Medical Tourism is a combination of two totally different worlds words ‘Medical’ and ‘Tourism’ which is well understood by patients who have benefited from Medical Treatment Abroad or by Primary Caregivers who have referred their ailing patients to a foreign Medical Facility.
As the name indicates it is a technical term given to the Global healthcare phenomenon, where patients from one place travel to another place to receive medical care, both the native and destination places can be located in the same country or even in a different country.
India is thriving as a medical destination. People from all over the world, especially from Africa, the middle east, and Russia visit India in search of cost-effective medical treatment. Medical tourists to India got high-quality healthcare services, with a high recovery rate.
Different ways to promote Medical Tourism in hospitals or to increase patient flow-
Take Advantage of Digital Marketing: Today web presence is a must for any kind of business. A strong web presence can help to stand out from the competitors, drive more patients to hospitals and overall drive better revenue. To further attest to the importance of web presence, research done by Pew Research Centre showed that at least 72% of adults alone in the U.S. look for health information online. Considering this and the fact the use of technology is only likely to increase with time- it only makes sense for hospitals to focus their efforts on attracting clients through digital marketing.
There are different types of digital marketing that contain lots of benefits, the most common of which include:
Content marketing-Creating content that helps the targeted audience to learn more about their condition or symptoms.
Search engine marketing- Running ads on Google Search for keywords related to the hospitals.
Search engine optimization– Optimize the website in such a way that it pops up on page one when people Google “Medical Hospital”.
Social media marketing– Keeping an active social media presence, running promotional campaigns, etc.
Email marketing- Reaching out to former patients with special offers and trying to retain them as customers for the hospital.
Create a Well-Designed Website–It is hard to establish a strong web presence without a well-designed website to represent the hospital in the virtual world.
A website can help to increase patient flow to hospitals by allowing anyone who looks up to get information about the services and expertise, to contact, or learn more about health-related issues straight from professionals.
Some elements that are basically a must-have for a hospital these days:
Modern and user-friendly interface.
Simple and attractive home page.
Compatibility with all devices.
Good Content Management Software.
Offer Online Booking– Most people today prefer to do everything from their phones, including working, shopping and etc. Even so, they have the same preferences when it comes to booking healthcare appointments.
One by offering telemedicine services – Hospitals can offer online consultations to patients that otherwise would not be able to visit the hospital physically.
Set up an online patient platform-This allows for all sorts of amazing features like allowing the patients to book or cancel appointments online, check their prescriptions, check their diagnosis, and treatment plans, and so on. Online booking comes with a number of other benefits, such as reducing cancellations and no-shows by allowing patients to book appointments when it is the most convenient for them.
Factors contributing to increasing Medical Tourism in India:
Quality healthcare at reasonable costs-With state-of-the-art hospitals and healthcare technologies available in India at par with those found in developed nations, patients can expect quality healthcare and assistance for their conditions.
Savings for the patient– Some of the developed countries like the U.S. require extremely high costs for major procedures like cardiac surgeries, orthopaedics treatment, etc. Coming to India and obtaining the same treatment reduces the patient’s costs by as much as 50% without compromising the quality of treatment.
Customized approach– Hospitals offering Medical Tourism in India facilities to tourists in India today have a well-thought-out plan for visiting patients, which includes comprehensive services that range from obtaining a medical visa, preparing documents, arranging appointments and stay, facilitating transportation for medical care, and even sightseeing.
About the Author: Damaya Myrphet is pursuing Masters of Public Health
Disclaimer: Views expressed are the author’s own. Edward & Cynthia Institute of Public Health or Yenepoya (Deemed to be University) are not responsible for contents or opinions reflected in this article.