We look at Treatment Abroad’s new rating and review system.

It’s been a couple of months since we launched medical tourism ratings and reviews. It’s met with a variable response from the medical tourism industry, and from the patients themselves.

It’s been a couple of months since we launched medical tourism ratings and reviews. It’s met with a variable response from the medical tourism industry, and from the patients themselves.

Medical tourism ratings and reviews at Treatment Abroad enables patients to provide feedback on their experience of travelling for treatment abroad. The Ratings and Reviews system is integral to our business philosophy of “helping patients to make the right choice”. It’s run through Bazaarvoice, the US based world leader in reviews systems who operate similar systems for companies such as Dell, Sears, Argos and many others.
When a patient submits a review of a medical tourism agency, a hospital or a clinic, the review is checked by the Reviews Team to ensure that:

  • The review is valid, honest and fair comment.
  • It is not a spurious review that has been “invented” by a healthcare provider to promote their facility or to damage a competitor’s reputation.
  • The review does not contain profanity or inappropriate content.
  • The review does not raise issues of legal liability.

Healthcare providers and agencies are given the opportunity to respond to any negative reviews.
So…what do the healthcare providers think of ratings and reviews?
It’s interesting…. those medical tourism agencies and healthcare providers that are “marketing oriented” have adopted the approach with enthusiasm. They see it as a highly attractive way of generating “word of mouth” recommendation of their services and it doesn’t cost them a penny.
Companies such as Gorgeous Getaways in South Africa and Vital Europe in Hungary are actively encouraging their patients to review their services:

  • View medical tourism reviews for Gorgeous Getaways
  • View medical tourism reviews for Vital Europe

Others are less enthusastic….and I’m not sure why! Is it because they are fearful of patients posting negative comments about their experience? Is it because they are just not switched on to the power of “word of mouth” and the way in whiuch consumers are using the web to influence product and service purchase?
Experience from other industries shows that:

  • 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a supplier, if it has ratings and reviews.
  • 77% of online shoppers use reviews and ratings when purchasing.
  • 82% of those who read reviews said that their purchasing decisions have been directly influenced by those reviews.

Asking people to record their experience of medical tourism should encourage more patients to travel for treatment abroad. And, Medical Tourism Ratings and Reviews should help healthcare providers to tune into the “patient’s voice”.So…what do the patients think of it?
They love it! The feedback on their medical tourism experience is overwhelmingly positive, and it’s helping to reassure other patients who are considering medical travel. Patients are healthcare consumers; and typical consumer behaviour is beginning to influence the way that they buy healthcare. If they can rate and review their hotel or holiday experience on TripAdvisor…. why not do the same for medical travel?

Previous articleThe Health Tourism Show set to open
Next articleJeju unveils plan for Healthcare Town
Keith Pollard
As Editor in Chief of International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) and a Healthcare Consultant for LaingBuisson, Keith Pollard is one of Europe’s leading experts on private healthcare, medical tourism and cross border healthcare, providing consultancy and research services, and attending and contributing to major conferences across the world on the subject. He has been involved in private healthcare, medical travel and cross border healthcare since the 1990s. His career has embraced the management of private hospitals in the UK, research and feasibility studies for healthcare ventures, the marketing and business development aspects of healthcare and medical travel and publishing, research and consultancy on cross border healthcare.