Access America - Protect Your Trip

Medical tourism certification trend

January 31st, 2013

With medical tourism becoming more mainstream each year there has been a rise in people and organizations calling for some type of certification for medical tourism destinations. On the surface this might seem like a good idea, but in practice does it actually add any value for medical tourists?

The idea is that people considering treatment overseas are naturally nervous about the quality of the health care they are going to receive. They want some assurances and they don’t really want to do a lot of investigation of their own about things they don’t know a lot about. So here come people and organizations ready to offer them those assurances, at a price to be extracted from the health care providers. As much as anything else this looks like another opportunity for shakedown operations to press overseas hospitals to pay up or be conspicuously omitted from their list of “certified” providers. Some of these new organizations want to certify everything and everybody involved, medical tourism facilitators, brokers, agents, hospitals, individual doctors, even hotels and airline companies. Many of these steps lend themselves to review sites, but certification? This seems rather overreaching but sure sounds like a good gig if you can extract money for it. Seeing that there may be a lucrative opportunity in this niche, there are now at least five organizations offering these types of certifications. That sort of fracturing is likely to make things rather confusing for patients. Medical destinations are unlikely to be interested in receiving certification from so many different organizations so patients will be left to decide which one(s) are meaningful. It will likely take quite some time for a shake out and consolidation to one or two certifiers that are trusted. And in the end why not just stick with JCI certification and do your own research for hotels and airlines.

Looking at it, it reminds one of the business model of the Better Business Bureau, an organization that extracts a fee from businesses to be listed and warns consumers when a business is not listed. But the BBB provides little to no real value for either the business or the consumer. If you’ve ever attempted to get some resolution through them you know first hand. And as a small business owner who has been contacted by the BBB and received the implied threat of being flagged as not BBB rated you know what a shakedown operation they are.

As the medical tourism certification operations battle for attention it is beginning to look very similar. Having their stamp of approval on a foreign hospital will give patients some comfort but whether or not that actually means anything in regards to outcomes will be a long unanswered question. We can also watch how those certification companies approach the foreign hospitals and clinics. If we see extortive type behaviors then I think that will make clear we can discount their stamp of approval or lack thereof.

Saved from Obamacare by Medical Tourism

January 30th, 2013

I frequently read Reason.com for their largely libertarian articles about U.S. politics and economy. The subject of medical tourism came up in one of their Reason TV pieces and they asked the question “Can medical tourism save us from Obamacare?” I don’t know about all of us but some of us for sure. For those Americans still trapped in the country there is no escape from the costs – you have to pay for insurance or you have to pay the penalty for not having insurance. But when the shortages of medical care becomes severe then those with means can take a trip abroad to get needed health care, as long as it is not an emergency situation.

For those who are happy expats then medical tourism is the ultimate escape from Obamacare. For one, we don’t pay (we are considered covered where we live). And if we live in one of the many popular expat countries that is also a medical tourism destination they we get our care right at home.

In the article on Reason.com they mentioned Turkey as a major destination for foreign patients, over 500,000 in 2011. That was a surprise to me. But it was also mentioned that many Syrians (and presumable others in the region) went to Turkey for treatment after suffering injuries in the violence there. That no doubt greatly inflated the numbers that would be typical during peace time.

Bumrungrad Hospital also got a mention. It would be an oversight to omit them from any article on medical tourism. But I think the statistic of 400,000 foreign patients per year is understated and a bit out of date. I think the number has steadily grown in the last few years, although I haven’t seen a number published by an official source.

A Critical Look At Healthcare In Thailand

December 11th, 2012

Some time ago I created a lens on Squidoo that was about medical tourism in Thailand. That lens took a more critical look at the overall subject than you usually see in fluff pieces promoting the industry. At the same time, it highlighted a few myths commonly promulgated by detractors of whole medical tourism concept. Well, today I received a notice from Squidoo that after all this time Squidoo has flagged that lens and plans to unpublish it. The reason given was “low quality”. I beg to differ. That’s a pretty good lens in my opinion. So I’m taking that off Squidoo and publishing it here in the post below.

