Travel / medical tourism companies that work even with private large international hospitals offer unique services to international patients for treatment abroad. These companies attract international patients from all over the world to provide health care in other destinations and countries. Therefore, it is a necessity that the supply chain process of these patients be well understood and well-designed. The supply chain process for the international patient of the International Healthcare Association will be presented. It should be noted that the medical tourists are not like ordinary tourists. And they begin to worry about their travel. Given that, the most important principle for them is safety and well-transparent service package. The service package must be designed to adapt with their country and culture and different spirits.
The First Stage of the Supply Chain for Patients (pre-departure)
1. Consultation with the Patient
- Respond to patient requests 24 hours a day
- Preparation and planning of the service package according to accommodation, patient companions, tour services, destination and etc.
2. Collecting data and information from the patient
- The expert team collects the medical and health records of the patient and their family, including diagnostic tests, diagnostic pictures, and other required information. All of this data is analyzed with emphasis on two principles of patient information and privacy with the utmost precision and focus by the expert team.
3. Contact with the Doctor or Surgeon
- Although all therapeutic and medical measures do not require direct contact with the physician, some more complicated surgeries or operations, or a number of international patients with specific health conditions may need to have connections with their doctor or surgeon before departure by phone, email, video conferencing and etc. The team manager must make the necessary planning without any cost or compulsion for the patient and provide preliminary diagnostic and counseling mediations.
4. Management Team Should Focus on the Patient’s Case:
- The medical management team should consider all travel and treatment needs of the patient during their travel to receive correct hospital information regarding facilities, services, costs of treatment, physician or specialist, arrival at the hospital or health center, etc.
The second stage of medical treatment
1. Admission or medical practice
The doctor will make all necessary assessments of the patient’s file such as photos or x-rays, the medical and therapeutic requirements and documents required, and, if necessary, confirm the patient’s travel for treatment.
Presentation of the treatment plan
• Treatment costs,
• Treatment duration,
• Success and risk rate,
• Number of follow-ups after treatment,
• Recovery required period,
• In case of need for laboratory tests before and during the visit for treatment.
2. Travel planning
providing health tourism packages including:
• type of accommodations, the selection of a hospital or clinic, the final selection of the package, the exact date of arrival in Iran, the time of visiting the doctor and the hospital and travel are scheduled.
• Getting the visa if needed.
• Hotel reservation
• Booking a flight
• Airport Transfer
• Patient Guide
• Contract with the patient if necessary
Contact the medical tourism coordinator in the destination country to start the travel
After the doctor’s confirmation and the finalization of the travel package, the next steps, and coordination with the hotel coordinator will be made for hotel reservations, flights, and other required services.
Third Stage of Medical Travel (Starting the Travel)
providing the latest travel recommendations and the things that are needed to be done during flight and travel to the destination (flight delays, flight stress, flight duration, oxygen level, and pressure during flight, temperature and weather changes, and …)
• Welcoming at the airport
• Coordination of the accommodation
• Going to the coordinator at the destination and getting explanations about the travel
• The coordinator will support the patient throughout the stay in Iran
• If needed, the SIM card, translation services, travel guidance, financial services such as currency conversion, and support by the medical advisor can be provided
• Preoperative measures and preparation for treatment and recommendations
• Settlement in accommodation, visiting the clinic, visiting the doctor, performing laboratory tests, consulting with a surgeon, and performing surgery
• Going to the hospital and performing the medical practice
• The team carries out preoperative and final clinical practice in the hospital
• Post-treatment and recovery measures
• After treatment, the doctor will give you post-treatment counseling.
• Transfer to the place of residence until ready to return.
• If needed, traveling in Iran and other tourist activities (optional)
• Return to your country and medical advice at the time of return
• Follow up and ongoing communication with physicians and health centers