Rather than taking advantage of the unwary traveller, Spanish hospitality seeks to welcome foreigners with the country’s proverbial sunny weather and affordable healthy bodies
By Wardah Malik
Travelling to foreign countries can often be a great adventure – one that explores language, culture and food. But the traveller should take a special care in ensuring before he sets out that the health problems that he might encounter abroad are covered by an adequate insurance.
Several companies have made a fortune on foreign healthcare systems for tourists. However, a new form of medical assistance is questioning the fundamental notion of how a hospital benefits from catering specifically to foreigners. This new form of assistance is referred to as HospiQuality and has its origins in Spain.
HospiQuality was established in 2008, for the sole purpose of providing quality healthcare through the HM Hospital Group, a private organization. Private hospitals such as the University Hospital of Madrid have agreed to incorporate an International Patient Services Department with their emergency services or admissions departments. These “departments” offer highly qualified doctors as well as translators and staff who are in direct contact with the insurance companies. Depending on the coverage of the insurance the international department will offer the patient a wide range of services, from cardiology to the treatment of breast tumors.
With such a vast coverage, the price tag on one’s health can really soar. However, HospiQuality is striving to change that conception. Altering the framework within which insurance operates, HospiQuality seeks to advertise, negotiate, and ultimately provide.
Javier Casquero Lara, a coordinator for the HM group, suggests that contacting third parties who, in turn, contact others who are interested in receiving medical assistance during their temporary residence in Spain (such as InternMadrid, Hotel Groups, etc.) is the key to the growing infrastructure of this particular healthcare programme. Tourist Health Management Spain will then enter into a mutually beneficial agreement with the third party. Hotel A, for example, will benefit from such an agreement with HM’s International Patient Services Department because its clients will be receiving high quality healthcare, which will then boost the hotel’s reputation. Simultaneously HospiQualtiy benefits from the ever growing number of international patient.
Ultimately, therefore, the foreign patient in Spain, stands to receive quality healthcare at a private Spanish hospital at a reasonable price. With HospiQuality, Spain is reaching a new peak not only in the foreign healthcare market but also in acquiring an admirable globalized mentality. Rather than taking advantage of the unwary traveller, Spanish hospitality seeks to welcome foreigners with the country’s proverbial sunny weather and affordable healthy bodies.
HM Hospitales and Turismo de España websites
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