The Global Healthcare Accreditation (GHA) Programme for Medical Travel Services has launched COVID-19 Guidelines for Medical Travel Programmes to assist organisations in the medical tourism industry seeking to mitigate the risk of infection for traveling patients and their companions.
The guidelines focus on the entire care continuum, including providing guidance for travel, as well as interactions with the healthcare organisation, hotel and ground transport.
In addition to making the guidelines available publicly, GHA is offering a certification of conformance for hospitals and ambulatory centres that wish to validate compliance against the guidelines, as well as GHA training for healthcare and medical travel professionals on the guidelines.
For a hospital, the certification costs US$1,950, plus an annual renewal fee of US$300. The average timeframe can be as short as two weeks.
As travel restrictions begin to ease, patients will seek healthcare organisations that can demonstrate how they are mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection throughout the patient journey including travel, transport and hotel stay. The certification aims to demonstrate to patients that a medical travel programme is in a hospital where operational protocols, practices and procedures have undergone an external review.
The certification includes a two-hour online training course on the guidelines, available to all employees of a hospital.