The Merriam-Webster website defines an advocate as “one that pleads the cause of another…; one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal; one that supports or promotes the interests of another.”
Of key importance is the fact that it is someone acting on the behalf of another. It is not someone acting on their own behalf.
Yet, this is what too many medical tourism patients try to do today AND too many Medical Travel Facilitators (MTFs) can not do FOR their patients due to the conflict of interest by representing doctors and hospitals as “paid referral agents.”
This is the important difference in working with an IMTCC Global Patient Advocate (GPA).
In its simplest terms, patient advocacy regards any activity which ultimately benefits a patient. Using that definition, it can apply to caregiving for an individual patient, to groups that develop policies and advice that help patients, to government or non-government groups that develop legislation to improve systems or processes for patients.
If you are already a dedicated Professional Patient Advocate,
joining the IMTCC as a GPA (GLOBAL Patient Advocate) will introduce you and your patients to a world of opportunity …
- Empowerment: empower yourself and your patients through education, trustworthy information and continual collaboration. We’ll help you learn what you need to know to conduct proper research, knowledgeably advise and then prepare your patient for his/her experience abroad.
- Trust, Integrity, Provide a professional and trustworthy network of healthcare providers, global patient advocate peers, appropriate aftercare and 24/7 support for your patient,specialists, alternative treatment/therapies,
- Safety, Support
- State of the Art, Classic and Alternative Treatments
- Collaboration and Accountability – Just as you’d be sure to contact one of your PA peers in say, Houston, to assist your patient who’s flying there for a procedure and extended stay while recovering, your association with the IMTCC affords you and your patient this kind of seamless representation, dedicated support and personal accountability.
- Marketing and exposure to a wide variety of healthcare consumers that need and value the service and expertise a GPA provides as well as recognition among your local and international healthcare colleagues should they have a patient requiring the type of representation and support you provide.
- As you reach out to your clients and let them know about the affordable and safe treatment options that medical tourism through the IMTCC network can provide, the IMTCC will help patients find you. More exposure to other patients and more options for your patients mean more opportunity to do what you love!
- The IMTCC and its members not only embrace patient advocacy but seek to promote its adoption and implementation on a global scale. Just as there is no equivalent of the word “Concierge” in many languages (a good part of what we do), just as many do not contain the word “advocate” and no professional designation of such. But yet, your IMTCC peers “get it.” =) and are committed to instilling it where they live. Our medical providers know and respect the vital role that the IMTCC and patient advocacy plays so there is no “convincing to do on your part.
So how do you know you might be a GPA?
- You are passionate about advocacy and providing your patients with expert guidance, options and solutions to their healthcare challenges.
- You are frustrated with the current healthcare system and the limitations it currently places on you and your patients.
- You realize there ARE viable options for your patients outside the borders of your country and you’d like to learn more.
- You have patients that are seeking cosmetic and dental procedures at a reasonable price that you have not had the ability to reach out to and provide an affordable solution.
- You have patients that could benefit from procedures and therapies perhaps not yet approved in your country but proven to be viable options for treatment and you’d like to learn about them and be able to confidently offer them.
- You are based in a city/region that has an excellent hospital already attracting “medical tourists” both domestic and international, and you’d like to offer your services to these patients.
- You are a case manager or work with an insurance company that is or has considered international medical tourism for the savings it can provide but you have not known how to help guarantee the savings (keep patient’s care on budget and minimize complications) and secure trustworthy patient representation and support in the destination country.
- You recognize the growing trend and need for lower cost alternatives to care that the ACA will bring and you want to be prepared to guide your patients
- You are passionate enough about Patient Advocacy to want to help encourage its adoption on a global scale.
- You understand the importance of individualized Aftercare and continuance of care and want to help insure your patient can have access to it AND afford it!
- You want to provide your patient with, not just a procedure or therapy, but an actual “experience.”
- You have patients, or could reach out to such patients, that are interested in alternative therapies, wellness treatments, Ayurvedic and natural medicine, even “baby boomers” looking for retirement options abroad with access to excellent healthcare. The IMTCC can help you help them!
- You’d like a platform that helps you ethically market your expertise and highlight your experience to potential patients looking for help and representation as they explore their healthcare options… In other words, “Stories Sell!” Share your story!