Association of Medical Tourism Agencies

Association of Medical Tourism Agencies

The Medical Tourism Association of Israel (IMTA) is a non-profit public organization created to oversee the provision of medical services to patients who come to Israel for treatment from other countries. IMTA is the country's official representative in the field of international medical tourism, has a state license to carry out its function, and coordinates its activities with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health of Israel.

Medical tourism and the need to regulate it

Treatment in Israel without intermediaries

The fact that there are many unscrupulous intermediaries on the market of medical services is no longer a secret, and therefore more and more people in need of quality medical services are looking for treatment in Israel without intermediaries. This is facilitated by the opinion that by contacting the clinic directly, the patient not only reduces the risk of interacting with unscrupulous, and sometimes frankly fraudulent companies, but can also save money, as it eliminates the need to pay for intermediary services. In fact, this, at first glance, a completely logical conclusion, is erroneous. The fact is that Israeli clinics do not work directly with foreign patients. Every major Israeli hospital receives hundreds of inquiries every day from potential patients, some in need of consultation, some in emergency care. To process these requests, the clinic would have to maintain an entire staff, which is very difficult. In addition, the matter is not limited to processing requests and answering them - having arrived for treatment, a foreign patient needs accompaniment, the services of an interpreter, and assistance in solving everyday problems. Not a single clinic has the ability to do this on its own. Therefore, hospitals contract with medical companies that do this important job.

There are two types of intermediary companies. The first type is an intermediary who works with only one clinic, posing as its branch (department of medical tourism). It is clear that his task is to attract as many patients to the clinic as possible. By contacting such a company, even a completely conscientious one, a patient seeking, for example, cancer treatment abroad, receives assurances that it is in this clinic that he will receive the best that can only be in his position. It is quite possible that this is so, but there is no guarantee of this and cannot be. Each clinic has its own priority areas, and even within oncology (for example, somewhere, efforts are concentrated on treating leukemia, and somewhere on brain tumors), so it is not at all a fact that it is here, and not in the neighboring hospital, curing a specific disease is best.

The second type of intermediary company is one that works with several clinics, often hundreds. Such a company, subject to a conscientious approach, really has the opportunity to choose the best for its client who wants to receive treatment abroad, and at the same time take into account his wishes, financial situation, etc. The larger the database of such an intermediary, the greater the opportunity to choose the best option. The information held by intermediaries of this type is unique - who else will be able to answer where the latest equipment for hemodialysis is now, in which clinic is it preferable to have a bone marrow transplant for a child, and in which - the most advanced technologies of artificial insemination? Where is the best place to go to have plastic surgery, and where - to carry out a complex heart surgery at a world luminary? Such companies, of course, cannot be fly-by-night, since collecting a database takes time and a lot of effort. Their work with clinics is legally formalized, they have a staff of competent multilingual employees, some of whom necessarily have a higher medical education. These companies have an excellent reputation, many clients turn to them, and clinics, as a rule, give them priority working conditions, for example, give significant discounts to their clients. Thus, treatment in Israel will cost the patient the same amount as if he went to the clinic directly (if it was possible). Moreover, such an intermediary company performs a significant part of the work free of charge:

  • Processing of requests, contact with the patient;
  • Analysis of medical documents (with the involvement of specialists);
  • Consulting a patient with a medical specialist (remotely , at the stage of collecting and processing information);
  • Drawing up an individual treatment program taking into account the data obtained from the analysis of medical information, as well as the patient's wishes, drawing up a preliminary estimate, which contains reliable data. So, if a patient is considering the possibility of cancer treatment in one of the Israeli clinics, the estimate takes into account the existing prices for cancer treatment in Israel.

Both intermediaries of the first type (working with one clinic) and intermediaries of the second type can be bona fide, but of course, companies of the second type have more opportunities. But here again the question of conscientiousness arises - how to define it? It was to solve this problem that the Israel Medical Tourism Association was created.

Aims and Objectives of the Israel Medical Tourism Association

IMTA sets its tasks:

  • Providing patients who come to Israel from abroad for treatment with complete and reliable information about medical companies operating in the field of Israeli medical tourism.
  • Legal support, legal assistance to foreign patients in cases where illegal actions (fraud) have been committed against them, or when they have become a victim of negligence committed during treatment.
  • Guarantee of a high level of all medical institutions that are members of the Medical Tourism Association.
  • Disqualification and removal from the medical tourism market of unscrupulous companies that damage the image of Israeli healthcare by their activities.

How does it work?

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