Medical Tourism: how do you judge the quality of doctors and hospitals abroad?

People that are interested in getting medical treatment abroad should determine the about the quality of the doctors and hospitals they are interested in. When it comes to your health, nothing is more important than quality. The question is: how do you determine the quality. This is where the services of a health care facilitator, also known as a medical tourism company, plays a very important role. The better companies out there submit their potential partners to a very rigorous selection process and weed many of them out throughout the process. A good medical tourism company should select the best of the best with the goal to serve you better. What does ‘best of the best' really mean?

• Specific to the doctors, we look for the world's best doctors in their fields. These doctors are typically internationally trained physicians. What we look for are physicians that have received a significant amount of training in western countries such as the US, England or Australia. Part of our agreements is that these are the doctors that will treat you, if available. Not only does this provide you with the best medical care possible, but it also improves communications and you will feel much more at home. In many countries, the care that you will receive from your doctor will be much more personal and involved than what you are used to in the US.

• First of all, the hospital abroad needs to provide you with at least the same quality of care that you would receive in the US. We determine this in many ways. First of all, we research whether the hospital is JCI accredited. The JCI accreditation is given to hospitals that meet the stringent requirements that US hospitals also need to comply with. JCI stands for Joint Commission International and is the international division of JCAHO, the organization that accredits US hospitals. By selecting JCI accredited hospitals, we know that these hospitals and their doctors are at least as good as the US doctors and hospitals. We don't stop here, however and raise the bar much higher.

• Another criteria we use is whether our hospitals have a close affiliation with a leading US hospital. A good example of such a US hospital is Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins has been voted best US hospital for 16 years straight by US News and World Report. When we partner with a hospital that is affiliated with Johns Hopkins we know that Johns Hopkins goes through extensive quality assurance procedures on an ongoing basis. You directly receive the benefits of these relationships.

• State of the Art equipment. During our in person evaluations, we determine how advanced the medical equipment is in the hospitals that want to become our partner. We want our hospitals to have the latest equipment. As a result, our partner hospitals have the latest equipment such as PET-CT scanners and the best surgical components from the US. That results in a good diagnosis and ultimately a better outcome of the surgery.

• Experience dealing with international patients. Our partner hospitals are used to receiving patients from outside of their own country. The result of that is that you will be dealing with staff that is used to your specific needs such as dietary needs, will speak English and will help you wherever you need help.

A successful outcome of your surgery is what it ultimately comes down to. We do extensive research in this area as well and inquire about infection rates and success rates for specific procedures. If we decide to partner with a hospital, we are very proud to offer it to you knowing that you will receive high quality of care while at the same time saving significant amounts of money.
All of the points above are determined by doing extensive background research that takes several months. If the outcome of this research is positive, we visit the hospitals in person. We do not rely on emails and faxes when it comes to something that is this important. We visit the hospitals, meet the doctors, staff and senior management, determine whether you will feel at home, figure out all of the logistics such as transfer from the airport to the hospital, look at quality hotels and restaurants. To do this right takes time so we usually spend 2 to 3 days at each hospital that we visit.

About WorldMed Assist
Experts in medical tourism, WorldMed Assist's mission is to improve lives by helping patients receive high quality medical treatment abroad at affordable prices. WorldMed Assist coordinates and simplifies every aspect of care and travel. WorldMed Assist also provides medical tourism as an option for self-insured businesses seeking expanded and affordable healthcare options for employees. Surgeries in India, Turkey and other carefully selected destinations matched with the client's needs are significantly less expensive than in the U.S., yet delivered with the same or higher quality care and results as set by U.S. standards. Waiting times are virtually eliminated, track records are proven, and facilities are state-of-the-art. For more information, go to