Added Value or Waste of Money?
The medical tourism and tourism medicine market is an increasing but also challenging market. Patients have particular needs when undergoing treatment abroad. Pre-, on-site- and post-treatment take place in different countries and need to be managed to assure high quality and cost-effective medical care during all phases of the treatment process. By Angeliki Katsapi.
The medical service structure and the operational and quality levels differ among countries depending on each country’s living standards, current regulatory, financial and organisational conditions. Moreover, quality is always relative due to the individual perception and culture and also due to the scientific or professional standards that are implemented.
Furthermore, difficulties in international patient management arise as a result of cultural differences, language barriers but also legal issues, a different understanding of medicine or an interruption of cross-border procedures, for example, in the frame of the provision of reliable information and documentation in the pre-treatment stage.
The processes and procedures associated with the treatment of international patients need to be defined, implemented and realised in the frame of the healthcare facility’s Total Quality Management System (TQMS).
General hospital accreditation systems are an excellent basis for the facility’s quality management but do not cover the quality criteria and respective management needed to map the international patient care cycle and associated processes e.g. before and after the treatment onsite.
Proper management of international medical tourist services as demanded by specialised medical tourism certification programs can bridge the gap between the international patients’ demands and the hospital’s requirements for the provision of these services. At the end, both sides will benefit by achieving their objectives.
The Pan-African Health Tourism Congress is scheduled to take place from 7-9 June at the Umfolozi Hotel Casino Convention Resort, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal. Aside from acting as catalysts for Health Tourism development while addressing ‘brain regain’ amongst other important issues, the idea for the Pan-African Health Tourism Congress was to serve as a motivator and catalyst:For continent-wide Health Tourism development
- For continent-wide Health Tourism development
- To prompt African governments to improve the quality of services at public sector facilities
- To help incentivize health sector professionals of the African diaspora to return home and capitalise on the opportunities opening up for the development of Health Tourism.
For more information visit the PAHTC2017 website at www.panafricanhealthtourismcongress.com, or contact Ashley Santos on +27 (0)11 436 9014, or email her at [email protected]. Join the conversation on Twitter @PAHTC2017
About the author: Ms Angeliki Katsapi is an internationally active certified auditor for quality and safety management systems in healthcare and medical tourism services. She is an assessor for Temos International and the Managing Director of Temos Hellas.