The Importance of a Medical Travel Program


A Medical Travel Programme is a programme or system designed to facilitate medical, dental care, and ancillary services for medical travel and international patients with the ultimate goal of providing a safe an high quality care and patient experience.

This is achieved by creating standardized processes and procedures along the medical travel care continuum in our patient journey that address the unique needs of patient traveling patient population.

Stages of development of Medical Travel Program (MRP)

Pre-Development stage

The organization might evaluate possible MTP services; or doctors approach leadership with ideas for medical travel services. Organization established a taskforce to study the viability of offering medical travel services.  May have significant resistance by leaders to   move forward with medical travel services.

Early Development

The organization has developed a formal or informal Service or Dept. for medical travel but may not have established policies and protocols for medical travel patients.  

Midterm Development

Services have been provided for 1-2 years. Organization has developed a formal Service or Dept. for medical travel.  It may be struggling to establish a medical travel culture within the organization.

Established Program

3 years or more. Organization’s leaders have integrated MT services into the organization’s culture. Leaders at all levels are aware of MT services and benefit to the organization.

Typical Services Provided by MTP

  • Assistance with travel, passport or visa coordination
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off and ground transportation
  • Assistance arranging accommodation
  • Sending price quotes
  • Language interpretation or translation services
  • Personalized patient assistance onsite
  • International Insurance billing
  • Food choices for different religious and cultural preferences
  • Arranging tourism and leisure activities

Key Considerations

The development and implementation of a Medical Travel Program into a hospital or clinic can provoke several downstream effects on daily operations, including but not limited to:

  • New roles and responsibilities
  • Redesign of existing processes
  • Training of current staff to acquire new skills or acquisition of new talent
  • Optimize and manage integration of specialists, technology, hospitality, governmental stakeholders to create unique competitive niche
  • Optimize patient experience to yield high satisfaction

Benefits of a MTP

  • Provide a higher quality and uniform patient experience for medical travelers and companions
  • The focus on patient experience and customer service should be leveraged for local patients
  • Facilitate the attraction of new patient markets and resulting increase in revenue
  • Improving cultural competency of staff by exposing staff to patients from different regions and cultural backgrounds 
  • Increased international recognition of the healthcare facility and physicians