5 Major Ethical Concerns in the Medical Tourism Sector
Ethics are moral codes or principles that govern the decorum and conduct of an activity, place or person. In the medical tourism sector, ethics are definitely an extremely vital element. The healthcare providers are ethically obligated to ensure the provision of superior treatment, proper professional conduct and maintain the privacy of the patients. So, what are the major ethical concerns that should not drive the medical tourism sector?
1. Medical Tourism Marketing- Providing Right Information- Patients should not be lured with flashy advertising content and unfounded promises. Healthcare service providers should provide right information through their websites, marketing campaign or any other medium.
Though traveling forms an important aspect of medical tourism, patients do not just travel abroad to enjoy a joy ride in an amusement park or take a deep dive into the blue water of the Caribbean. They look out for a serious remedy for the required medical treatment or procedure. Some people even travel abroad to save lives. Thus, the effort or act of luring patients with false promises is unethical. Such practice should be treated as a crime and the responsible persons should be prosecuted with the accordance of local laws and jurisdiction.
2. Care and Treatment – If a provider tries to convince a patient for some unnecessary tests and procedures to make more profits out of the deal, this will be a serious violation of ethics. In addition, if a patient is suggested medical solutions like abortion or euthanasia that is illegal in his or her home countries; this can create an ethical burden.
3. Cheating the Partners- Trust and reliability are the most important factors based on which a medical center can beat the heat of competition. A provider will not be able to survive in the industry if it is not associated with trusted partners including suppliers, marketers, and investors.
The submission or publication of inaccurate reports on financial activities by a clinic can easily create an environment of mistrust. A clinic may try to hide the actual number of patients treated in a week, month or year. Such efforts will eat up the shares of the partners, which is a clear violation of business or professional ethics.
4. Communication Ethics- The medical centers must provide relevant information regarding the clinical procedure and the cost. There should not be any false promise made to lure the patients regarding the treatment or the outcome. There should be proper transparency on what is being offered, how it is being offered and what should be expected as the final outcome. They must let the patients exercise their right to decide whether they want to undergo the treatment.
5. Liability on Patient’s Home Country- The providers should not involve in any practice that may burden the health care system of the patient’s home country, especially if the structure is like national health insurance or any socialized medicine. Moreover, the providers must be very careful that the patients are not getting any non-native infection or antibiotic resistance infection while going through a treatment procedure in their country. Patients returning home country with infections can pose significant risks to public health.
The growth rate of the medical tourism industry depends on a number of ethical policies. The authenticity of the clinics, professionals, marketers, channels, suppliers and investors plays major roles in creating an environment of trust and reliability. Are you following the best ethical practices of medical tourism? Let PlacidWay help you to win the trust of the patients with complete transparency on the treatments, price and other related credentials.
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