After a personal medical scare, Suzanne Garber launched herself in the world of international medical travel. She decided to create a documentary film of her journey to visit more than 100 countries and thousands of hospitals to explore how healthcare is provided around the globe. This award-winning documentary, “Gauze: Unraveling Global Healthcare”, takes a thought-provoking look at the quality of care offered from nation to nation.
When asked to define “quality” in healthcare, Ms. Garber described it as a three-legged stool built on outcomes, accessibility, and affordability. Outcomes can be measured objectively by hard to come by data or subjectively based on the patient experience such as “I got better” or “I can walk again”. Accessibility looks at how easy or difficult it is to physically get to the hospital as well as other factors such as length of wait times. Affordability refers to how much the medical care costs to the patient.
Best in Class combines these three factors and more to deliver an excellent level of quality medical care. According to Ms. Garber, it is important to look at quality through the lens of the local population as opposed to international patients. Some hospitals and some countries are simply better at delivering clinical and nonclinical services to international patients.
In response to the question, how can people research finding the best healthcare needed, Suzanne offers several practical recommendations. Among her suggestions are seeking personal referrals to particular hospitals or doctors from a trust friend or healthcare clinician. Suzanne emphasizes the importance of communication. Contacting the hospital directly and evaluating the response or the lack of response quickly informs consumers about the hospital’s ability to meet the needs of international patients.
Listen to Ms. Garber discuss what experience and hard work have taught her about accessing the best healthcare in the world and help you to do the same in her conversation with The Medical Travel Show’s co-hosts, Irving Stackpole and Elizabeth Ziemba.