How can you check the quality of an overseas hospital?

Judging the price of a procedure is pretty straight forward.  Most overseas hospitals provide fixed prices for procedures.  Quite refreshing for American patients.  But juding the quality of a hospital or doctor can be more challenging.  Although many overseas hospitasl are high quality, how can you comfirm that for yourself?  Here are the steps you can take and the questions you can ask:

1) Accreditation. Check whether the hospital or clinic is accredited or certified. Probably the most well known accreditation agency is the Joint Commission International (JCI) who as accredited over 200 hospitals worldwide. The Trent International Accreditation Scheme in the U.K. and Hong Kong is also widely used, as is Accreditation Canada. In order to attract overseas patients, many hospitals are seeking these accreditations. For hospitals that have these certifications, we've included links to them on GlobalDoctorOptions.com.

2) Hospital statistics. Ask the hospital directly for their success and morbidity statistics.  Larger hospitals will generally have reputable statistics.  When working with smaller clinics, be careful of making decisions based only on these statistics - often there aren't any third parties verifiying the statistics are accurate.  Compare the figures from several hospitals.  If some seem much higher or lower than others - ask why.  You should be able to get a good explanation.

3) Ratings or rankings. There are an increasing number of organizations and magazines (like Newsweek) that are providing ratings or rankings of hospitals. Where we've found them, we've included links to these in the hospital profiles within the site.

4) Experience.  You're likely more interested in working with a doctor that specializes in the procedure you'll be undergoing.  Ask how many surgeries the doctor and the hospital have performed.  Generally, more is better.

5) References. There are several good sources of references or referees. One is the hospital itself - many hospitals will provide you a list of references that you can speak with. The other is he Internet - many people have written about their experiences on their own blogs or in various forums or groups. Doing a google (or youtube) search can help uncover many of these, where you can get feedback from other people that have undergone the same procedure you are considering.

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