How to compare different hospitals abroad?
How to decide where to go when looking for a hospital to get the best value and most appropriate treatment abroad? How to compare different countries, different cities and different individual clinics? Which factors a patient must look for in order to make an accurate and fair comparison?
As a patient that begins to make a research about your treatment abroad, you will find out that there is an “ocean” of clinics worldwide that offers the kind of medical service that you need. The main question is “at what level is the provided service?”. In order to make your choice, you have to narrow down your options before you start to compare hospitals.
You should think about what your priorities are and narrow your “list” by using factors such as:
- Quality of services
- Country healthcare standards
- Safety and security
- Quality of healthcare infrastructure
- Quality of tourism infrastructure
- Tourism experience opportunities.
You should decide what you want from your health travel and draw up a shortlist that meets those requirements.
Safety is not an option, is the first priority, when comes to health issues. Accreditations, licence by state authority, reviews, reputation, doctor’s qualifications and experience are some of the data that may show you a reputable hospital, clinic or doctor who is the best for your procedure.
Country’s healthcare standards
In many cases the standards in which a country’s healthcare system operates are the basis for a good outcome without complications and infections. Strict standards for licensing hospitals and doctors work in favor of the patient, ensuring that the medical procedure is carried out in the best possible conditions, announcing the best result possible. The patient may look for example at the WHO’s (World Health Organization) assessment to determine the level of healthcare system’s efficiency of a country. Many times it will come as a surprise finding that Greece’s rank (rank 14) is well above that of Canada (rank 30), Australia (rank 34) or the USA (rank 37).
A medical tourism trip has a double aspect as it needs medical services and tourist services at the same time. The patient often travels with a companion. In addition, a medical trip can be a chance to visit a well-known tourist destination that you and/or your companion have always wanted to. Thus, for the journey to be successful, both for the patient and his companion, the country of destination must be a remarkable tourist destination with high-level tourist infrastructure, services and activities.
Total cost comparing
An important choice factor that a patient needs to compare is the cost. It is crucial to compare like for like across the whole cost of your trip, not just the treatment’s cost. The comparison must be “fair”, as you have to compare the cost and services level on similar things and not a 5-star hotel in Greece to a 3-star hotel in Poland. Remember that medical tourism includes accommodation costs, eating out, local transport and any other expenses, and multiplying by two if you are taking a partner or companion with you.
Make a choice
Many times the patient feels confused as he or she feels like swimming in an ocean of endless information. As one searches, more and more details are discovered. There is a certain point that a decision should be made as the important thing is the patient to go through the procedure and solve his problem. In such cases there are two escape routes. The first is to decide what the most important factors are for the patient, to focus on them and make the decision, and the second is to trust a medical tourism expert (medical tourism coordinator) leaving on him that decision on which hospital or doctor is appropriate for his own case.
Inevitably, comparing hospitals, doctors, clinics etc will always involve finding a balance between several factors. For example, cost may be important to you, but you may still feel that paying a little more is worth it for a better quality clinic. Similarly, you may not feel it is necessary to have the most modern equipment available, but you will still want a certain standard.
Be sure that is practically impossible to find out everything about your shortlisted hospitals but to feel safe you need to find yourself in a position to compare them fairly and accurately in order to find the best package of benefits at the best value price.