Who is Legally Responsible for Medical Tourist Liability: Patient, Doctor, or Facilitator?
When you’re in the medical tourism industry, there are a lot of factors that are not under your control that can jeopardize the quality of a patient’s care. This can include a wide range of risks such as Deep Vein Thrombosis, which are blood clots that occur when patients fly too soon after surgery, exposure to infectious diseases, or poor healthcare services. A lot of these might not be directly related to the services you provide, and things may go wrong even when you take care of every detail and provide the best quality of customer care possible. When unsatisfied customers file a law suit, it can leave your medical tourism firm vulnerable since you are a huge part of the whole process. As a start-up medical tourism facilitator, you should put systems and contracts in place that can mitigate your risk and limit your liability in such circumstances. This business is, after all, your property and your livelihood, and it is your duty to protect it.
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>Contract Between Facilitator and Hospital
>Facilitator and Patient Agreements
>Patient Pre-Screening and Medical History Form
>Medical Traveler Application
Medical Tourism Facilitator Agreement Sample and Guidelines
All this information will give you a health profile of the patient including all information that might in anyway complicate the trip, so that in case of any unfortunate circumstances, the blame does not fall on your business.
Agreement with the Client
As a medical travel facilitator, you are bridging the gap between that patient and hospital, but since you coordinated the whole trip, your agency can become a target when things don’t go according to plan. Most of the time the blame lies elsewhere so it is important to protect yourself, which is why patient waiver forms and contractual agreements with hospitals are a crucial part of the process.
Through these contracts you make sure the patient understands the terms and conditions you have placed, and the risks involved in the procedure, clearing you of any liability. The patient thus opts to travel for the procedure at their own risk.
Not A Health Care Provider or Medical Professional – MTF Company is not a medical professional and does not have any hired medical professionals working for their company that can provide medical advice or make any medical. recommendations, before or during my medical trip.
Provides Educational Guidance on Travel and Physicians
This section needs to reflect that all information provided by your company and your staff is strictly for informative and educational guidance and should not be interpreted as medical advice. You need to make sure that the client knows that the information that you provide is not an alternative for healthcare professional. The client needs to seek a healthcare provider or healthcare institution they need a medical evaluation. MTC Company coordinates medical trips around the world and may need to collect sensitive information and important documents.
Clauses and Provisions
When the contractual agreements are drawn up, it is important to pay attention to certain clauses and provision that can be added to help better protect your business. These clauses help you make sure the client cannot come after you months later, and helps you mitigate all risks. Some of these clauses include:
This is a provision that clears your business of any responsibility for losses that might be incurred by the client by individuals or factors out of your business’s control, as the best of businesses cannot anticipate theft or accidents, nor can prevent it.
This clause states that your business does not take any responsibility for any monetary compensation made for the client for loss or injury, for any purpose, apart from the coordination fees that your business was paid.
Providing yourself with limited liability is not about deceiving the patient or blaming them, it is about making sure no one takes advantage of your vulnerability in this sensitive area of service. There are definite risks involved, and you can become liable if you don’t take proper steps to protect yourself.
Limitation on Actions
This clause helps your business manage its risks by putting a time limit for any claims a client wishes to make against you. You are cleared of responsibility after a certain period of time after the patient returns home.
Since this is a global industry and a lot of different countries are involved with their own specific laws and regulations that might be contradictory, this clause is used to specify which governing laws will be used to interpret the Patient Consent in case of a dispute.
Individual Rules of the Country of Travel
The countries that are famous for medical tourism are all quite different and diverse, with somewhat different laws pertaining to the medical field. It is compulsory for the facilitator to have a sound knowledge of the country of travel’s laws regarding medical tourism in order to provide the client with complete information.
Client Consent Formalities
These are meant to inform the clients of all involved benefits and risks of seeking medical procedures abroad. It also includes the consequences and/or risks of the treatment itself and overseas travel both before the treatment and after.
These formalities are especially beneficial for the facilitators in the way that they free them from a wide range of liabilities.
Client Satisfaction Maintenance
Although not a ‘law’ per se, it is a point that should be strictly observed in order to achieve success in the field. Remember, it is a client’s health that is the focus of this entire partnership, and maintaining strict focus on the client’s wellbeing will ensure a good word for your services from a satisfied client
Payment – This section needs to explain that you are in the business of coordinating medical tourism trips for the client and this may include billing the client and transferring healthcare records to providers.
Client Acknowledges that he/she Consulted with Doctor about Medical Trip
Client needs to acknowledge that they consulted their own doctor about their medical condition and medical tourism trip.
Client was offered Travel/Complication Insurance
There needs to be a section that address travel/complication insurance. If the client rejects the insurance, you need to state that the insurance was offered to the client but was rejected. You also should address the issue of if a complication occurs. This will help to protect you if there are any medical complications on the medical trip.
Patient Acknowledges Risks
Patient needs to acknowledge that he/she understands the risk with traveling to another country for a surgery or any other medical procedure and that the patient thus opts to travel for the procedure at their own risk.
There needs to be a section where the patient acknowledges that you have not made any guarantees or promises regarding this medical trip or outcome from the medical procedure.
This agreement between the facilitator and their client deals with the commercial and monetary terms involved. There needs to be a set payment amount, method and duration, if applicable.
Because there can be an uninformed upheaval of monetary costs in the specific country of travel or any number of financial irregularities in the entire process, it is important to establish this agreement between the medical tourism professional and the client. This protects the tourism facilitator from any financial setbacks and ensures a timely payment.