything that goes around in the alien land.” – Kuldeep Chaudhary
“It is high time that the healthcare industry does self regulation in this regard and weed out these middlemen from the business of Medical Tourism before the image of Indian Healthcare is damaged internationally beyond retrieval. The hospitals on their part should have direct marketing people for bringing in the patients from these countries, should concentrate on their branding, organize activities like CME in the target countries and if they have to make partners, then they should look at the qualifications of the facilitators and their legality to do business in India. All the hospitals should come out with their International Tariffs which should be published on their websites and other literature. There should be no case by case quotations which allows malpractice on the part of the facilitators as well as the doctors…”
- Kuldeep Chaudhary
With these unfortunate developments in Medical Tourism such organizations like the Medical Tourism Association offer certification programs for legitimate Medical Tourism Facilitators who are there to really aid in the process. For medical tourism patients these certifications offer assurance that high standards of safety and quality of care are in place. Certification shows that the Medical Tourism Facilitator cares about delivering quality services to its customers. It’s kind of like a guarantee that the organization’s services have been awarded because they have delivered positive results.
A previous article featured in the Health Tourism Magazine – “Medical Tourism Facilitator Certification ~ How to Gain Credibility in the Medical Tourism Industry” the author Alex Piper describes the thorough process of certification by the Medical Tourism Association.
The Medical Tourism Facilitator Certification Process is very exhausting in its diligence of inspection. Companies that seek the certification have to demonstrate acumen in a multitude of areas. The foundation upon which the company is built; its ownership, financing and management structure have to be displayed. The method and diligence by which it goes about fulfilling its duties also have to be displayed for inspection. How the company markets itself and the content of its marketing materials are also carefully scrutinized . In short, every aspect of the company is assessed. It is a grueling 120 day process. In the particular case of Debson, where our distinctive competence is the use of Telehealth in various patient care areas such as the area of aftercare, the certification vigorously examines the company protocol in that regard. Aftercare and Follow Up protocols have to be established and it has to be demonstrated that the company can dispense these duties with quality and consistency…” – Alex Piper
Alex then goes on about how vital the certification was for his already established company, think about how beneficial it could be to a small “mom and pop’s” facilitation organization. In conclusion, the decision of finding the right Medical Tourism Facilitator can be a confusing and maybe frightening process, but with a little help from certified facilitator a patient of Medical Tourism can go through the process with some peace of mind.
For more information on Medical Tourism Certification’s please visit >> MedicalTourismAssociation.com
Articles Featured in this post:
The Unholy Nexus by Kuldeep Chaudhary