Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 49

Joint Commission International announces accreditation for telehealth services

Russian women flock to Argentina for childbirth

No visa requirements and dual citizenship drive the growth in birth tourism

Joint Commission International announces accreditation for telehealth services

Supplementary certification to ensure quality patient care

The Joint Commission International ( JCI ) recently announced the JCI Telehealth Certification Program , an additional recognition for JCI-accredited institutions that offer telehealth services . After thoroughly reviewing their policies , procedures , and how they use telehealth technologies to care for patients , the JCI will issue the new certification .

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant surge in telehealth services offered by healthcare service establishments worldwide as a means for doctors to consult with patients during lockdowns . But even as countries ease their pandemic restrictions , telehealth applications have become the norm due to growing digital connectivity and logistics convenience for medical personnel and patients and to prevent hospital overcrowding and reduce transportation costs .
While telehealth has been shown to improve medical care , standardisation is still needed to ensure patient safety and care quality . “ As patients continue to use telehealth services , it is important that safe and quality care is delivered virtually through the implementation of the certification program ’ s evidencebased standards that are unique to telehealth services ,” Dr Joel Roos , vice president of International Accreditation , Quality Improvement and Safety , JCI , explained in a press release .
Based in the United States , JCI is an independent non-profit organisation that provides education , publications , advisory services , and international accreditation and certification related to health and patient care in over 100 countries . Healthcare establishments applying for the JCI Telehealth Certification must have existing JCI accreditation and meet several telehealthrelated criteria , such as remote patient monitoring consisting of transmitting and storing patient data and clinical measurements and providing mobile health apps .

Expectant Russian mothers are flocking to Argentina to give birth , establishing the South American country as an ideal birth tourism destination . Scenes of Russian women queueing at maternity wards at major hospitals in Buenos Aires have become all too familiar , a trend largely attributed to visa-free travel that allows for a 90-day stay and the privilege of obtaining citizenship for both parents and their newborn child .

One of the benefits of Argentinian citizenship is obtaining an Argentinian passport , currently ranked 20th in the Guide Passport Ranking Index and allowing visa-free entry to 171 countries . “ An Argentinian passport will open up many doors for my child ”, Polina Cherepovitskaya , who recently gave birth and secured residency in the country with her husband , told the Guardian .
The estimated number of Russians who emigrated to Argentina in 2022 ranges between 2,000 and 2,500 and is expected to rise . “ In 2023 , that number can grow to 10,000 ,” said Georgy Polin , head of the consular department at the Russian Embassy in Argentina , to the Guardian .
According to the Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021 , Argentina was South America ’ s second most popular medical tourism destination , behind Costa Rica . The region has become a preferred medical tourism spot due to its affordable healthcare and high-quality services . Market data provider Statista reported that the medical tourism market in South America was estimated to be worth more than $ 7 billion in 2022 and expected to exceed $ 17 billion by 2027 .
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 6 | 2022