Q & A International Travel for Medical Purposes


Sanivisit is a Company dedicated to the facilitation of Medical Tourism, and is located in Reston, Virginia, USA. Sanivisit provides a complete VIP service; helping the patient schedule a travel itinerary and coordinating all logistical details associated with the medical procedure and vacation. Sanivisit has partnered with Clinica Colsanitas S.A., a premier medical provider based in Colombia, and one of the top healthcare organizations in Latin America.

Q: Tell us how you define Medical Tourism.

A: Medical Tourism takes place when people who reside in one country travel to another to receive medical, dental and/or surgical care, and are inclined to travel to obtain their perceived value. That value includes faster access to treatment, a higher level of quality health care, advanced research and technology or a value in cost.

Q: How many Americans are traveling to obtain health care abroad?

A: Numbers are hard to come by, but according to some estimates, no less than 500,000 Americans go abroad each year to get advanced medical care from more affordable hospitals and clinics in countries like Colombia, India or Thailand.

Q: How much can one save by going this route?

A: The Journal of Financial Planning estimates that savings may range from 50 to 95 percent of the U.S. cost. Even factoring in the cost of airfare, hotel, rehabilitation and follow-up, local taxes and other incidentals, the cost reductions are substantial. One should ask a trusted Medical Tourism facilitator or an internationally recognized hospital for a breakdown of its quote before proceeding.

Q: What precautions should a patient take before embarking in such a trip?

A: A few recommendations include checking to see if there are patient testimonials available and if you could perhaps contact the patient that gave the testimonial as they were once in your shoes. Also, educate yourself on the licensing requirements, accreditation and best practices established by the destination and how the medical professional you are evaluating measures up.

Q: What are the typical services offered by a medical tourism facilitator and what value does it bring to the patient?

A: The Medical Tourism Facilitator provides you access to a selection of medical, ophthalmological and dental procedures delivered by highly qualified medical professionals in world-class facilities at international locations. Many offer customized, VIP services in the packages available. You will likely be escorted from the moment you arrive at the airport until you are ready to go home. Facilitators can arrange access to Private VIP waiting rooms at the hospital, dedicated driver, concierge services, guided tours and much!

Q: What are the typical services offered by a medical Tourism Facilitator?

A: At the point of origin you will have a dedicated case manager appointed to serve as your liaison with your hospital and your physician of choice as well facilitating communication between your home physician and your destination physician. He or she will also be your travel and logistics guide before you depart.

With regard to your needs at the point of destination, the medical tourism facilitator will help you choose the accommodation that fits your needs and, through a local agent, assist you to find foreign language interpretation services, if needed, as well as assist with connectivity, local transportation, appointment coordination, etc.

Q: Are there any other reasons why people chose an overseas destination to seek health care?

A: Patients may be inclined to travel to offshore to have procedures that are not widely available in their own countries. For example, stem cell therapy for any one of a number of problems may be unavailable or restricted in industrialized countries but may be much more available in the medical tourism marketplace. Some patients, particularly those undergoing plastic surgery or seeking fertility treatments, choose to go to medical tourism destinations because they are more confident that their privacy and confidentiality will be protected in that setting.

Q: What’s behind the dramatic cost benefits from obtaining health care abroad?

A: The primary reason that medical centers in developing countries are able to provide healthcare services inexpensively is directly related to the nation’s economic status. Indeed, the prices charged for medical care in a destination country generally correlate with that nation’s per capita gross domestic product, which is a proxy for income levels. Accordingly, the charges for healthcare services are appropriate for the level of economic development in which the services are provided. Low administrative and medical legal expenses for overseas practitioners also contribute to the affordability of offshore medical care.

About the Author

Sanivisit International LLC (http://www.sanivisit.com) is based in Northern Virginia and may be contacted toll free at 1-877-836-3233

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