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Health Tourism Boon or Curse ?

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Health Tourism Boon or Curse ?

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  • June 12, 2013
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Health Tourism A Boon or Curse?
What is it? Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global health care) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care. Such services typically include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available. As a practical matter, providers and customers commonly use informal channels of communicationconnection-contract, and in such cases this tends to mean less regulatory or legal oversight to assure quality and less formal recourse to reimbursement or redress, if needed. Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry.However, accreditation and other measures of quality vary widely across the globe, and there are risks and ethical issues that make this method of accessing medical care controversial. Also, some destinations may become hazardous or even dangerous for medical tourists to contemplate. History of health tourism The concept of medical tourism is almost as old as medicine itself. Long before the first American cardiac patient stepped onto Indian soil, the country enjoyed a rich history of providing Yoga instruction, spiritual enlightenment, and Ayurvedic healing to seekers from around the world. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrimstraveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria.This territory was the...
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Health Tourism A Boon or Curse?
What is it?
Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or
global health care) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the
mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across
international borders to obtain health care. Such services typically
include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries
such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery,
and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care,
including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even
burial services are available. As a practical matter, providers and
customers commonly use informal channels of communication-
connection-contract, and in such cases this tends to mean less
regulatory or legal oversight to assure quality and less formal recourse
to reimbursement or redress, if needed. Over 50 countries have
identified medical tourism as a national industry.However, accreditation
and other measures of quality vary widely across the globe, and there
are risks and ethical issues that make this method of accessing medical
care controversial. Also, some destinations may become hazardous or
even dangerous for medical tourists to contemplate.
History of health tourism
The concept of medical tourism is almost as old as medicine itself. Long
before the first American cardiac patient stepped onto Indian soil, the
country enjoyed a rich history of providing Yoga instruction, spiritual
enlightenment, and Ayurvedic healing to seekers from around the
world. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back
thousands of years to when Greek pilgrimstraveled from all over the
Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called
Epidauria.This territory was the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios.
Epidauria became the original travel destination for medical tourism.
Spa towns and sanitariums may be considered an early form of medical
tourism. In eighteenth century England, for example, patients visited
spas because they were places with supposedly health-giving mineral
waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.
Health tourism: An overview
Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel
include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain
procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and
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Health tourism a boon or curse?