medical tourism

medical tourism

Why More Patients Are Going Private

The NHS is widely regarded as one of the best free healthcare systems in the world. Despite this, more and more patients are turning to private healthcare. But what’s driving them to do this?

There are lots of factors that can drive people to pay for healthcare. Here are just some of the reasons why more patients are going private.

Easier appointment booking

One simple reason that many patients are turning private is because they can’t get an appointment with their local GP. A shortage of doctors in the NHS has led to many local surgeries having to close and merge. This has led to many local surgeries having less slots – patients must often ring at 8am to get an appointment for the day, and even then there’s no guarantee of getting through or getting a suitable slot.

By going private, patients don’t have to deal with this struggle. Many private clinics allow patients to book appointments at any time during the day. You may even be able to do it directly through your doctor. This can be better suited for those with busy lives who can’t afford to be waiting on the phone for half an hour.

Shorter waiting times

When it comes to booking hospital appointments and operations meanwhile, the NHS has long battled with long waiting times. An 18 week plan has been put into place to ensure every patient gets surgery booked within 18 weeks, however in recent years this hasn’t been working. In fact in some months last year, only 87% of patients had a treatment waiting time of less than 18 weeks. Whilst the NHS prioritises those in critical condition, many lesser health problems can still end up deteriorating due to this waiting time and it could mean taking unnecessary time off work.

Compare this to private care and the story is very different – most patients are given treatment within a week. As a result, many people with worsening conditions that need surgery are going private to take advantage of this. Going private in order to take advantage of shorter waiting times is particularly popular amongst athletes recovering from sports injuries who may have sporting events coming up. Similarly, many people that have holidays booked will fast-track their surgery by going private so that they don’t have to cancel their travel plans.

A calmer environment

A lot of patients are also turning private in order to be treated in a more relaxing environment. The demand on NHS hospitals means that many patients are being seen to hurriedly. Patients must often share wards with others. Sometimes there may not even be a bed – mental health patients are often the ones that lose beds first and there have been cases of women giving birth in waiting rooms because there was no bed available.

Such horror stories have driven many patients to seek private healthcare (even if many of the quality of public healthcare is generally high). Compared to NHS hospitals, private clinics often offer patients their own room with a TV and food waiting service. Such clinics can be more like hotels than hospitals and this luxury draws people to them who may have had a bad experience with public healthcare.

Greater access to private health insurance

Health insurance rates are increasing, which may suggest that fewer can afford to go private. However, access to private health insurance is growing as many companies are taking out plans for their employees as a perk. As a result many patients aren’t actually having to pay for the bulk of private healthcare thanks to employers’ generosity.

Private healthcare has been ranked many times amongst the best company perks along with other health benefits such as free gym memberships. Such perks make financial sense to employers too – looking after the health of your employees results in less sick days and more productivity. Some companies are also able to get discounts with bulk schemes.

Greater range of treatment options

There are some treatment options that you can’t get on the NHS. Cosmetic treatments are a good example of this and must be sought out privately. The NHS has even axed certain procedures such as varicose vein surgery and tonsil removal in order to prioritise more necessary treatments.

Going private allows people to seek out these treatment options that aren’t provided by the NHS. In fact, cosmetic treatment makes up the majority of private procedures (even if many private insurers don’t cover cosmetic treatment).

The rise of medical tourism

Perhaps one of the more obscure reasons as to why more people are going private is a rise in medical tourism. Often driven by other factors too such as shorter waiting times and greater quality of care, patients are considering medical options abroad. This can allow patients to receive the perks of private healthcare whilst also getting to experience a trip to another country.

Such an option may only be suitable for those whose condition doesn’t limit them from flying. In some cases, it could allow patients to recuperate whilst enjoying a holiday in an exotic country.

What does this mean for the future of healthcare?

More people going private may not be such a bad thing for the NHS. The system is already under such strain that it struggles to keep up with the amount of patients it already has. If more people start going private it could allow the NHS to give more time to those that need it and who can’t afford to go private.

Meanwhile, private clinics will continue to benefit from this growth. New private clinics are constantly being established, allowing private clinics to keep up with the demand.