Operating RoomThailand has been a premier medical tourism destination for years and continues to be a favorite of patients from around the world. Its major private hospitals combine world class medical care with famous Thai hospitality at a fraction of the cost of treatment in the west. These are the headline bullets you see in nearly every news story and article about Thai medical tourism and in general they are accurate. In this lens we go beyond the headlines and examine the realities of receiving health care in Thailand. At times it does live up to its reputation. At others not so much. We will look beyond the glitz of the swank lobbies of the private hospitals such as Bumrungrad and reveal some of the real values in Thailand medical care.

Beyond The Headlines

Bumrungrad International Hospital
News stories and promotional websites invariably mention several major points for seeking medical care in Thailand – world class facilities, western trained and certified doctors, care delivered with that famous Thai hospitality, and the low costs. Other news stories have scary headlines questioning the quality of health care in “third world countries.” It is important to get past the headlines and do some investigation into the realities of medical tourism in Thailand. This article will get you started by busting a few myths, poking some holes in negative press, and offering a list of hospitals that is more extensive than the short list of glamorous hospitals you usually see.

Common Myths About Thailand Healthcare

No malpractice recourse Good news, not true!
It is often stated that if a patient is the victim of medical malpractice in Thailand they have no recourse. This myth is probably based simply on a lack of knowledge. There is, in fact, a government organization specifically for patient victims called the Thai Medical Council. This organization, however, has been criticized for being too slow in resolving cases. As a result, some victims go to the courts to seek relief. That path is also very time consuming, just as it is every where in the world. Patients who prevail through the courts do receive awards. However, in Thailand there are no windfall judgments that award huge amounts for emotional distress. Victims receive monies for the cost of care only. That is one of the major reasons that medical care is less costly in Thailand.

In August 2008 there was new legislation passed in Thailand called the Consumer Case Procedures Act which streamlines the process of filing any type of consumer related case, including malpractice against a doctor or hospital. Under the CCPA you can file a case without a lawyer and without paying any filing fees. The CCPA also shifts the burden of proof to the doctors and hospitals – they must prove that a victim’s condition was not the result of their negligence rather than the victim having to prove that it was.

No follow up care Good news, not true!
Another common criticism of medical tourism in Thailand is the lack of follow-up care. This is a complete myth as follow-up care is always available. It’s just that patients so often plan for a limited time in Thailand before they must return to their own countries so they cut short the optimal follow-up care period. Then if complications arise they often have difficulties with costs of follow-up care back home. This is something for which the patient needs to plan. Either spend a long enough time in Thailand to ensure all needs for follow-up care are met, or have a solid backup plan for follow-up care in your home country.

Everyone speaks English Bad news, not true!
Unfortunately, it is not true that all the doctors and staff at Thailand’s international hospitals speak English. Many of the doctors were trained and practiced in the U.S. and Europe so obviously those doctors are fluent in English. But many more doctors speak only broken English and many patients find that unsettling, to say the least. When it comes to your medical care, good communication with your doctor is essential. So you should not assume any doctor assigned to you will be sufficient – insist on a doctor that has trained and practiced in an English speaking country. The hospital staff in many of the international hospitals have even less English language fluency than the doctors. Some hospitals assign a “patient ambassador” who follows you around and translates as necessary. In some cases the nurses and technicians communicate in English very well so an ambassador is not even needed. In other cases you may get instructions from staff in broken English so beware.

Major Private Hospitals In Thailand

The following list contains what would be classified as the major private hospitals that would be reasonable choices for a medical tourist to Thailand.

  • Bangkok Hospital
    Bangkok Dusit Medical Services is the parent company that runs a chain of hospitals spanning the country.
  • BNH Hospital
    Formerly known as Bangkok Nursing Home it is another highly rated private hospital in Bangkok.
  • Bumrungrad International
    The most famous and the hospital that really started the whole medical tourism phenomenon.
  • Chiang Mai Ram
    Part of the Ramkhamhaeng Hospital group.
  • Mission Hospital
  • Phyathai
  • Piyavate
  • Praram 9
  • Ramkhamhaeng
  • Saint Louis
  • Samitivej
  • Vejthani
  • Yanhee Hospital
    Most famous for cosmetic surgery and sex reassignment. The preferred choice for many Asian patients.

