Thursday, December 14

Enabling Medical Tourism

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In traditional days, medical tourism was referred to travelling from less developed countries to the developed countries for advanced medical care that is unavailable in their own countries. This was something only the rich could afford to do. In the past several years ago, the cost of health care has gone up significantly in developed nations making several treatment options and surgeries unaffordable to the common man. It has come to a point where getting quality care from hospitals or clinics is something a majority of the middle class people in these developing nations can simply not afford.

Medical tourism has spurred the growth of a new type of travel – travel for surgeries. This was quickly coined as ‘medical tourism’ by the travel agencies. Patients now travel from the developed countries to some of the less developed ones looking for affordable treatment options without compromising on the quality.

Patients find that the cost of travel, stay and the treatment all put together only come to a fraction of the treatment cost in their own countries. However, this is currently done most often for standard procedures like Cardiac surgeries, joint replacement surgeries, cosmetic surgeries etc. Other factors that have led to increasing popularity of medical travel include the high cost of treatment and long waiting times for certain procedures.

Without the internet, it would have been near impossible for the common man to get information about hospitals offering the necessary services half way across the globe. Now all you have to do is use Google to find more information not only about the treatment options available but also where such treatment is provided anywhere in the world.

However, perceptions of medical tourism are not always positive because developed countries more advanced technology and high quality standards and so medical tourism was viewed as risky. However, advancement in technology and training has contributed to making India one of the top destinations for medical tourism. Patients are choosing hospitals in India more often as their ideal destination for several surgical procedures.

Advantages of medical tourism in India includes reduced costs, the availability of latest medical technology and a growing compliance on international quality standards as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face a language barrier in India. Many patients who come to India have already some exposure and confidence in Indian medical expertise unlike other developing countries. In fact, medical tourism is a growing sector in India and is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%.

Even medical institutions in India are now waking up to the fact that they need to engage their patients online and give them the information they need to make an educated and informed decision. Several hospitals and clinics now have websites of their own giving information both about their doctors as well as the treatment options and quality they provide.

In fact, the more visionary hospitals and clinics even have online appointment scheduling systems allowing patients to schedule appointments or directly contact the doctor from anywhere in the world. Services like Med Appointment allow patients across the world to search for hospitals and doctors based on their specialty and book appointments at any time – night or day.

Online services like Zocdoc and Med Appointment gives patients all kind of information they need about the hospitals so that they can make an informed decision of what treatment they going to be provided with and which hospitals to choose. And once they decide, an appointment can be made with just a few clicks online. Services like Med Appointment and Zocdoc bridge the gap between patients and healthcare centers making quality healthcare options accessible to everyone.

These online services gives patients to access Doctors calendar showing real time appointments. This system increases new patient traffic, saves staff time and helps to reduce cancellations as they can save time and can get greater efficiency. AS technology advances this online scheduling has made patient booking appointment process easier for both staffs and patients alike across the Globe.

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