 

LAINGBUISSON AND TEMOS JOIN FORCES FOR THE IMTJ MEDICAL TRAVEL SUMMIT 2019

SIGN-POSTED-BGIndustry leading event heads for Berlin, April 28-30 2019 … bringing together key opinion leaders and senior executives to explore the future of the developing medical travel sector

The IMTJ Medical Travel Summit 2019 will take place in Berlin, Germany from April 28th to April 30th 2019 at the Seminaris Campushotel.

LaingBuisson, a UK based provider of market intelligence, consulting, data solutions and patient acquisition to international healthcare businesses has teamed up with Temos International, the only worldwide independent accreditation body focused on the quality of international patient management from the medical and non-clinical perspectives to widen the appeal of Summit and build on its past success.

Now in its fifth year, the Summit will bring together industry leaders to share their knowledge and experience and ensure the long-term development of this industry.
The event in Berlin combines four key elements:

• The IMTJ Medical Travel Summit brings together key opinion leaders and senior executives involved in medical travel and healthcare businesses across the world.
• The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards celebrate the success of the leading players in medical travel.
• The IMTJ – Temos Marketplace provides exhibitors with a great opportunity to meet new customers.
• B2B Meetings bring together buyers of medical travel and international patient services with providers and suppliers who are seeking new business opportunities and sources of patient referral.

The Summit will also host the 9th Annual Meeting and training session for Temos partners as well as the exclusive dinner for Temos accredited partners “by invitation only” hosted by the Diplomatic Council (DC)  and Temos International.

Earlybird rates are available now. Reduced rates are on offer for delegates from academic and research institutions.

330 delegates, 35 countries… came to Athens to debate the future of medical travel

DSC_9761The IMTJ Medical Travel Summit 2018 , held in Athens, Greece on May 21-24 2018, attracted 330 delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and participants from around the globe. The Summit brought together key opinion leaders and senior executives involved in medical tourism and healthcare businesses across the world to discuss the future of this developing industry sector.

The Summit was co-hosted by Elitour, the Greek Medical Tourism Council.

The Summit addressed many of the issues that face the sector – the future of global healthcare, trends in healthcare and technology, destination development, and the patient experience. Sessions were dedicated to specific areas such as fertility travel, dental travel, and wellness tourism and important international patient markets including Russia and the CIS, and the Gulf. The closing highlight of the event, the Great Debate, conducted in Oxford Union style, considered whether “the medical tourism sector has failed to deliver what its customers need and want”.

According to Keith Pollard, IMTJ Editor in Chief and Executive Chairman of LaingBuisson International:

“The Summit exceeded our expectations not only in the support from delegates and sponsors but also in the quality of content delivered by our speakers. What will continue to differentiate the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit is our commitment to substance, avoiding the hype that has plagued other events in the sector, providing an honest and realistic assessment of the current market and examining the future of medical travel.”

The event was made possible through the support of Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), Medical Korea, Poliklinika Bagatin, Zagreb, Hygeia Group, Embryogenesis, IASO, Institute of Life, Athens Medical Group, Dubai Health, Sunway Medical Centre, Intermedika, Enterprise Greece, Elitour – Greek Medical Tourism Council, Greek National Tourism Organisation, Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau, Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies, Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies, SETE – Greek Tourism Confederation, Argo Travel, Aegean, Healthcare Business International, Kathimerini, Russian Media Group, Travelling, Travel Daily News, Greek Travel Pages, Pink Medico

For all media enquiries, including images of the Summit and interviews with Keith Pollard, please contact Sarah Ward: sarahward@imtj.com.

Notes for editors:

About IMTJ

The International Medical Travel Journal provides insight into the medical travel and medical tourism sector. IMTJ was established in 2007 in response to the increasing interest in medical travel and medical tourism. It embraces many of the themes that challenge healthcare providers across the world – insurance, accreditation, marketing and promotion, quality, patient safety, levels of care and experience in treating international patients.

IMTJ is independent of the associations and special interest groups that have come aboard the medical tourism bandwagon. Our aim is to create a central focus for information, resources and opinion on medical travel for those involved in the industry, anywhere in the world.

The internationalisation of healthcare through medical travel is at the heart of IMTJ. Patients are becoming healthcare consumers and in many countries, patient choice is being extended to surgery and treatment provided by international hospitals and clinics. By sharing expertise, knowledge, and views about the health travel industry, IMTJ helps to ensure that patient expectations are met, and that the industry maintains a high reputation.