Each of those hospitals is practically worth an article itself so it is too much to review them all here. But just having the names of the major hospitals that you should consider as a medical tourist you can Google them.

JCI Certified Hospitals

Joint Commission International is one of the most recognized certifying authority for hospitals around the world. It is a private sector United States-based not-for-profit organization that operates accreditation programs for a fee to subscriber hospitals and other health care organizations.

Many state governments in the U.S. require hospitals to have JCI certification in order to receive an operating license and to receive Medicaid reimbursement. However, JCI is not the only hospital accreditation organization. There are similar organizations in the U.S. and others based in the UK, Australia, Canada and India. Having JCI certification, however, gives an indication that a hospital meets or exceeds minimum standards in care and patient safety. However, many excellent hospitals do not subscribe to it and being certified does not guarantee you will receive the best possible care. So a medical tourist should not choose a hospital based only on JCI certification.

Many of the major private hospitals in Thailand have received JCI certification. Here is the current list. Note that a particular hospital group may have more than one medical center and each may have its own certification.

Bangkok Hospital Medical Center
Bangkok , Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 30 June 2007

Program: DCSC Certification
Acute Coronary Syndrome
First Certified: 30 October 2008

Program: DCSC Certification
Breast Cancer Conserving Therapy Program
First Certified: 1 November 2008

Program: DCSC Certification
Heart Failure Program
First Certified: 29 October 2008

Program: DCSC Certification
Primary Stroke Center
First Certified: 31 October 2008

Bangkok Hospital Pattaya
Chonburi, Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 19 September 2009

Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Phuket, Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 23 May 2009

BNH Hospital
Bangkok, Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 29 May 2009

Bumrungrad International
Bangkok , Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 2 February 2002
Re-Accredited: 8 April 2005
Re-Accredited: 31 July 2008

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Primary Stroke Program
First Certified: 28 October 2006
Re-certified: 25 November 2009

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Acute Myocardial Infarction with ST Segment Elevation
First Certified: 28 October 2006
Re-certified: 27 November 2009

Program: CCPC Certification Program
Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and 2
First Certified: 24 March 2010

Program: CCPC Certification Program
Chronic Kidney Disease Stage I to IV
First Certified: 26 March 2010

Chiangmai Ram Hospital
Chiangmai, Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Certified: 7 November 2009

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
Bangkok , Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 11 August 2007

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Low Back Pain program
First Certified: 14 August 2009

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Primary Stroke program
First Certified: 12 August 2009

Samitivej Sriracha Hospital
Chonburi, Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 8 November 2008

Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
Bangkok, Thailand
Program: Hospital
First Accredited: 27 January 2007
Re-accredited: 13 February 2010

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Lung Cancer Program
First Certified: 6 December 2008

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Acute Myocardial Infarction Program
First Certified: 4 December 2008

Program: DCSC Certification Program
Osteoarthritis of the Knee Program
First Certified: 15 August 2009

Introducing Vejthani Hospital

As an example that there is more to Thailand’s medical tourism than Bumrungrad, this video introduces another lesser know private hospital with all the facilities and amenities we have come to expect from private hospitals in Thailand.

Groupon deal for health exam

October 24th, 2012

Groupon has made it to Thailand and among other things they are offering some very deep discounts on medical care, as if prices weren’t low already! Currently featured is a health examination at the Q Medical Center in Bangkok for only 890 baht. That’s a rather huge discount of 84% off the standard price. We haven’t been to this facility so we don’t have a review of it yet, but prices like this make it very attractive to give them a try. The deal is available for only two more days at the time of this post so better hurry.

Get the Groupon health exam deal here

winzip activation code

winzip activation code

free winzip

free winzip

winrar free download

winrar free download

free winrar download

free winrar download

winzip free download full version

winzip free download full version

winzip free download

winzip free download

windows 7 product key

windows 7 product key

windows 7 key generator

windows 7 key generator

windows 7 activation crack

windows7 activation crack

winrar download free

winrar download free

windows 7 crack

windows 7 crack

free winrar

free winrar
\n