Medical Tourism and Accreditation
When it comes to accessing healthcare, many people now vote with their feet.
Some elect to cross national borders and become a patient in another country. This phenomenon, known as medical tourism, is becoming increasingly common, although the precise numbers engaged in doing this depend upon what evidence you read and who is sourcing that evidence.
Many medical tourists will be heavily influenced by the costs of the treatment they are looking to access, and understandably so.
But perhaps even more important is whether or not the clinics and hospitals they are considering trusting with their health, and even their lives, are genuinely safe and fit for purpose, and the people who staff them appropriately educated, trained, experienced and credentialled, and remaining so.
If they are not, the medical tourist can end up becoming ill unnecessarily, or could even lose their life. Equally, is their adequate insurance/indemnity in place to ensure that a person injured through medical tourism receives a fair deal?
And there is the $64,000 question - just how does a lay member of the public, or a medical tourism facilitator or insurance company working on a medical tourist's behalf, assess and establish in an impartial and expert way if the healthcare providers they are looking at are worthy of consideration or not, and ensure that conflicts of interest are not playing a part?
Apart from personal recommendations from relatives and friends - and even then the expertise is usually lacking - pretty well the only way this can be done is through checking out if the hospital or clinic has chosen to invest in and put themselves successfully through independent expert-led clinical accreditation - such as what QHA Trent offers.
If they have, the hospital or clinic's web site and literature will usually display the appropriate logo, and their success in the accreditation process will be discussed openly.
(QHA Trent would like to acknowledge FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Hywards for providing the image on this page)