LaingBuisson

The International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) is owned and managed by LaingBuisson International. The company also operates consumer facing portals for medical tourism – Treatment Abroad and Fertility Treatment Abroad .

LaingBuisson is a leading healthcare intelligence provider and has been serving clients for over 30 years with insights, data and analysis of market structures, policy and strategy across healthcare and social care. LaingBuisson is the chosen provider of independent sector healthcare market data to the UK Government Office for National Statistics and works globally with providers, commissioners, payors, manufacturers, investors, regulators and advisors. LaingBuisson helps clients to understand their markets, make informed decisions and deliver better outcomes through market intelligence, consulting and data solutions.

Success in medical travel recognised by IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2018

DSC_1435The very best in the medical travel sector are celebrating following the announcement of the winners in the IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2018 .

The awards celebrate innovation and excellence in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry. Unlike other awards in the sector, the IMTJ awards are judged by an independent panel of medical travel experts, chaired by IMTJ Editor in Chief, Keith Pollard.

The awards were presented on 23 May at a high-profile reception in Athens, Greece during the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit which brought together leading healthcare providers and medical tourism experts from around the world. The Awards were generously supported by Elitour, Medical Korea, the Hellenic Motor Museum, Radisson Blu, Argo Travel and Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 2018 winners are:

Health and medical tourism: Destination of the year
Korea Health Industry Development Institute

Health and medical tourism: Cluster of the year
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

International hospital of the year
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Specialist international patient centre
Institut Jantung Negara (IJN), Malaysia

International dental clinic of the year
Kreativ Dental Clinic, Hungary

International cosmetic surgery clinic of the year
Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre, Malaysia

International fertility clinic of the year
TMC Fertility & Women’s Specialist Centre, Malaysia

International cancer centre of the year
The London Clinic, UK

International hair clinic of the year
DHI Scotland, UK

International eye clinic of the year
Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, UAE

Best medical travel web site
Qunomedical, Germany

Best marketing initiative
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Best quality initiative
TMC Fertility & Women’s Specialist Centre, Malaysia

Excellence in customer service
Clemenceau Medical Center, Lebanon

Best use of technology in medical tourism
Clemenceau Medical Center, Lebanon

Highly commended entrants:

Health and medical tourism: Destination of the year
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

Excellence in customer service
The London Clinic, UK

Excellence in customer service
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Best medical travel web site
IVF Media, USA

Editor in Chief of IMTJ, Keith Pollard says:

“The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry worldwide, and are the only independent awards to recognise those who are the best of the best. Our panel of 20 international judges wanted to reward innovation and excellence, highlight best practice and celebrate those who are leading the way in the industry and delivering successful outcomes for patients

All of our winners exemplify the way the medical travel industry should operate –offering an exceptional patient experience and providing the best possible medical outcomes. I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards; I encourage other hospitals, clinics and medical travel providers to raise their game to match or even better this year’s winners.”

For all media enquiries, including images of the ceremony, contacts for winners and interviews with Keith Pollard, please contact Sarah Ward: sarahward@imtj.com.

Notes for editors:

About IMTJ

The International Medical Travel Journal provides insight into the medical travel and medical tourism sector. IMTJ was established in 2007 in response to the increasing interest in medical travel and medical tourism. It embraces many of the themes that challenge healthcare providers across the world – insurance, accreditation, marketing and promotion, quality, patient safety, levels of care and experience in treating international patients.

IMTJ is independent of the associations and special interest groups that have come aboard the medical tourism bandwagon. Our aim is to create a central focus for information, resources and opinion on medical travel for those involved in the industry, anywhere in the world.

The internationalisation of healthcare through health tourism is at the heart of IMTJ. Patients are becoming healthcare consumers and in many countries, patient choice is being extended to surgery and treatment provided by international hospitals and clinics. By sharing expertise, knowledge, and views about the health travel industry, IMTJ helps to ensure that patient expectations are met, and that the industry maintains a high reputation.

The International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) is owned and managed by LaingBuisson. The company also operates a consumer facing portal for medical tourism – Treatment Abroad.