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Medical tourism faciliator/agency

Medical tourism faciliator

Medical tourism faciliator (agency) is an intermediary organizing the treatment and supporting medical tourists. Its tasks include constant contact with the tourist on every stage of the travel, from choosing an offer to post-treament follow up. (Lubowiecki- Vikuk 2012) Medical tourist faciliator/agency should communicate clearly in the tourist’s language, know the region of stay of medical tourist and be able to react in crisis situations. The intermediary should be a kind, friendly, warm and understanding person. The intermediary must be experienced and must be able to adapt to the needs of the individual. (Białk-Wolf 2014) Scope of responsibilities of medical tourist faciliator/agency, he/she:
– helps choosing the best offer for a patient;
– helps taking care of eg. visa formalities (if required);
– contacts the clinic, fasciliates tests, medical history, schedules appointments;
– helps booking flights, a hotel room;
– can offer good deals and discounts on medical procedures;
– organizes transport from the airport to the hotel/clinic etc.;
– helps reduce language and cultural barrierS;
– you can contact him 24 hours if needed;
– can be a tourist guide, show tourist attractions, organize sight seeing in the city;
-monitors recovery process, organizes post-operative healthcare;
– sometimes his service is for free. (Semple 2011)

Not every intermediary provide all the above mentioned services, so if you want to hire him first you need to check the scope of his service. Unfortunately, according to patients opinions traveling through faciliator/agency can be hit or miss. Despite the benefits resulting from the services of medical tourism faciliator, some patients prefer direct contact with the clinic and dealing with all the formalities by themselves. This may be due to the negative experiences with intermediaries of the patient or his friends, family. If the patient deals with all the formalities by himself, he controls everything and he is assured that all the formalities have been taken care of. Before choosing medical tourism faciliator/agency carefully read the reviews, patients’ stories and terms of service. Be careful, these days anyone can launch a website, there were cases of fake medical tourism faciliators/agencies. If you plan to hire an intermediary I recommend you checking the members of Medical Tourism Association, but unfortunately there are only a few faciliators from Europe. If the intermediary helps you and suggests you an offer remember to verify the doctor/clinic by yourself. Before you provide the intermediary your medical records ask him about privacy policy and confidentiality. This information should be presented on the website, but according to the study Mason et al. only limited information regarding patient’s rights and confidentiality is often presented on the intermediaries’ websites. (Mason 2011)


References:

  1. Adrian P. Lubowiecki- Vikuk. Medical tourism as a form of manifestation of contemporary trends and tendencies in tourism. Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego Ekonomiczne Problemy Usług. 2012; 699(84):553-568.
  2. A. Białk- Wolf. Turystyka medyczna. Perspektywy rozwoju w woj. pomorskim. Gdańsk 2014
  3. Mark Semple. Medical Becoming a medical tourism fasciliator. 4th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress. 2011
  4. Mason A, Wright KB. Framing medical tourism: an examination of appeal, risk, convalescence, accreditation, and interactivity in medical tourism web sites. J Health Commun. 2011 Feb;16(2):163-77. Doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.535105.
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1 Comment

  1. farid says:

    it’s all about the M O N E Y.

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