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International Hospitals – Structure and Functions

International Hospitals - Structure and Functions

In case of many Western countries we cannot talk about a national system of government owned hospitals, although there are a number of government hospitals worldwide owned by regional and city governments. These medical facilities are open to the general public; however, for international patients private health care facilities might be better options.

international-hospitals Doctor holding globe

According to global health organizations, international hospitals can be classified in the following categories:

  • General (providing diagnostic and therapeutic patient services for a wide range of medical conditions)
  • Special (offering treatment of patients with specific medical conditions, surgical or nonsurgical)
  • Rehabilitation and Chronic Disease (providing medical services for handicapped and disabled individuals who need restorative services)
  • Psychiatric

Besides these basic orientations, as far as ownership and funding is concerned international hospitals can be

  • Government Hospitals
  • Community Hospitals (non-state short-term general or special hospitals and teaching hospitals. They can be non-profit, for-profit or Local Government Community Hospitals)
  • Non-state Psychiatric Hospitals
  • Non-state Long Term Care Hospitals
  • Hospital Units in Institutions (prisons, colleges)

The primary function of international hospitals is to provide inpatient care, but in emergency rooms, urgent care centers and specialty clinics they receive patients for one-off treatments without overnight stay.

Best Hospitals

When it comes to your health and safety, you must not go for anything but the best. Obviously, determining what the best hospital in the world is sounds like selecting the best song of all times, as there are many ways you can rank a health care facility.

The majority of the most prestigious, best hospitals include a broad spectrum of health services, a medical school and research facilities. Otherwise, they vary considerably in their structure, services and ownership. Even if most of them are non-profit hospitals they manage to maintain high-tech facilities due to their cooperation with private ventures and medical schools. Another common attribute is that their contribution to health care services has been quite stable over the last decades.

Health care units receiving the best hospital ranking often serve as multiple specialized hospitals and clinics and mostly handle patients with specific needs.

There are various international organizations and corporations which offer criteria, statistical and survey data for hospital compare to make international patient’s choices well-founded. When it comes to selecting the best international hospitals, patients tend to take into consideration international hospital rankings, accreditation status or first-hand patient recommendation.

international-hospitals doctor world map 

Some of the most common criteria are:

  • medical facilities
  • accreditation
  • equipment and technology
  • the spectrum of services
  • patient satisfaction and efficiency
  • patient communication
  • safety and security
  • administration and management
  • alliances and cooperation
  • transparency
  • website

Among others you can get relevant information about the best hospital in the world from Forbes, U.S. News and World Report’s annual hospital rankings or from Ranking Web of Hospitals website. Making a quick overview of these lists we can immediately note the increasing prestige of hospitals in Thailand as well as Mexican and Austrian private health care facilities.