MTQUA has suggestions for the medical travel industry that could help make medical travel journeys better and safer.
Julie Munro of the Medical Travel Quality Alliance has suggestions for the medical travel industry that could help make medical travel journeys better and safer.
The first is that hospitals should give to medical tourists their complete medical files, not just summaries, as part of the discharge process.
Patient medical information belongs to the individual, and includes all data the hospital has collected while the patient was being diagnosed or treated including operative notes and the detailed medical bill. Having this information in hand may make the difference between life and death when a patient needs treatment at home.
Patients shouldn’t have to make a special request for them. For some hospitals it is standard practice to present all medical information to the patient at the time of discharge, including operative notes.
The second suggestion is that hospitals and clinics should not withhold the passports of medical tourists. The practice of keeping passports hostage in the belief that this somehow guarantees that a hospital bill get paid in full is illegal and could be a violation of human rights. It is against the law for employers to hold foreign workers’ passports.
A year ago, British citizen Allan Cox landed in hospital in the Dominican Republic. When he was unable to pay his hospital bill in full, the hospital kept his passport until he was able to pay for the treatment he received. This is standard practice in a number of countries.