Medical Tourism refers to the process when patients travel from one country to another for better treatment facilities at a luxurious medical institution for affordable rates. Medical Tourism is a global practice, that includes hospitals and clinics in a diverse array of destination countries offering to treat international patients. India belongs to one of these destination countries. Bangalore in India is becoming one of the nascent medical tourism industries.
Bangalore which is officially known as Bengaluru, lies in the southern part of Karnataka. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 32°C. It is the fifth largest metropolis in India. It is also a knowledge hub, which includes exclusive institutes like the Indian Institute of Science, National Institute for Advanced Studies, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Space Research Organization, and many more. It also houses a large number of IT companies for which it is known as the ‘Silicon City’ of India. Due to its greenery, parks, and tree-lined streets, it is also called the ‘Garden City’ of India. Bangalore houses nearly 15 major hospitals that cater to international medical travel. Some have specialty services like orthopedics, oncology, and reproductive health, but most of them are multi-specialty hospitals.
Medical Tourism Facilitator
A Medical Tourism Facilitator comprises of four parts: Educator, Organizer, Bridge, and an Advocate. The Educator is the company which provides medical tourists with destination options or centers of excellence. Typically, they have a list of hospitals and doctors all over the globe along with information about the various medical procedures they promote and everything about the place. Medical Tourism Facilitators can be found all over the internet; but it is advisable that patients should work with companies that are officially recognized, certified and affiliated by organizations such as these Medical Tourism associations or rated by the Better Business Bureau.
An Organizer facilitates medical history, tests, medical complication insurance, etc, for provider assessment. It assists the medical tourists with scheduling with medical appointments, aftercare, etc and organizes their transportation, hotel/ medical center stay, and flights. A Bridge assist patients that might know of a destination or a provider of interest but not the time zone difference, who to contact or the language. An advocate is the representative of the patient who is in a foreign country and in a vulnerable position. It immediately addresses the issues of the medical tourists which arises in any part of the process.
Purpose of a Medical Facilitator
The work of a medical facilitator is both challenging and rewarding. There are a lot of logistical challenges that go into the successful management of a patient. The services they provide are designed to facilitate a smooth tourism medical process for both patients and medical facilitators and usually, include:
- Providing price quotes.
- Arranging the transfer of medical records.
- Coordinating video and conference calls between patient and surgeon.
- Collecting payment which not all facilitators do.
- Arranging travel logistics services such as passports, flights, lodging, and transportation.
- Providing a main point of contact while the patient is at the hospital.
- Following up with the patient after they return home.
With Bangalore being one of the top hubs for medical facilities, here is a list of some renowned medical tourism facilitators:
- ForeRunners Healthcare
- Medi Bridge India
- Mediniq Healthcare Pvt Ltd
- Global Treatment Services
- MediVoyage Health
A Medical Facilitator is nothing but a liaison or intermediaries between patients and medical care providers. Nowadays, a large number of medical tourists turn to medical facilitators for their help in order to undergo their treatment in a foreign country.