The media in supply international locations of medical travellers proceed to give attention to the “unhealthy information” tales in medical tourism. How can we shield and improve the repute of our sector? IMTJ Editor in chief, Keith Pollard, presents some potential options.
I feel it’s truthful to say that medical tourism, typically, doesn’t have a terrific repute in lots of the international locations from the place hospitals, clinics and facilitators search to supply their sufferers. The largest barrier to medical journey is worry…. of one thing going fallacious.
Sufferers take into account travelling to a different nation for therapy after they can’t get what they want in their very own nation. It might be too costly. The therapy could also be unavailable as a result of ready lists or an absence of services. There could also be an absence of appropriate experience throughout the healthcare system. So sufferers begin to discover the choices for therapy overseas. And their first concerns are: “Is it protected?”, “Will one thing go fallacious?”, and “If there’s an issue, once I get residence, what do I do?”
Status counts for the whole lot in medical journey. A vacation spot, a hospital or a clinic will likely be dominated out by a affected person after they really feel that it’s not a protected selection. The media, on-line or in conventional print, has a significant affect on sufferers’ notion of medical tourism and of locations.
Dangerous information tales outweigh the excellent news
When medical tourism goes fallacious, the media are fast to pounce on its shortcomings. Right here’s a number of current examples from the UK media.
These tales within the nationwide media can have been learn by many potential medical vacationers, their households and associates. The reputational harm to a hospital, clinic , vacation spot or certainly to the medical tourism enterprise typically is immense. Sufferers who might have been contemplating journey for therapy can have modified their minds.
So, how can we repair this drawback? Or no less than scale back the extent of “unhealthy information” protection? Listed below are some potential options:
Prohibit entry to the market
One problem for locations is deciding on which hospitals and clinics are allowed to deal with worldwide sufferers. In lots of locations, there aren’t any restrictions. Which means any hospital or clinic that operates throughout the home market can deal with worldwide sufferers. However worldwide sufferers require extra care and a focus to their particular wants and considerations. Some international locations have made constructive steps in direction of regulating their medical tourism sector. Malaysia and South Korea are good examples of this the place the healthcare authorities have taken steps to regulating and limiting these hospitals and clinics which can be permitted to function within the medical tourism sector.
Offering providers to worldwide sufferers just isn’t the identical as offering providers to home sufferers. Supporting the affected person all through the affected person journey and accommodating their cultural wants is a significant contributor to a constructive affected person expertise. A hospital or clinic might have achieved formal accreditation by its nationwide healthcare physique. However a hospital or clinic wishing to serve worldwide sufferers should take into account the advantages of investing in an accreditation or certification service which is particular to the administration of worldwide persistence. The Germany primarily based, Temos organisation, is without doubt one of the finest examples of this within the medical tourism sector.
Take care of the sad buyer
No hospital or clinic that I’ve encountered offers a 100% excellent affected person expertise to each affected person that they deal with. There’ll all the time be some sufferers, hopefully only a few, who’re sad with the therapy end result or the extent of service supplied. If the hospital or clinic fails to cope with these considerations, there’s all the time the chance that the affected person will resort to the media to publicise what they see because the failings of the hospital, the clinic, or the vacation spot. So, a immediate and efficient response to any affected person grievance or unhappiness with therapy have to be a given. By no means, ignore a affected person who complains!
Promote excellent news
Regardless of the unhealthy information tales that we see within the media, there are all the time excellent news tales to inform and to share about medical tourism. Nevertheless, the sector has by no means been that nice at spreading the excellent news about what it does. There are many excellent news tales on the market which we have to get throughout to potential clients and the general public typically. Right here is an easy tip . Create a “excellent news” press launch template in your advertising and marketing workforce to make use of. When you’ve got a affected person with a terrific therapy story to inform, ask them whether or not they’re blissful for his or her story to be advised of their native press or media. Ask them for particulars of their native or regional press or media. Ask them in the event that they’re blissful so that you can share their excellent news story and an image. Then use the template to create a press launch to ship to that native information or media outlet. Such information shops are all the time looking out for tales to spice up their print and on-line content material. Why not strive it!