How can I compare different hospitals and clinics abroad? - GO.CARE Blog

How can I compare different hospitals and clinics abroad?

Author: Chí Hùng
Review Date: August 1, 2018 | Last Modified: September 25, 2019
How can I compare different hospitals and clinics abroad?

When choosing a healthcare provider for your medical trip, Go.Care advice you to make your decision based on these standards.

Choosing a medical institute for medical tourism

Medical tourism essentially means travelling abroad in order to acquire certain medical procedures and/or treatments. Choosing to pursue medical tourism, for any patient, is a major decision and usually requires a great deal of consideration from both the patient and their local doctor before the final call is actually made. Among the things to think about regarding the matter, the patient’s choice of medical institute is perhaps the most important factor because it will effectively decide the entire course of their treatment.

Nowadays, there is no shortage of hospitals or clinics that offer different medical services to foreign patients. However, it is exactly this diversity in choices that makes it important for patients to choose a medical institute that is suitable for their specific case, both in terms of treatment quality and other factors like costs and location. If you have been struggling to choose a hospital, here are some things to give you an idea of what to consider when choosing a hospital:

•   Accreditation: The hospital you are considering should at least have been locally or internationally recognized. This recognition comes in the form of accreditations, which can be accredited by international accreditation bodies such as the Joint Commission International (JCI), the Canadian Organization for the Accreditation of Medical Institutions (CCHSA), the Australian Council for Health System Standards (ACHS), the Trent Accreditation Scheme (TAS), the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ESQH), the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These accreditations can provide you with the necessary understanding of healthcare quality that the hospital provide without having to experience it yourself. Information on these accreditations can usually be found in the “About Us” section or sections of similar context on the website of the hospital.  

•   Affiliation: The affiliation of the hospital can also indicate its quality. Recognized medical affiliations include the Harvard Medical School, the Cleveland Clinic, and the John Hopkins.

•   Facility, equipment, and technology: Always make sure that the hospital you are going to choose has the needed facilities and technology in order to accommodate your treatment-related needs before, during, and after the medical procedures itself.

•   Doctors, surgeons, and hospital staffs: You should always thoroughly check the information of the doctors/surgeons from whom you will be receiving treatment and, if possible, that of other medical staffs. It is important for you to make sure that they have been properly trained, licensed, and are adequately qualified to carry out your treatment. You should also check if they have had previous experiences in performing the procedure that you are planning to have.

•   Safety profile: When choosing a hospital, you should also thoroughly check for their safety profile, which includes their statistics, success rates, previous accidents (if any), etc. You should also look for reviews and feedbacks of patients who have already been to the hospital for further references.

If you have zeroed in on different hospitals, your next step would be to compare between and to choose one among the selected few. Listed below are factors on which your comparison and ultimate choice should be based, as these aspects of a hospital are likely to affect your medical tourism experience.

Comparing the costs

An important factor to consider is the costs for which you are going to have to pay. Keep in mind that, unlike acquiring local treatment, you are going to have pay for several other expenses when travelling abroad. These expenses include accommodation fees, travelling fees, living fees, etc. If you have a limited budget and are thinking of medical tourism to save some money, make sure you take these expenses into account.

If you have already chosen to pursue medical tourism, you should compare the different price ranges offered at different hospitals. Keep in mind that the prices do not always indicate the healthcare quality provided at a hospital. Rather, they are often the results of several other factors that are specific to that hospital/clinic alone. That being said, you should never intentionally compromise your healthcare quality at any given cost, as this may even cost you more in the long run.

Comparing the staffs

You should also compare the qualifications and experiences of the hospital staffs between different institutes. While most of them tend to be qualified to a certain extent, some doctors may stand out for their past experiences, which may be highly important if you are going to take part in high-risk medical procedures. Additionally, you should also check for any recent development or training they may have had, in addition to their basic qualifications. Moreover, if you are going to have a surgery, you should look for the same information regarding the entire surgery team instead of only the main surgeon.

Comparing the facilities and technology

Good hospitals tend to update their facilities on a regular basis, which means the may have access to the latest medical procedures and methods specifically related to the ones you seek. As you compare one hospital to another, make sure you check with the hospital representatives in order to know more about the facilities available on-site and how they could be used in your treatment. It is not uncommon for patients to learn more towards hospitals that have the latest facilities, especially those relevant to the procedure in question.

Comparing the safety profile

In most cases, medical procedures are, unfortunately, not without risks. This makes it important for you to directly assess a hospital’s safety profile before making the final call. Reputable hospitals will often have their safety profile available on their website with clear and comprehensive statistics. These statistics should, in most cases include:

  • Complication (e.g. infection) rates
  • Success rates
  • Authorized inspections and reviews

There are, however, things to keep in mind when it comes to safety profiles of hospitals, as these statistics are not always as straightforward as they may seem. For example, a fertility clinic may have high IVF success rates because they are turning away cases with low success chances.

Go.Care will help you compare all the best hospitals and clinics in Asia for your medical trip.