FAQ

Why travel abroad for health care?
  • no wait times
  • significant cost savings of up to 70%
  • access to private health treatment that is not available in North America
  • high quality of care

Foreign healthcare can provide a higher quality of care at dramatically lower prices with no wait times. The quality of care has been standardized with international accreditations such as the Joint Commission International and ISO certification. Procedures are less expensive as a result of less expensive infrastructure i.e.. cost of living for medical staff, lower pharmaceutical costs, and government & private sector investment in the health care infrastructure of the country.

Why choose Gateway Health International?

At GHI we pride ourselves on customized medical care and superior client care. Unlike other providers that offer a predetermined package or a multitude of destinations without having a relationship with providers, we at GHI customize your trip to your taste and requirements. We have relationships with the highest standard of health care providers to make sure that you receive the exemplary care that you deserve. Gateway Health International was designed to be a resource for you, the client, enabling the best health care decisions. Other medical tourism facilitators will have a relationship with one specific clinic or doctor, thus closing the door on a range of doctors and facilities that may better suit their needs. We can also tailor our services to meet the needs and desires of our clients. We offer a full range of health care provider recommendations from private nursing, physiotherapy, concierge services and companions to ensure your recovery and a relaxing recuperation.

What can I expect to happen after registering with Gateway?

First you will be have a medical prescreening to ensure that you are eligible for the procedure you would like to receive. After selecting your destination, medical facility and doctor, you may have a consultation with the physician via email, phone or Skype. All medical records will be sent to the physician and support staff and a customized rehabilitation program will be created. Gateway will book all accommodations and transportation (including flight if desired), confirm medical appointment times and recommend leisure activities. Prior to your trip you will receive your customized leather itinerary containing all of your travel information (procedure times, destination details, local contact information etc.) Depending on the procedure GHI will also recommend and arrange for private nursing, physiotherapy and any other support staff you may require.

How does Gateway choose it’s destination locations?

There are numerous factors in determining Gateway’s selection of destinations. To name a few:

  • Commitment to international accreditation, quality of care assurance and transparency of results.
  • A high volume of international patient flow, English speaking medical staff and internationally trained physicians.

Number of successful procedures performed

  • Reputation of medical excellence and healthcare innovation and achievement.
  • Government and private sector investment in the healthcare infrastructure.
  • Cultural similarities to North America and political stability.
  • Potential for cost savings.
Will my insurance cover services abroad?

As a result of the fast growth of the Medical Tourism industry many insurance providers have started Medical Tourism programs such as Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, WellPoint, Swiss Re and others. In addition, there has been a boom in self-funded employers that have implemented Medical Tourism programs. Some of the incentives implemented by insurance companies are: waiving the deductible, paying for all travel and accommodation, sharing the cost savings with the patient and cash payouts.

You can also receive medical travel insurance specifically for traveling abroad for the purposed of receiving medical treatment

How can I be assured of the quality of care that I will receive?

Gateway Health International Inc. has researched each facility and medical practitioner and pride ourselves on the outstanding care and expertise offered by the health care providers in our network. In addition, there are external international accreditations that measure the quality of care, such as:

  • Joint Commission international
  • ISO certification
  • Accreditation Canada International
  • as well as national accreditations that are specific to each country

Other factors we include when assessing a medical facility are:

  • If they are affiliated with an American hospital
  • Has the physician been educated or trained in the US?
  • Does the hospital meet the rigorous standards of our medical travel insurance provider?
  • Published papers by the physician or related hospital
What is JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation and what does that mean?

To receive certification, hospitals abroad must pass detailed testing for 300 standards with 1,200 specific data points that JCI surveyors examine and score. Here is a general overview of what’s reviewed:

  • Access to care and continuity of care
  • Patient and family rights
  • Assessment of patients
  • Care of patients
  • Anesthesia and surgical care
  • Medical management and use
  • Patient and family education
  • Quality improvement and patient safety
  • Prevention and control of infections
  • Governance, leadership and direction
  • Facility management and staff
  • Staff qualifications and education
  • Management of communication and information

If a hospital outside the U.S. is JCI accredited, you know that they have passed the on-site 3 to 5 day hospital review within the last 3 years.

In addition, you can ask to review the doctor’s resume and have a consultation prior to your procedure.

How do I choose the doctor or health care facility?

Gateway will work with you to make sure your personal criteria is met and that you feel comfortable with your care providers, medical facility, budget and recovery plan. Whether you want to combine your procedure with a boutique clinic versus JCI accredited hospital, recover in the south of France or on a beach in Costa Rica, we will create a custom solution for your needs. Health care can be affordable, relaxing and (surprisingly) fun!

Why not just go straight to the doctor or hospital on my own?

Gateway Health International has researched each destination we offer and in some cases negotiated lower rates through preferred pricing as a volume provider of medical clients. Contacting other hospitals directly can also prove to be very frustrating as language barriers result in unanswered emails or contact information is not available. Our goal is to have our client experiences be as seamless as possible, we handle the details while you concentrate on your health and recovery.

How is the payment handled? What are my refund options?

Our payment structure is based on the requirement of the individual health care operator. Like most transactions, a deposit is required and then full payment is received prior to departure.

How long do I have to be in the destination country and when can I travel home?

Your travel time will be determined by how far you have to travel to get to your destination, the doctor’s recommendation and what you want to see and do while you are in your destination country. Destinations in South America are often combined with some relaxing tropical tours and relaxation on the beach. Our European destination of Brussels is just 2 hours by train to Amsterdam, London and Paris. Many clients choose to relax and enjoy the rich European culture before or after their procedure. We pride ourselves on our superior client services and luxurious locales while respecting your budget, thus we can arrange the most complementary retreat possible.

What if I want a service that isn’t offered on your site?

We are constantly researching new destinations, facilities and procedures as well as creating custom client experiences. We would be happy to arrange any type of custom experience that is required by you. Please contact us to discuss your custom itinerary.

What if I have anyone to travel with me? Can you arrange for a companion?

Yes, we can arrange for a companion for an additional cost or depending on the patient availability at that time, often we can partner you with someone undergoing similar procedures so that you have mutual support. Patient confidentiality is paramount, so this type of request will be handled according to a vigorous screening process.

Will the medical staff speak English?

Yes, we can arrange for you to receive care from an English speaking doctor and be cared for by an English speaking nurse. Most North American clients are surprised to have their doctors provide them with personal cell phone numbers and 24 access to nursing care when out of the hospital. The quality of care and personal touch experienced by Gateway Health International clients is exemplary, particularly in comparison to North American standards.

What do I do if I have a problem after the procedure or once I have returned home?

Depending on your procedure, your overseas physician may follow up with you and monitor your progress. You can also purchase Medical Tourism travel insurance in the unlikely event that there is an unforeseen problem. Please click here for more information on medical tourism travel insurance.

Does traveling for medical surgery have increased risks?

Surgery carries a risk no matter where it is completed. However, Medical Tourism has the additional complication of blood clots as a result of traveling. Depending on the procedure you receive, your doctor will advise you of a safe travel time depending on the procedure and distance traveled. If you are required to be in country for a few days before your procedure, Gateway Health International will work with you to find fun and relaxing ways to occupy your time!

Will Gateway Health International help me arrange the necessary visa’s, medical documentation and general paperwork?

Yes, clients often don’t realize that you can enter some countries without a visa, however a medical visa may be necessary. We will navigate all of the necessary paperwork and transfer medical records. It is a good idea to ask about prior out-of country time, as Canada has a limitation of 6 months (total) before tax/benefits are affected.