Medical tourism agency targets Ireland’s waiting list

 

A new Irish medical tourism agency is hoping to help cut hospital waiting lists by providing patients with access to healthcare services across Europe.

Trasna, run by Bupa Ireland founder Martin O’Rourke, is targeting the 700,000 patients on waiting lists in Ireland, particularly in the South and South West regions which have some of the longest waiting times. The plan is to increase marketing activity nationwide early in 2019 and expand the network to include partner hospitals in additional countries. Transa believes demand is high for orthopaedic procedures, in particular hip replacements.

In terms of process, the patient or GP calls the Trasna support centre in Waterford. The patient's GP or medical team must agree that the patient is fit to travel and a good candidate for treatment under cross border healthcare. Trasna presents options for hospitals in different locations so the patient and doctor can make a final decision. They assist with arranging diagnostic and pre-travel tests, and then present the patient with a detailed itinerary for treatment and care before travelling.

In Ireland, under the EU Cross Border Healthcare Directive, the Health Services Executive (HSE) reimburses the procedure and hospital stay after the treatment. Travel, accommodation and subsistence outside of the hospital stay are not reimbursed. Trasna helps with the re-imbursement process with the HSE when the patient is home and provides a dedicated personal care manager to assist with the patient's journey from start to finish.

Trasna helps people get EU care in 33 hospitals and clinics including HCA's UK hospitals, and Capio hospitals in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France and Germany. Trasna plans to first focus on Ireland and then expand within the EU.

For analysis of outbound medical travel flows from Ireland, visit the IMTJ Country Profile.

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