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Korea Attracts Big 3 Medical Tourists

The three nations with the most Korea-bound medical tourists are China, the U.S., and Japan, according to industry data. Chinese medical tourists made up the largest share, with some 32,000 seeking treatment in Korea in 2012.

Medical Tourism Articles

7 Tips to Find a Hospital Abroad for Medical Tourists

05 July 2013


Medical tourists have a lot to consider when planning a trip abroad for healthcare. There’s a budget to think about, mental and physical preparations for the procedure one’s chosen, flights and accommodations to book, and, perhaps most importantly, how to find a hospital that meets their needs. Fortunately, as the industry has grown, a wealth of information about medical tourism is available, and there are various ways to seek it out.

Much of the information you need can be found online. A simple search for “find a hospital,” for example, provides links to a plethora of hospital review & rating sites. And loads of information is available through medical tourism “portals” which are independent, web-based firms that provide details about healthcare facilities around the world, and usually allow users to contact hospitals and clinics directly to find out specific information that’s important to them.

There are also websites for various medical tourism associations, such as the MTQUA (Medical Travel Quality Alliance), who recently released its top ten world’s best hospitals for medical tourists list. And, medical tourism facilitators have made their presence felt as one-stop shops functioning like traditional travel agencies, assisting you with all aspects of your healthcare travel, including providing input on your hospital decision.

7 Things to Consider When Searching for a Hospital


So what should you ask about? What should you look for? Here are some important things to consider when it’s time to find a hospital overseas:

1.  Accreditation
Is the hospital internationally accredited by a prestigious organization like JCI (Joint Commission International), and is it also approved by CCCP (Clinical Care Program Certification), which recognizes excellence in the treatment of specific diseases? These international accreditations go a long way towards indicating whether you’re dealing with a top-notch facility or not.

2.  Medical Specialties
Consulting industry reports such as the MTQUA’s - which outlined their top hospitals’ distinguishing features - is a good way to learn about a provider. If you are heading abroad for affordable hip-replacement surgery, for example, there may be better choices for you than a hospital that’s world-renowned for its cardiac care.

3.  Standards
Has the facility received an award for modern technology recently? Has it been in the news for an outbreak of infection? Is it safe, clean, and comfortable? Medical facilitators have a wealth of industry knowledge that they can share with you about what to expect from hospitals overseas.   

4.  Overall Reputation
Do they deliver excellent medical outcomes? Is it a private hospital that has a history of serving overseas patients? Is it known for providing excellent service (a compliment applied to many hospitals in Thailand, for example)? Check review and ratings sites which often provide first-hand, current accounts of patients’ experiences.

5.  Language Support
Do the doctors and staff speak your native language? Or do they have a translator in your language? Are medical records provided in your native language, or only the local language? Is your main point of contact fluent in your language and easy to reach?  

6.  Costs
What are the fees, and are they in line with what you budgeted? How, and when, must you make payment? Does your insurance cover you there (either your travel insurance, should there be complications, or your health insurance, if your plan at home covers medical tourism)?

7.  Partnerships
Does the overseas facility work in conjunction with any Western hospitals (such as India’s Artemis Hospital which works closely with New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)? How many of its doctors are American Board Certified or perform research with their colleagues in top European hospitals? These connections can reveal a lot about a facility’s professionalism and quality.

There is a lot of information available nowadays about medical tourism. You just need to know where to go to find it, and what to look for, in order to make your medical travel experience a success.





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