Our health is one of the most important aspects of life and we move mountains to protect and improve it for ourselves and for those we love. Some might choose to follow fitness programs, healthy diets or yoga to feel healthier, whereas others might only think about health when they fear it to be threatened. In both cases, we try to find the most suitable, high quality prevention, advice and care in the area where we are living.
However, when we start life as an expat in a foreign country, it can be rather difficult to provide ourselves and our family members with the same level of healthcare we have previously been used to. For instance, if we lose a dental filling, where can we find a good dentist that speaks our language, or a good pharmacy if we have a cough?
A useful resource for expats wanting to access high quality healthcare abroad is the online healthcare database and guide Medihoo.com. It aims to help expatriates to find the best healthcare options when they are living abroad.
At Medihoo.com the definition of healthcare providers is large and includes more than 1000 different provider types, such as doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, dietitians, opticians, healthcare-transport services, even fitness clubs, self-help groups, etc.
Every healthcare provider can create their own detailed profile where they can describe in detail the services they offer and the languages they speak, while for more highly sepecialised services they can include tags so that expats can more easily find them by using the Medihoo.com search engine.
Users can, after they’ve signed up for free, also add the basic contact data (name, address, specialities, etc.) of high quality and recommended providers themselves.
This means that if you know of a good doctor, dentist, physiotherapist, optician, or any other kind of healthcare provider, you can help others to find them by adding their basic data to Medihoo.com.
Users who add providers to the database stay anonymous. The added provider can then claim their profile themselves, adding more detailed information, images and other useful information.
Using a standardised questionnaire, users can also rate providers they’ve visited. This increases comparability and can help providers to know their strengths and weaknesses in order further to improve the quality of their services.
Currently, Medihoo.com is available in five languages (English, Spanish, Dutch, French and German), which means a Spanish expat can search for a doctor in Singapore in Spanish, or an American expat can search in English for a dentist in China.
There is no other healthcare search engine that offers these services on a global scale, while only Medihoo.com lists all types of healthcare professionals all over the world.
Although already worldwide more than 4.5 million healthcare providers are listed, Medihoo.com is still very much at the beginning. Medihoo encourages every expatriate to add or invite (without charge) recommended healthcare providers in their country so others might more easily find the care they need and deserve in their new home country.
As the former COO of a large expat health insurance company, Jeroen Van de Velde founded Medihoo.com with the intention of increasing the transparency, accessibility and comparability of healthcare services all over the world. This is designed to help expatriates to find high quality healthcare in the new area where they are living.
Mr Van de Velde has been very pleased by the enthusiasm and support he has already received from many people around the world. Furthermore, his hope is that the database will grow even bigger during the coming years. “It should be for all of us; we all should feel responsible and glad to help each other in finding high quality healthcare, especially when we are abroad.”