Medical Travel – How It Works?
Medical tourism is complex and very responsible, because you have to work with human health. But the marginality of such tours for a travel agent is high: the prices are high, tourists are interested and do not run around in search of discounts.
What is medical tourism like?
In general, as experts say, there are two versions of medical tourism — easy and complex.
Easy – check up-examination of the body during rest. The procedure is as follows: the tourist is picked up from the hotel in the morning, brought to the clinic, where, together with an interpreter, they help to pass all examinations. On the same day, or at least the next day, the results are given, which the specialist comments on and additionally gives recommendations on nutrition, physical activity, a healthy lifestyle, and so on. Then the tourist is brought to the hotel by transfer. This allows not only to identify diseases at the stage of development, when there are no obvious symptoms, but also to identify genetic diseases that may develop in the future.
Complex — performing operations and complex treatment. After all, there are even such medical services as plastic surgery or, for example, a sex change. In this case, travel agencies work with a specific situation of a therapeutic nature. And here it is really necessary to prepare for a huge amount of information and nuances.
How to work in medical tourism?
A tourist will not come to the first company that comes along. If you seriously decide to make money on this type of tourism, then most likely, first of all you will need to think about where you will get customers. This can be cooperation and cross-marketing with medical centers in your region or appropriate promotion on the Internet.
According to experts, the first thing a travel agency needs to know is that not every patient who applies will become a medical tourist. People are often driven by curiosity, especially when it comes to treatment abroad. Even a start-up company will be able to assess the seriousness of intentions, for example, by how specific the questions of a potential client are. And then the company decides for itself whether it is worth processing this request in detail, negotiating with clinics, or simply you can limit yourself to general information and approximate prices + medical flights cost.
In communicating with the client, it is important to be able to correctly remove the request. Find out from the tourist what kind of service he needs: check-up examination, SPA procedures, treatment or even surgery with surgical intervention. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the wishes of the client, his state of health, existing diseases in order to assess possible contraindications during the passage of programs. Warn the tourist that everyone who goes on vacation with treatment should know about the state of their health, and it is better to consult with the doctor.
After it becomes clear what exactly a tourist needs, you can choose the appropriate institution. As experts say, in every country you can find treatment for almost any disease. Competent doctors, high-tech equipment, decent service are now everywhere. Experts note that the question is not in which country what is better treated, but in which clinic of a particular country a particular disease is better treated.
For more productive work, every company that intends to seriously engage in medical tourism should have in its arsenal a set of clinics that provide high-quality medical services in different price categories.
When choosing an organization, as a rule, agencies should focus on several indicators at once, such as the patient’s solvency, distance from the country of permanent residence, the possibility of transportation, availability of an accessible environment, language proficiency, personal preferences and much more.
According to experts, the main thing here is the ability to navigate the proposed product. To do this, organizations conduct training or, at a minimum, provide information about their services on the website or by phone. Many clinics offer partners a favorable commission. If the choice stops at several objects, it is worth calling each one and talking at the request of the tourist. They will also tell you about the necessary package of documents. In each case, it will be different, and it will depend on what the patient has applied for, and how accurate a consultation he plans to receive before the trip.
You need to understand that any cost of treating a particular disease that the organization will set will not be final. It depends on the completeness of the diagnostic materials provided, as well as the presence of additional identified concomitant diseases and their degree of complexity. The exceptions are standard check-up examinations and some types of rehabilitation. In this matter, we should not forget about the cost of tickets, since an inexpensive operation in one country can lose to a competitor due to logistics.
Note that there is no additional insurance for tourists traveling abroad for medical purposes. There are features of cooperation with insurance companies in each country, which can be found out if necessary. More often this applies to treatment within the country. Medical insurance programs are valid only for citizens of the country, and not for tourists.
Full support is provided to the patient throughout his stay in the clinic. Most often, he is accompanied by an interpreter who helps in solving all issues. In addition, he is provided with full medical support and supervision. In some clinics, he can be provided with transfer services from the airport to the hotel, from the hotel to the clinic and back, ground and air ambulance services.
It is important to understand that if we are talking about serious treatment, then the tourist does not remain alone after returning home. After passing the treatment program, each client receives a set of recommendations, compliance with which gives a prolonged effect of treatment. If necessary, the patient stays in touch with doctors and clinic staff, who provide full assistance in solving emerging issues.
Tags: medical tourism