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MEDICAL OUTSOURCING

Dictionary.com defines outsourcing as “a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally”. The term which has been generally associated with the automobile industry was popularized during the past decade by the computer or IT industry. But when it is the health industry in question, how does outsourcing work there? What is outsourced and how?

If you are thinking it’s the drug manufacturing that is outsourced, you are wrong. Nor is it the bookkeeping that is outsourced. What is outsourced is the patient himself or rather he chooses to have his treatment done offshore. The driving cause is the high cost of health care in his home country. Or in certain other cases, the long waits before he can get the needed treatment.

So, medical outsourcing or offshore medical which is also commonly known as medical tourism is the practice of seeking health care abroad. But, who provides these outsourcing services?

There are lots of offshore health care providers in the form of hospitals and clinics participating in this business. Some of them can be found on the other side of the border while others may be a few oceans across. Examples include those in India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, and so on. Some of them give excellent service – even superior to what you can get at home using the latest technology and by world-renowned surgeons – while others may not be as great. To show their commitment towards top quality, many providers also have international accreditations like JCI, JACHO, ISO, etc. Some have strategic alliances with well-known US health care providers like Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical International and Johns Hopkins.

International health care providers are able to provide you with high quality treatment at an affordable cost mainly because of low labor cost, low administrative cost, low malpractice cost and low living cost in their country. That’s the same reason why IT companies started outsourcing.

Now the obvious question arises – how do you find the right provider for your needs? The answer is do research. There are lots of resources available – news, articles, blogs, forums, testimonials, etc. Many people find it useful to work with a health tourism facilitator or medical tourism facilitator like Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com). They are specialized facilitators who carefully screen and partner with international healthcare providers that meet up to the high standards of patients from the US, the UK, Canada, etc. They also help patients with all the logistics involved in getting a surgery abroad.

There are a few other things that you will need to do for a successful experience in getting your surgery overseas. Getting into the details of all of them is beyond the scope of this article. Here are some of them: doing a thorough research on the surgery in question to establish your suitability for it as well as for medical tourism, getting to learn about your medical travel destination, arranging all your medical records and sending them to the international hospital, securing passport and visa, booking tickets, and more. You may want to start here: http://www.healthbase.com/resources/medical-tourism/medical-tourism-information.

Earlier, people would go abroad mostly for elective cosmetic procedures which were not covered by insurances. Today, people outsource their orthopedic procedures as well as cardiac surgeries as well as organ transplants. It’s not just individuals who are interested in this trend to save money. Medical outsourcing has also received attention from health insurance companies who have started offering overseas treatment plans to expand their customer base, and from employers who have included it as a benefit to their employees.

At the time of writing this article, neither Merriam Webster nor Dictionary.com had an entry for “medical outsourcing”. But given the speed with which the trend is spreading, pretty soon they will have to update their dictionaries.

You can learn more about medical outsourcing, the details of the process, international healthcare providers and arrange your surgery by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. Healthbase.com is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low-cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer.

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Countries

Healthbase is a provider-of-choice for medical tourists world-wide. We provide direct access to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals in Thailand, Singapore, India, Mexico and we are expanding to Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and Panama.

Over hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: orthopedic procedures such as hip replacement, Birmingham hip resurfacing, artificial knee replacement, knee surgery, cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, face lift, rhinoplasty (nose surgery), liposuction, dental procedures such as bridges, implants, crowns, and procedures in categories such as cardiac, vascular, spinal, obesity, eye, LASIK, urology, general surgery, plastic surgery, weight-loss surgery, wellness and much more. The savings are up to 80% from typical USA prices.

Healthbase provides direct access to elite US, UK and internationally trained physicians and surgeons at major, JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals in over ten cities in Thailand, Singapore, India, Mexico and we are expanding to Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and Panama. Extensive hospital profiles including pictures of hospital facility, patient room, operating room, videos, doctor credentials, step-by-step guide, cost comparison, free quote and much more are available after login. Registration is simple, easy and free.

Singapore

Raffles Hospital

An ISO 9001 institute with US/UK trained specialists. Raffles Hospital in Singapore is a 380-bed tertiary care private hospital offering a full complement of specialist services using the most advanced medical technology. The rooms at Raffles Hospital are outfitted to the standards of five-star hotels, with an array of suites, single, double, four and six-bed rooms for you to choose from.

National Heart Center Singapore

National Heart Center Singapore is a designated national center for cardiovascular medicine in Singapore and sees over 85,000 outpatients yearly. Performed 2,056 Angioplasty procedures, 577 CABG procedures & 304 Pacing procedures in 2005. National Heart Center Singapore is the first heart center outside USA to be JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited.

Thailand

Piyavate Hospital

The Piyavate Hospital medical staff is comprised both American Board and Thai Board Certified Physicians in every specialty field, supported by highly qualified registered nurses, technicians and administrative personnel. Piyavate Hospital is located in Bangkok, Thailand. The hospital provides medical services using modern technology and state-of-the-art equipment, accredited by the International Standards Organization ISO 9001-2000.

Bangkok Hospital Group Medical Center

Bangkok Hospital is one of the biggest hospitals in Thailand providing tertiary healthcare. The Bangkok Hospital Group has world renowned physicians, cutting edge technology and excellent nursing staff provide all of their patients with the utmost level of medical care. The Bangkok Heart Hospital an ISO 9001:2000 accredited hospital has treated more than 40,000 cardiac outpatients and has done more than 1,100 heart surgeries to date.

India

Apollo Hospitals Group

The first Indian hospital to receive the Joint Commission International (JCI) USA accreditation the gold-standard in hospital certifications worldwide. Apollo Hospitals have over 7000 beds in 38 hospitals. Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, India is spread over 12 acres of land, has a built-up area of 600,000 square feet, and handles close to 200,000 patients a year, of which 10,000 are international patients.

Wockhardt Hospitals Group

Wockhardt hospitals Group has established a chain of super specialty hospitals at Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkatta and Nagpur. Wockhardt Hospitals has associated with Harvard Medical International (HMI), USA. As associate hospitals of HMI in India, Wockhardt Hospitals benefit from the extensive learning and experience of Harvard Medical School and its affiliated institutions world-wide and strive to bring to its patients the benefits of global standards in technology and clinical expertise. Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai, has become the first super specialty hospital in South Asia to achieve accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), USA.

Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center

Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center (EHIRC), an ISO 9001 institute has a total of 164 Critical Care beds to provide intensive care to patients after surgery or angioplasty, emergency admissions or other patients needing highly specialized management. The hospital is backed by the most advanced laboratories performing complete range of investigative tests in the field of Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, Bio-chemistry, Haematology, Transfusion Medicine and Microbiology. Performed over 9756 Angiographies, 2707 Coronary Interventions, 5519 Cardiac (3214 CABG, 563 Valve, 765 Congenital, 977 other) surgeries in 2005.

For the complete list of hospitals, medical procedures offered, cost estimate, hospital profiles, doctor profiles, testimonials, and much more, login here. Access is free.