Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. Exorbitant medical costs in developed countries are persuading millions of people annually around the world to leave their country for treatment in less developed countries. This is the appropriate time for a medial tourism agency to enter into this field and become an industry leader. But it takes a lot of qualities to become a main stream medical tourism business. One of the qualities to become a leader is to know what your medical tourism clients are looking for from your service. Following are nine important aspects a medical tourist considers before planning or travelling to another country for medical care.
List of 9 Important Traits and Trends of International Patients
Since your medical tourism business is a startup company, most prospects will not be familiar with your agency. Moreover, people who are not able to bear medical treatment at a local hospital may not be aware of this option of going to another country for treatment. Some people are afraid of travelling to certain countries and others are not sure whether they would get a quality treatment abroad. This is why the first step is to win the patients’ trust from the time they land on your website. You need testimonials, accreditation logos, and translation options. You need to prove that you are a player in the medical tourism industry and you are a trustworthy agent. Obtaining things like certifications can add feathers in your cap. It also becomes a symbol of trust for your customers.
2.) Competitive Pricing
The key principle behind traveling miles to have medical treatment is to save money on costly treatments in the patients home country. Another big reason behind travelling abroad for many patients is the fact that they may have to wait for long periods of time to obtain appointments in their home county. So the best solution for these hapless patients is to fly to another country. For American patients the prices of medical treatment can vary from 20% to 80% lower than the cost in the US.
3.) Destination Perception
Medical Tourists don’t just choose a destination for the medical procedure they also want to visit a place that is beautiful and has historical importance. That is why Western European people like to visit Turkey for medical treatment. Similarly, American people are going to San José, Costa Rica and Cancun, Mexico for their popular beaches and tourist attractions which make for a recreational recovery. A beautiful destination with attractive entertainment.
4.) Resort Recovery
Medical tourists are the people who just want to take more care of their health. That is why they like to select the best hotel, best resort, best wellness center and best spa. Moreover these places are all ideal places for medical tourist to recover after their medical procedures. The closer the hotel is to the hospital the more preferable by the medical tourists.
5.) Quality of Care
We observe that most medical tourists are from developed countries. These people travel to less developed countries, where goods and services are low, in hopes of costs saving on healthcare treatment. But there is a possibility of comparatively less care at a medical facility in a less developed country. So it’s the responsibility of the medical tourism facilitator to make sure that your network of healthcare providers, and the area where you’ll be sending your patients are reliable. As a medical tourism facilitator, you should visit and vet the destination prior to sending any patients.
6.) Lack of Brand Familiarity
If you are dealing with a very famous and largest hospital of destination country, you must have solid proofs to show your clients because clients are not aware that that is a famous and largest hospital. Being famous and largest is not the only criteria to select a hospital. More elements like, years in business, profiles of medical staff, latest equipment, availability of space, etc are also worth considering. Your clients may ask about all features of that hospital, so that is why you must have solid proofs to support you claims.
7.) Language Barriers
Even your next door neighbor country might not share the same language. Language barrier is important to consider. That is why all medical tourists consider language barriers. You should check whether your medical tourism agency is making sure there is someone on hospital and hotel’s staff that speaks your language at all times. It is important to consider this fact while selecting and vetting an agency.
8.) Maximum Hospitality
People expect concierge treatment from your medical tourism agency. Due to this fact, the highest level of hospitality can win more medical tourists to that particular country. You also need to make sure that every other component of their trip is equal or greater than your hospitality, including the hospital, hotel, and car from the airport. This is important because if your clients are satisfied, he or she will send more clients to you.
It is not easy to learn the behavior of your customer. It is a constant learning process and it takes time. It is important to study these traits and trends because doing so will give you a better understanding of how to improve your services and help improve your patient’s experience. A major part of being successful in the medical tourism business is partnerships. You need to make sure that you have strong, consistent, healthcare providers with great staff and great quality of care.