health tourism,a boon or a curse

Topics: Health care, Health economics, Chennai Pages: 3 (927 words) Published: July 24, 2014
Health Tourism (Also known as Medical tourism) refers to the act of traveling to a foreign country in order to receive medical care. Varying reports based on the US alone put the number of American patients seeking healthcare abroad between 500,000 to 750,000 in 2007. This is a steady increase from 2006 in which medical experts believed as many as 200,000 to 1/2 a million Americans traveled out of the country for medical procedures. These figures indicate a significant growth in the industry, currently a $20 billion market, which can reach $100 billion by 2012. Governments in places such as India and Malaysia (as well as some others) are already getting involved and investing in this growing industry. The main reasons that people travel to receive medical treatment are: Certain medical services are not available in their country of residence. Their health insurance does not cover the full cost of a procedure. Wait lines are too long. Quality of care is better in a different country. Costs are lower in a different country. (even when factoring in the travel arrangements) Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a $2 billion industry by 2015.[1][2] As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon - with the United States leading the way - more and more Westerners are finding the prospect of international travel for medical care increasingly appealing. An estimated 150,000 of these travel to India for low-priced healthcare procedures every year.[3] Advantages for medical treatment in India include reduced costs, the availability of latest medical technologies,[4] and a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face a language barrier in India. The Indian government is taking steps to address infrastructure issues that hinder the country's growth in medical tourism. The government has...
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