Many factors have given rise to the upsurge of medical tourism in Asia. The availability of highly specialised doctors and paramedics, sophisticated medical technology and world-class facilities at a much lower cost when compared to developed countries are among the key pull factors. Services such as concierge assistance at airports, translation services and tie ups with luxury hotels are part of packages offered. In this issue, Top 10 of Asia takes a look at its list of the top 10 hospitals for medical tourism in Asia.
Prince Court Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Prince Court Medical Centre (PCMC) topped the list of 2013 World’s Best Hospitals for Medical Tourists in the annual rankings by Medical Travel Quality Alliance. The hospital has also been commended for its attention to key non-clinical aspects of care that influence good outcomes and a successful medical travel journey for medical tourists. PCMC’s special facilities include a sophisticated burns unit, an in-vitro fertility department with multiple fetal monitoring. It has garnered several accolades over the past seven years and continues to be the only private hospital with a full-fledged Electronic Medical Record system coupled with a Radiology Information System/Picture Archiving and Communication System (RIS/PACS).
Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, India
The Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, a Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospital has been on Medical Travel Quality Alliance’s (MTQUA) World’s Best Hospitals list for medical tourists for the past 4 years. It is a 400-bed, multi-specialty hospital with state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to the whole range of cardiac, orthopedic, neurosciences, minimal access surgery and women and child services. The hospital also has the distinction of being the first hospital in Asia to perform the first custom-fit knee replacement surgery in 2010 and is credited with introducing the HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) technology for prostate cancer to India.
Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
World famous Bumrungrad International Hospital (Bumrungrad) has been featured in many international media and deservedly so. The Thai name, pronounced ‘bahm-roong-RAHT’, means “care for the people,” and no phrase could more aptly describe the hospital and clinic complex, the largest private medical facility in Southeast Asia. Annually, more than a million patients seek healthcare at the Bumrungrad and almost half of them are expatriates, tourists, or medical travelers from 190 different countries. This hospital has 554 beds and over 30 specialty centres, offering state-or-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities in a one-stop medical centre.
Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, Bangkok, Thailand
The Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, opened in 1972, was the first private medical institution in the nation. It has more than 650 full-time and consulting physicians, 700 nurses and scores of support technicians and specialists under its roof. Its ambulatory and medevac fleet covering air, sea and land is amongst the largest in Southeast Asia. Its team of interpreters and coordinators in its dedicated service centres that cater to a wide range of nationalities, are fluent in 26 languages. This state-of-the-art hospital is also complete with luxurious accommodation, five-star amenities and a host of services that includes limousine airport transfer and on-site visa extension.
Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore
From a 45-bed nursing home more than half a century ago, Gleneagles Hospital has grown to a 272-bed multi-disciplinary state-of-the-art medical facility.The hospital specialises in cardiology, gastroenterology, liver transplant, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology and orthopaedics. Its key strengths lie in its patient-focus, user-friendly services, quality care, specialists’ expertise and proven technology. In 2006 and 2009, the hospital was accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), the world leader in benchmarking of healthcare standards. Today, Gleneagles Hospital has more than 300 multi-disciplinary specialists from over 30 specialties and sub-specialties to provide wide range of medical and surgical services for the total management of patients.
Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Taiwan
Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation was one of the four missions of Tzu Chi Foundation which was found by Master Cheng Yen in 1966. Today the medical foundation has established six hospitals in Hualien, Taipei, Taichung, Dalin, Yuli and Kuanshan respectively to provide quality medical services in a humanistic way to the people in Taiwan since 1986. The hospital offers a wide range of services that include organ transplantations, laser cosmetic surgeries and high-tech health screenings. Other specialty areas include stroke treatment, malignant tumor treatment, orthopedic surgery and stem cell research. Many international patients with severe and unusual illnesses come for treatment in this hospital in Hualien, the most important medical center in eastern Taiwan. The separation of conjoined twins, Lea and Rachel from the Philippines in June 2003 was one such case.
Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital (HKSH) which overlooks the Happy Valley Race Course in Hong Kong, is one of the island’s most prestigious and internationally accredited private hospitals. Started out as The Yeung Wo Nursing Home in 1922 with 28 beds, HKSH has now over 400 beds and a stable of specialty centres, offering comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services. Its motto, “Quality in Service, Excellence in Care”, has inspired the hospital to provide a high standard of patient care with a commitment to deliver excellent health services. In 2012, HKSH was named “The Best Healthcare Provider in Asia” at The New Economy’s Healthcare Awards 2012.
Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea
The Asan Medical Center (AMC), established in 1989, is one of the world’s largest hospital campuses covering some 4 million square feet. It is Korea’s largest medical institution with 1,600 physicians and surgeons, 3,100 nurses, 2,680 beds, and 67 operating rooms. It won Korea’s ‘Most Admired Hospital’ title five years in a row in a survey conducted by Korea Management Association Consulting. AMC offers the medical tourist excellent services through its Organ Transplantation Centre, Asan Heart Institute, Asan Cancer Centre, Digestive Disease Centre and Health Screening and Promotion Centre, including a full range of medical and dental specialties.
St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippines
Founded in 1903, and regarded as one of the best hospitals in Asia and in the world, St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC), operating in Global City and Quezon City, has an extensive expertise of doctors that enables them to provide patients with a full range of world-class medical care. Today, SLMC has an elite team of over 1,700 medical consultants, 230 medical residents and 123 fellows on its roster, apart from interns from its College of Medicine. This 650-bed hospital houses 10 institutes, 8 departments and 23 centers. Its hospital-affiliated medical consultants see out-patients in more than 450 private clinics and its international patients come from around Asia, Micronesia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
ID Hospital, Seoul, South Korea
The ID Hospital in Korea is a very renowned plastic surgery hospital with more than 30 medical specialists. It is not only Asia’s top hospital in maxillofacial surgery but also its first. It gives top priority to patients’ safety with facilities such as aseptic germ-free air showers, self-generating power stations, and fireproof interiors which were incorporated from the very early stages of the architectural designing. The hospital conducts intense pre-operation checks such as blood tests, liver function test, electrocardiogram, and chest X-rays with its independent facilities within its own premises. In addition the hospital is equipped with 3-dimensional computer tomography (3D CT) scanning facilities and every patient undergoes 3D CT scanning before the surgery for precise diagnosis of their conditions.