Los Angeles, CA (9/8/2007) - - HealthCare Tourism International launched the world’s first international accreditation system for Health Tourism Companies today, after receiving 501 (c) (3) non-profit status from the U.S. I.R.S. last Friday. The U.S.-based, 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization’s (NGO) mission is to improve the patient safety, integrity and efficacy of the medical tourism. After almost two years of development, our mission is to uphold and improve the reputation and safety of the healthcare tourism industry by promoting safe healthcare tourism practices among our members,” says Neilesh Patel, Founder of HealthCare Tourism International. “It was clear that only a non-profit organization could provide unbiased accreditation while still incorporating accreditation criteria input from companies.” HealthCare Tourism International received its non-profit status ruling from the IRS earlier last week, and is the world’s first non-profit organization to receive such a ruling. It's HealthCare Trip web site is aimed at connecting potential health tourists with unbiased information and connections to health providers around the world for free.
The HealthCare Tourism International team is comprised of medical, dental, tourism and business experts from all facets of healthcare. The accreditation process entails improving the non-clinical aspects of the health tourism experience, which makes it a complimentary system to the Joint Commissions International clinical accreditation system. Aspects such as business practices, recovery options and language abilities all include areas covered by the accreditation system. A separate protocol has been developed for the following types of health tourism companies: hotel providers, health tourism travel agencies, non-ambulatory transport vehicles, hospitals with concierge services, airlines, translator/conveyance companies and insurance companies. Applications for self-certification and accreditation are accepted on a rolling basis and for the first year, only self-certification is granted. In the second year, applicants can apply for accreditation which may involve submission of documents and in certain cases onsite surveys.
Applications are now being accepted at the organization’s web site www.healthcaretrip.org
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