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Jul 21st 2010 9:30AM My, my.. what a heated discussion in the comments part of this entry..
I would like to clear up some things first:
1. Medical tourism is picking up in Romania due to the fact that private hospitals are opening up across the country. These private hospitals are using the same doctors that would like to leave the country looking for better paid jobs but don't - mostly because they are over the age where one picks up and leaves.
1. a. Doctors who are further in their career, and also older in age are generally considered to be better professionals - as this job requires not only wits and intelligence but also experience - most of all.
2. I wouldn't say Romania isn't even 50th in someone's mind when thinking about medical tourism - while it's not first by any means, it has come a long way recently and media reports of the industry (yes there is one, although vaguely present) show around 100,000 non-residents in 2009 taking up medical treatment in Romania. I say non-residents, because the number includes Romanians who have left the country and return to visit.
3. I too am a medical tourism facilitator (well my company is) http://www.qdays.com but the difference is we're based on-site in Romania, only offering services from providers we've actually inspected prior to going into an agreement with them. So I will comment on some points in the comments box as well (how many comments in one comment line...).
3.a. the hospitals we work with have prices listed at the reception be it for cosmetic dentistry, orthopaedics, plastic surgery or laser eye surgery. Do you think a patient being charged 6000 Euro for a hip replacement and seeing the hospital actually charges 5000 Euro at the front desk would recommend me on?
Same goes for dentistry?
I'll clear up waters and explain how it works.. The cosmetic dentistry part is clearest.. A patient comes in to get full dentures top and bottom with implants. Say this goes for about 8,000 Euro - it takes two separate trips. The dentist then works on the patient for 16 ours each trip (remember this is just a ballpark assessment of the model) totalling 32 hours at 8,000 euro that's around 250 Euro per hour coming into the clinic. On the other hand, a patient comes in for scaling, polishing and two fillings - this takes an hour and costs around 50 Euro.
Get my point yet? The dentist will pay a facilitator to source patients - because he won't source patients coming over for two fillings. Without adding a commission for the facilitator, he still makes more money that he would have without the medical tourism facilitator.
3.b.Now if you're on site you can also offer accommodation and there's no scam behind this either - if you're a certified travel agent you'll get a discount from hotels which you can pass on to the patients, keep a bit yourself, and they'd still be getting a good deal..
To sum up - yes, there are stories out there of people being charged more than regularly but (*surprise!) there are facilitators who actually care about the patient coming back again.. and while there are few of these, I can proudly call myself one. And if you ask about aftercare, ask me directly on the contact form at http://www.qdays.com
Medical treatment in Romania is now worth it - with Qdays - Medical Holidays.