Medical Tourism

Topics: Medicine, Health economics, Medical tourism Pages: 6 (1874 words) Published: August 14, 2013
Medical Tourism

Medical tourism (MT) is patient movement from highly developed nations to other areas of the world for medical care, usually to find treatment at a lower cost. Medical tourism is different from the traditional model of international medical travel where patients generally journey from less developed nations to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that is unavailable in their own communities. Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement(knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. Individuals with rare genetic disorders may travel to another country where treatment of these conditions is better understood. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available. The advantages or benefits of guests from medical tourism are the following: Affordability and Cost-effectiveness

The low cost of medical procedures, is the number one reason why people go offshore for medical treatments. The savings range between 30% and 80% of the cost that you would normally pay in the USA. 

Due to the low prices of medical procedures and surgery abroad, some people worry that medical tourism might be fraud or a scam. The main reason behind the low prices of medical treatments abroad is the low cost of labor in the popular medical tourism destinations.  Although the treatments are cheap, in most cases surgical procedures are performed by well trained experts who are using top notch technology. In addition, the lower costs of malpractice, insurance and administration also contribute to the low prices of overseas medical procedures. High-Quality Healthcare

Many of the doctors and surgeons that offer healthcare services to international patients are trained and certified in Western countries, such as United States and Great Britain.  Medical centers all over the world have acquired accreditation from well known international organizations such as JCI, JCAHO and ISO to express their dedication to excellence.  Some institutes and medical centers are members of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), which is a federal agency that gives leadership and financial support to researchers in the field of medicine and health. Immediate Service

Another advantage of medical tourism is the immediate access to health care services. For those who have come from countries with public health care systems, medical tourism offers them the chance to be placed on the priority list. When dealing with matters of health, waiting is not always an option. Improved Flight and Communication Services

Most procedures performed abroad can be scheduled via the internet or by phone. People have the flexibility to book flights and schedule surgery procedures from the comfort of their own home. This eliminates the inconvenience of going to the hospital or clinic for evaluations and assessments. The only time a person has to leave their house is on the day or week of the surgery, or procedure. Travel Opportunities

Even though medical tourism is about obtaining medical care, a side benefit of medical tourism is having the opportunity to travel to another country. For some medical tourists, especially those seeking dental care, cosmetic care or wellness treatments, these can enjoy the opportunity to travel overseas in addition to receiving less expensive healthcare. Medical Tourism Provides Options

Some countries heavily regulate (or even ban) certain elective procedures or complicated surgeries.  Hip resurfacing, for example, was only recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, despite its widespread use and success rate at many popular medical tourism destinations around the world.  In other cases, treatments are so prohibitively expensive that they are impossible to afford in your home country.  A...
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