Medical tourism is a blanket term which covers all types of medical treatments through travelling outside of ones home country, city or providence. In other words, it means leaving your nation, city, or state of origin and visiting others in order to find different healthcare options. If you are curious about how to start a medical tourism business, then this blog is for you. We have compiled a set of easy guidelines which will enlighten you with the steps and procedures involved.
What is a medical tourism facilitator?
Before getting on with the steps, it is better to have an insight on what a ‘medical tourism facilitator’ entails. The role of a medical tourism facilitator is to be a bridge between the doctor and patient and guide them in receiving healthcare treatment while they are abroad. A facilitator takes care of the medical tourist’s flight, accommodation, doctors appointments, recreational activities, transportation and all the related things while they are on their medical trip require.
In other words, their role is to be the link that connects the health provider and the patient as well as the concierge for the medical tourists while they are abroad for medical treatment. This includes taking care of their lodging, flight, doctor’s appointment, hotel, transport, activities as well as their complete itinerary.
But the job of a medical travel facilitator is not limited to being a middleman. Apart from arranging a meeting between the concerned personnel, that is the patient and the doctor, a medical tourism facilitator should also be able to come up with an affordable package which covers the accommodation, medical expenses, travelling expenses and other related costs. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss the guidelines for starting a medical travel agency.
Step #1: Prepare a Business Plan
Begin with designing a well thought-out medical tourism business plan. Figure out how many clients you can manage at a time while keeping the high standard of your services intact. Search and determine the best rates that you should offer to your clients, while keeping a profitable bottom line. The plan should also involve the total costs associated with running an office and a small staff or if you are providing home-based services, then outline the significant costs that are mostly likely to emerge.
The best way for doing all this is to seek mentorship from a reputable medical travel company or from industry experts who are not competitors and are willing to offer you their expert advice.
Step #2: Training and Continuous Education
Nowadays, patients prefer those medical facilitators who have such professional training and specialization that influences their image as a medical tourism facilitator. So the next step for establishing a medical tourism business is to get proper training and education.
There are credible companies out there that provide training courses and continuous education packages to people lacking knowledge in medical travel and patient experience. Having certification from such training programs is also important as they highlight your credibility and builds confidence in clients regarding your services. Alongside, this increases your income, improves marketability, enhances knowledge and level of service and lets you stay ahead of the competition.
The best way for doing all this is to seek mentorship from a reputable medical travel company or from industry experts who are not competitors and are willing to offer you their expert advice. Ask someone who is already in this business for a considerable period of time and who is not a competitor.
Step #3: Find the Best Medical Care Facilities
Investigate and find the best medical facilities in the destinations you will be providing your services to. You can either travel to these facilities to judge their procedures firsthand or you can look up to their accreditations. The best hospitals to include in your list will be the ones that offer the best medical treatments at low prices and also that are JCI accredited. Get in touch with the financial department and management to let them know about your packages and programs.
Step #4: Marketing Approach
Once all the things in the preparatory phase are set, it’s time to market your business. You may want to target your marketing campaign to small employers, or patients who are uninsured, or under insured in the beginning. Word of mouth is one method of spreading your name in the industry and that can be done by letting the primary care doctors know about your services. Try to build a good rapport with them so that they can trust you with the continuity of the treatment of their patients.
Search and discover private nursing services, accommodations, and other related amenities with the competitive rates to include in your medical tourism package. Make sure they all are at a short distance from the medical facility and are comfortable, clean and handicap-accessible.
By following these steps, you can start off with a small medical tourism agency, which will eventually progress based on your quality of service, determination, and partnerships. Apart from this, there is another way for starting this business and that is by letting a reliable consumer referral company help you to embark on this journey.
We, at Medical Tourism Business, offer different packages which will enable you to start or expand your medical travel business via effective business plans, educational manuals, training tools, facilitator contracts and many other resources.