Overview of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism encompasses medical travel terms, global healthcare, and health tourism, and describes the practice of people traveling to receive medical treatment, whether necessary or elective. Alternatively, it also refers to the travel of health care providers to deliver healthcare to people in other countries. Medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular among those who wish to have options when it comes to their healthcare.

The services offered in medical tourism are almost unlimited and include heart surgery, join replacement surgery, cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, and in vitro fertilization events. Furthermore, medical tourism can involve alternative treatments, psychiatry, and convalescent care. Those concerned about the quality of care in regard to medical tourism can be based on Joint Commission International, among other companies, which inspects healthcare facilities outside of U.S. Borders. The source of the treatment will be treated as a respected source when considering foreign treatment Medical Condition.

Interestingly, medical tourism is not as nouveau as many believe. While it has been experienced in recent years, the concept of traveling for healthcare dates is back in many centuries. The ancient Greeks were known to travel to a territory called Epidauria, in the Saronic Gulf of the Mediterranean, to seek healing from the God Asklepios. Early spas can, in retrospect, be called medical tourism. In the 1700s, people from around England traveled to the small village of Bath to take part in the supposed healing of the waters of natural mineral springs. Americans, as well as other countries such as Europe, Japan, Canada and the Middle East are opting to seek medical treatment outside of their own borders. In 2007, it was estimated that approximately 750,000 Americans were seeking medical treatment abroad, and that number was projected to double in 2008.

Medical tourism continues to increase because of foreign medical treatment. The primary benefits of medical tourism include cost, convenience, and the ability to combine travel to exotic locals with high-quality medical treatment. Those who reside in countries with lower health standards participate in medical tourism as a means to receive medical treatment that is superior to what is available at home. However, those from First World countries are more likely to travel for medical reasons. It is generally that people from countries such as the U.S., Great Britain, and Canada are generally possessed more wealth; that is coupled with their high expectations, whether they are on the table or the psychiatrist’s couch.

The primary reason that people elect to receive medical treatment abroad is cost. Even those with insurance may opt for travel for medical care, especially when the entire cost of the trip, including treatment, can be accomplished for far less than the cost of an insurance deductible. Those savings, coupled with the promise of a vacation to a far-off land, make an attractive incentive to many medical tourism. While it is normal to save as much as 50% on overall costs, in some cases the savings can be substantially more. Those traveling to India and Costa Rica can expect to save as much as 80-90% overall on some treatments when compared to the costs in North America or the British Isles. Medical tourists traveling to Thailand for heart surgery can be paid only 20% of what they would pay in the United States. Knee and hip replacements can cost anywhere between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000 in the United States, but can cost as little as $ 5,000 in countries like Columbia and India.

While the cost alone, there are many reasons that prompt people to grab their passports and head out on a dual-purpose journey. For many, convenience and speed are among the most cited reasons for health travel. While there are many benefits to public healthcare, such a system that is operated in Canada, a severe downside is that it is often required for non-emergency care. To many, waiting six months for a hip replacement surgery is not only ludicrous, it’s not an option. This is especially true considering that it is possible to travel to a medical tourism destination and receive a new hip in the matter of days or weeks. For those who cannot, wait for health care, medical tourism is an increasingly attractive option.

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