Search Hospitals & Dental Clinics

Tips & Tools

 

How to Plan Ahead for Medical Travel

The quality of medical travel can be improved with preparation and planning. This page provides tips and tools for making health travel efficient.

Tips
   Planning Stage
   Documents
   Visas
   Covering Costs
   Hospital Registration

Tools
   International Insurance
   List of Insurers
   International Hospital Hubs
   Emerging International Hospital Hubs

Tips

Planning Stage

1. Ask your doctor if you are fit to travel overseas with your medical condition.

2. Once you decide to continue your treatment abroad, keep your local doctor informed so that you can continue your follow up treatment without a hitch.

3. Research the hospital or dentist you plan to visit. When selecting the international hospital that’s best for your needs, you should consider the hospital’s accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipment, and the range and quality of the hospitals’ services. Ideally, visit the hospital first to get a feel for it’s capabilities. Undergo a Health Screening Program to get an overall health check and experience the services of the hospital in a low risk environment.

4. Check the credentials and experience of the doctor who will treat you. Make sure to get second opinions. Many international hospital hubs have several great hospitals to choose from. Don’t be afraid to check with a second hospital at the destination before choosing a treatment.

5. Find out about the procedure and compare your expectations with what’s achievable by the surgery. Also enquire about follow-up care needed, time required for recovery, physical therapy, etc.

6. Please note that in most cases the final decisions on your treatment will be made only after the doctor meets you and examines you in person. It is possible that your doctor, upon examining you, may decide you are not fit for surgery, or recommends treatment different from what you planned.

Documents

1. Certain documents must always be with you. Ensure that you carry multiple copies and keep the originals in a safe place when abroad.

a. Records like X-Rays, MRI’s, health histories, photographs, immunization records, prescriptions, and any other health records relevant to the surgery. Remember to carry all these medical reports and any medicines in your carry-on luggage.

b. Passport and visa: You will need a passport for yourself and your travel companion (if any). Depending upon the country you are traveling from, you may or may not need a visa. Some countries now offer a medical visa. Make sure to check what is available from their consulate or embassy.

c. Credit cards, debit cards and travelers checks: Bring some local currency, travelers checks and one or two major credit cards and debit cards. Some hospitals will not accept checks. Make sure to inform your credit card company that you’ll be traveling to the country where you plan to receive care.

d. Carry your driver’s license or any valid proof of identity and make sure it will remain valid while you’re traveling.

Visas

Be sure to check the visa requirements for medical travelers of the country to which you plan to visit. It may vary, country by country, and also determine the number of days you can spend in country and if you can make a return trip.

Covering Costs

While the costs for treatment at a international hospital may be considerably less than that of your local hospital and within management by credit card or cash payment, there are some companies which offer international medical insurance which may cover most of the costs. Please see our ‘Tools’ section for more details on options.

Hospital Registration

You are required to produce your passport at the registration counter to get registered at the hospital. The hospital will maintain a copy of your passport (photo page and visa page) in your hospital record. You can schedule appointments on hospitals websites and many now schedule appointments with the WhatsApp app.

Tools

International Insurance

There are a variety of situations when one is overseas when one requires medical assistance. It is important to understand your situation beforehand and research and choose the insurance plan that matches your international health strategy.

Three types of insurance conditions are common and may have different insurance options.

1. Intentional Medical Travel – when you plan to go overseas for medical attention and treatment

2. Accidental Medical Travel – when you are already overseas and have an accident which require medical attention or treatments

3. Complication Insurance – when you have a treatment at an international hospital and must have further medical attention due to complications from the treatment

In addition there are several types of living situations to which different insurance plans may apply. These include:

1. International medical travel from your home country

2. International medical care as an expat in the country your are currently living

3. International medical care as an expat in a different country from the one in which you are currently living

4. Package Procedures – insurance related to a special package offered by the hospital

The most important to research is Intentional Medical Travel when you seek medical attention outside of your home country. Not every insurer will cover this situation. Below is a list of ones which may. From this list, Companion Global Healthcare is the most widely known. ClinicTrip is not affiliated with any insurer or hospital.

http://www.companionglobalhealthcare.com

List of Insurers

ADAC Schutzbrief
Aetna Global Benefits (World Assist)
Allianz WorldWide Care
AMEDEX
AON Consulting
ASFE (Mobility Benefits – World Assist)
ATMSafe (World Assist)
AXA Colonia
BlueCross BlueShield
Brasil Assistência
BUPA Care
Bupa International
CEGA Group (World Assist)
CIGNA International (World Assist)
Companion Global Healthcare

