Medical tourists are people who travel to another country to avail of medical treatment that may or may not be available in their country. Many times the huge expenditure associated with medical treatments in their own country is the reason why people travel abroad. The rise in medical tourism can be attributed to the accessibility of good quality healthcare services, reduced waiting period along with affordable packages, and support of the tourism department.
People from around the world visit India to get their medical procedures done. In June 2019, 720 thousand foreign tourists visited India with a 2.2 % growth rate than the previous year. India is one of the best destinations due to the quality of facilities and services at affordable prices. The government of India is also focused on promoting medical and wellness tourism on digital and social media.
If you are seeking medical treatment in India, the first step is choosing the right hospital. Many renowned hospitals providing that best quality in patient-care management are creating an outstanding medical experience for a medical tourist and attracting more number of patients every year.
Table of Contents
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Things to Consider while choosing the right hospital
- Check Hospital Credentials
- Are the Doctors Board Certified?
- Medical Facilities available
- Hospital’s Overall Reviews
- Personalized care
- Hospital Policies and Procedures
- Medical Insurance
1. Check Hospital Credentials
Many hospitals in India have international accreditations offering international standard services.
Medical Center Certification
The most important thing to keep in mind while selecting the right hospital is that you choose accredited hospitals by international organizations for example the Joint Commission International (JCI). JCI Accreditation: JCI is the leading medical accreditation organization for medical facilities in the US and across the globe.
These certifications ensure that the hospital offers quality treatment and patient care services.
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua)
- National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare (NABH) India
- National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) India, etc.
Reputation and success rate
Ask your tour facilitator about the reputation of the hospital as well as the success rate for the medical treatment you are seeking.
Other factors to consider:
- Good communication skills of medical staff
- State-of-the-art facilities
- Also, choose the hospital that specializes in the medical procedure you seek treatment with.
Choosing the best hospital will ensure successful outcomes and greatly reduce the possibilities of something going wrong.
2. Are the Doctors Board Certified?
The key attribute of the best hospital is well qualified and certified doctors. The following information will help you check the foreign doctor who will perform your medical procedure abroad.
- Is your doctor board certified?
The certification by reputed healthcare organizations demonstrates the doctor’s expertise in their specialist fields. Additionally, the membership with American or International medical societies provides you with the assurance that you will receive the best care.
- Is your doctor qualified to perform the medical surgery you need?
Doctor’s qualification in the field increases the success of the treatment and minimizes complications. Check if your doctor received their medical degree from a reputed institute.
- How many years of experience does he/she have in the speciality?
Also, Research about the Institution and duration of training of your specialist. Check if he/she underwent any special training courses related to the procedures they offer.
By choosing the right doctor one can ensure safe treatment and good results.
3. Medical Facilities available
It is always better to select a multi-speciality hospital that offers all facilities under one roof. This way all required facilities such as medical tests (X-rays, pathology, MRI, etc.), blood banks, ICU facilities with sufficient capacity are easily accessible. Before selecting the hospital to ensure that it has:
- Highly experienced medical professionals and well trained medical staff- The team of experts is known for providing exceptional pre-and post-care patient services. Other features associated with premium hospitals are the welcoming and caring staff.
- Medical staff is well versed with English- A familiarity with foreign languages and the availability of translating services are provided to ensure a comfortable experience for overseas patients.
- Availability of latest technology and modern instruments for performing the required procedure- Many hospitals in India make heavy investments in new equipment and training purposes. Minimally invasive technologies such as laparoscopic surgery or the latest robotic technologies are offered for faster recovery and lessen complications.
- Availability of recovery facility care- Ensuring a high level of care for quick recovery.
- Counselling support– With professional licensed counsellors and certified therapist to guide you during your treatment.
- Availability of affordable accommodation in the nearby area
- Availability of pharmacy
- Convenient location from the international airport with solid infrastructure
Most hospitals in India are prepared to offer the best care for medical tourists to experience the ‘new normal’ situation.
4. Hospital’s Overall Reviews
India has a large number of private hospitals, many of which have the highest standards in the world. If you are considering medical treatment in India, the best thing is to get as much information as possible about the standard of care and facilities offered, accreditation, and many other aspects.
You could search for reviews on authentic sites and compare the ratings to the benchmarks of quality care. You can ask your medical facilitator or friends or families who have undergone this treatment in a foreign country. You can also search for information on the internet.
- Recent patients reviews about the hospital
- Hospital with best ratings for particular medical treatment
- Specialist with best reviews for particular medical treatment
5. Personalised care
Personalized treatment is one of the most significant factors determining patient satisfaction. You must ensure that your selected hospital and doctor fulfil these conditions:
- If the doctor and other staff are warm and friendly
- If the doctor listens to your problems and understands your concerns
- Does he explain the test results and discuss the treatment plan with you, where you too play a role in deciding the best treatment?
- If medical staff are available to answer your queries?
- What type of aftercare service is offered? Is it easy to contact the medical staff abroad after returning home?
- Ensure that language is no barrier during your stay and hospital staff is fluent in English or translators are available if required.
- Prime hospitals offer accommodation and food as per the patient’s choice. This is done by considering the ethnicities, cultures, religious backgrounds of each patient. Hospitals ensure that patient’s experience is pleasant. Check if you can personalize the meal plans as per your needs.
6. Hospital Policies and Procedures
Each hospital has certain policies to maintain the standard of patient care, the reputation of the hospital, and prevent any legal issues. It’s essential to understand these hospital policies and regulations. Some of these policies include:
- Treatment- The hospital and/or doctor is bound is to treat every individual accepted both local and foreigner equally and without discrimination. The treatment plan is discussed with the patient and a decision is taken where the patient plays a major role.
- Patient privacy- The information about the patient’s history, current status, and treatment is kept confidential. The details of treatment along with all test results are shared with the client in case he/she wants to continue to follow up or further care in their own country. The information can also be shared in a language patient understands
7. Medical insurance
The cost of the treatment plays a major role in the medical tourism industry, right from selecting the country to the selection of doctors. Most of the leading health insurance provides sufficient international health insurance coverage. When you are travelling to India for medical treatment here are a few things you must check about your health insurance:
- Do you have international health insurance that covers the cost of the treatment?
- Does your insurance cover travel costs too?
- What additional costs need to be covered?
- What is the timeline of the insurance?
Standard policies cover medical treatment, any complications that occurred during the treatment, acute illness or injury caused during the visit, etc. You should be very attentive when choosing an insurance plan and insurance company and understand the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement. Enquire about additional conditions when travelling abroad for medical treatment such as:
- Required vaccination
- Restriction of stay, etc.
Many leading insurers are taking measures to expand their coverage to include international plans based on the affordability of healthcare in foreign countries. Choose insurance that offers full protection for high levels of comprehensive coverage.
Most of the information one needs to select the best hospital can be gathered by a medical facilitator or doing your research. Based on the reliable recommendations and in detail analysis you can select the right hospital in India.
Taking into account the facility and service quality only, India is a leading destination for medical tourists. While cost is a primary factor, overseas patients are often amazed by the superior personalized care they receive. The ease of electronic visa processing extended to 161 countries has made the entry process even easier for even more tourists.
Overall excellent patient care service, advanced medical equipment, alternative treatment methods, and affordable medical services make India the most popular medical destinations.