Suppose you have decided that you want to get a plastic surgery done overseas. It will cost less and you can get the procedure done quickly. There is no waiting period at many of the facilities that you have seen online. How can you be sure that they are safe? How do you know whether the doctors have the proper credentials in plastic surgery?
You have to make decisions about a major surgical procedure at a place you have never seen nor visited. Will it be clean? Will it have the necessary equipment that is working? Do they use latest state of the art technologies?
One way you can be assured that they are a safe healthcare facility with the kind of care you would demand from your general practitioner down the street is to research whether or not they are JCI accredited. What is JCI? JCI stands for Joint Commission International. JCI Accreditation is considered as the gold standard for international medical facility credentialing. In the United States the Joint Commission has raised the standard in medical organizations and when they accredit a healthcare facility you can be rest assured that they are one of the top hospitals in the United States.
The JCI has this same level of standard and reputation overseas. They evaluate a facility and decide what they need to improve. They do not give their seal of approval unless that particular facility has met the standard of care set out by the commission. If you see the JCI seal of approval on an overseas facility you can rest assured that it is a safe and well run facility.
There are other accrediting agencies that hold facilities worldwide to a high standard of care. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001:2000) accreditation provides evidence of good management practices within the organization and that the organization has measurable quality management practices aiding consistency and efficiency. Similarly, the TRENT accreditation organization is based in the UK and Hong Kong. In Australia is the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards International, ASCHI, and in Canada is the Canadian Council on Health Services Regulation, or CCHSA. Each of these organizations varies in size and in the method in which they accredit a health facility.
In addition to healthcare accreditations, you should look at what kind of board certifications the doctors and staff have. These certifications mean that a doctor has undergone additional education and has passed a board exam in a specialty medical area. Some examples of board certifications to consider are American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Surgery, American Board Certified General Surgeon, The American Board of Medical Specialists, and American Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. In addition, there are several well recognized similar international boards that certify healthcare providers and hold them to high standards.
Do your research and make sure that the facility and the doctors are accredited and board certified before booking that trip. Medical tourism is a growing field and many doctors and facilities are getting the proper certifications, because they want clients to come back for more procedures and influence others to come as well. So rest assured that if a facility has a JCI or other accreditation agency seal on it is a safe and well maintained facility.