Continentale
DKV Globality S.A – Alemanha (World Assist)
Elvia Assistance GMBB (World Assist)
Euro-Center LTDA
Europ Assistance
European Benefits (World Assist)
Expacare (World Assist)
GeoBlue 
GBG Administrative (World Assist)
Global Benefits – Insurance Without Borders (World Assist)
Global Medical Management, Inc (GMMI)
Gmc-Gestion 
GoodHealth Worldwide (World Assist)
HAA 
Hitachi Health Care Program
HTH Worldwide
IHI Danmark
InterMutuelles Assistance
International SOS Assistance
InterPartner 
Vanbreda
International 
Mobility Benefits (World Assist)
Mobility Saint Honoré (World Assist)
Mondial Assistance
USA 
Mondial Brasil 
Nordic (World Assist)
Olympus Managed 
Health Care (World Assist)
Prestige 
Previnter (World Assist)
PPP Healthcare 
Quality Health Management
Seven Corners 
Redbrigde (World Assist)
SOS International
Specialty Assistance
TIE CARE (World Assist)

International Hospital Hubs

Thailand

Region: Southeast Asia
Key Cities: Bangkok, Chiangmai, Phuket City
Hospitals: Bumrungrad International Hospital, Samitivej Sukhujvit Hospital, Yanhee International Hospital, Phuket International Hospital, Chiangmai Ram Hospital
Strengths: Infrastructure, high volume of international visitors, world class facilities, high service quality, short to no wait times, developed tourist infrastructure
Thailand Medical Tourism Portal: http://www.thailandmedtourism.com/Home/28

Malaysia

Region: Southeast Asia
Key Cities: Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown-Penang, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Seremban, Johor
Hospitals: Prince Court, Gleneagles-Kuala Lumpur, Sunway International Hospital
Strengths: English speaking, medical infrastructure, world class facilities, large expat community, government focus, internationally trained doctors, focus on preventative health, low costs, developed tourist infrastructure
Malaysia Medical Tourism Portal: http://www.medicaltourism.com.my

3. India

Region: South Asia
Key Cities: Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi
Hospitals: Apollo Group Hospitals, Seven Hills Hospital, Asian Heart Institute, Narayana Health
Strengths: high quality doctors, low costs, world class facilities

4. Singapore

Region: Southeast Asia
Key Cities: Singapore
Hospitals: Singapore General Hospital, Changi General Hospital, Raffles Hospital, Mt. Elizabeth Orchard Hospital, Mt. Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Gleneagles-Singapore
Strengths: high quality doctors, world class facilities, efficiency and professionalism, English speaking, regional hub, highly developed tourist infrastructure
Singpore Ministry of Health: https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/our_healthcare_system/Healthcare_Services.html

5. Costa Rica

Region: Central America
Key Cities: San José, Alajuela, Liberia, San Francisco
Hospitals: Hospital Hotel La Catolica, Hospital CIMA San José, Hospital Clinica Biblica
Strengths: Low cost region, high quality doctors, serves a large expat community, proximity to North America, developed tourist infrastructure

6. Brazil

Region: South America
Key Cities: Sau Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre
Hospitals: Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Oswaldo Cruz German Hospital, Hospital Moinhos de Vento, Santa Casa de Misercordia
Strengths: High quality doctors and services, top hospitals in the region and world, developed tourist infrastructure, center for plastic surgery, world class facilities

7. Turkey

Region: Middle East
Key Cities: Ankara, Istanbul, Gebze
Hospitals: Ankara Guven Hospital, Hisar Intercontinental Hospital, Anadolu Medical Center, Acibadem Bakirkoy Hospital – Istanbul
Strengths: Low cost region, regional hub, nearness to Europe, high quality doctors and services, world class facilities

8. Taiwan

Region: East Asia
Key Cities: Taipei, Kaohsiung City, Lukang, Taichung
Hospitals: Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan Adventist Hospital, Chang Gung Memorial Hopsital Linkou Branch
Strengths: High quality doctors and services, world class facilities, developed tourist infrastructure, efficiency and professionalism

9. Dubai

Region: Middle East
Key Cities: Dubai, Abu Dhabi
Hospitals: American Hospital Dubai, Burjeel Hospital, Emirates Hospital – Dubai, Al Rhaba Hospital
Strengths: Regional hub, English speaking, high quality facilities, world class doctors, developed tourist infrastructure, large expat communities

Emerging International Hospital Hubs

1. Colombia

Region: South America
Key Cities: Bogota, Medellin, Bucaramanga, Cali
Hospitals: Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia, Pablo Tobón Uribe Hospital, Clinica FOSCAL
Strengths: Top ranked hospitals in South America, low cost region, improving tourist infrastructure and safety, proximity to North America

2. Philippines

Region: Southeast Asia
Key Cities: Manila, Makati, Cebu City, Quezon City
Hospitals: The Medical City, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, Makati Medical Center
Strengths: Low cost region, improving tourist infrastructure and safety, high quality hospitals with international accreditations