How you can compare different hospitals and clinics abroad
To get the best value and most appropriate treatment abroad, it is important to compare different countries, different cities and different individual clinics. So how do you go about making an accurate and fair comparison?
Decide on your priorities
There is such a huge range of clinics available across the world that you need to narrow down your treatment abroad search before you start to compare clinics. You need to think about what your priorities are on factors such as:
- distance from your home Country
- tourism opportunities.
It is unrealistic to compare a world-class clinic at Dubai Health City for example, with a standard clinic in an emerging Eastern European country such as Belarus. They are in completely different markets and are offering a completely different level of service. You need to decide what you want from your clinic and draw up a shortlist that meets those requirements. From there, you can start to compare clinics on the specific details that are important to you.
An important comparison is price, but you need to make sure you are comparing like for the whole cost of your trip, not just the treatment. Clinics in Europe may be far cheaper to get to, but may charge more, whereas clinics in developed countries may cost a little more in flights, but save much more in treatment costs. Remember that medical tourism includes hotel costs, eating out, local transport and any other expenses, and times by two if you are taking a partner or companion with you.
Comparing staff and specialists
You can compare the qualifications and experience of the staff at different clinics to decide who the best for your procedure is. Ask about their experience with the procedure and their success rates, and remember to compare their recent training and development as well as their basic qualifications. You should compare the whole team, not just the surgeon who will be performing your procedure.
Comparing equipment and medical technology
You should thoroughly research your procedure and find out about the most up to date equipment and the most advanced techniques and medical technology for your treatment. You will then have a better understanding of the quality of clinics you are comparing.
Comparing safety records
You should never compromise on safety when choosing a clinic, so it is vital that you compare clinics on their safety record, such as infection rates, unexpected returns to theatre, reviews and inspections by the authorities and the number of accidents and complaints. Any reputable clinic should be happy to provide you with this data to help you compare safety levels.
Inevitably, comparing clinics will always involve finding a balance between a number of factors. For example, cost may be important to you, but you may still feel that paying a little more is worth it for a better quality clinic. Similarly, you may not feel it is necessary to have the most modern equipment available, but you will still want a certain standard.
By finding out everything that you can about your shortlist of clinics, you will be in a position to compare them fairly and accurately to find the best package of benefits at the best value price.