Healthcare tourism is
the practice of visiting different countries to get quality plus affordable healthcare services. It is also referred to as global healthcare, health tourism, and medical travel. The term ‘medical tourism’ was created by the media and traveling agencies to popularize this form of practice. Today, medical tourism is growing to become an official industry in more than 50 countries.
Why is Medical Travel and leisure Popular?
So , what exactly are the benefits of healthcare tourism and why do individuals travel abroad for simple and complicated medical procedures? The main factor that stimulates medical travel is undoubtedly the high cost of medical care in developed countries such as the United States. Most medical travel locations offer surgeries at almost one-third the costs of developed countries. This particular translates into bigger savings for a person who has to undergo a complex medical procedure like a liver transplant or even for the cosmetic surgery procedure.
Another reason is the high costs of medical insurance in traditional western countries which have led to many people not opting for any medical plans. The high unemployment rates in the U. T and other European countries are another major contributing factor. Today, due to the going down hill unemployment levels millions of people can no longer pay for health insurance. So , a person not included in health insurance has very less choices other than seeking cheaper treatment somewhere else. As a result, medical travel has gained rapid acceptance and popularity inside a short period of time.
Medical Tourism Expenses Comparison
Here are some surprising cost reviews which justify the existence of the healthcare tourism industry. A liver hair transplant in the U. S would cost close to a whopping $300, 000, whilst a person who opts to travel to Taiwan would end up paying just around $90, 000. This translates into cost savings of around 70 percent. Likewise, a heart valve replacement costs about $10, 000 in India, while it costs around $200, 1000 in the United States. Women who plan to go through complex cosmetic surgery have to spend a lot of money in the U. S. In this case, a complete facelift in South Africa would cost just around $1250 compared to regarding $20, 000 in the United States. These glaring price cost savings are the most important reason for the huge growth in the healthcare tourism industry
Pros and Cons of Medical Tourism
Medical travel abroad isn’t just popular because of the cost savings. There are many additional benefits too. For example , the waiting times for medical procedures in the U. K are long and cumbersome. On the other hand, in medical tourism, a patient’s entire procedure is prepared and scheduled well in advance. When the patient arrives in the host nation, there is little to no waiting time. Here is another example in order to illustrate this point. In Canada, during the year 2005, more than 750, 000 Canadians had to wait for an average of 9.
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five weeks to get their medical procedures done. Canada also sets long waiting benchmarks ranging from 16 to twenty six weeks for non-emergency medical procedures such as cataract and hip replacement surgery.
While the medical travel industry provides its benefits it also has the share of drawbacks and worries. For example , a medical tourist can easily be susceptible to many diseases in the host country, where high standards of hygiene may not be available. A person from your United States may have low to simply no natural immunity levels to these illnesses. These diseases could hamper or even complicate existing health conditions. Some of the diseases that could weaken or complicate the recovery of the person are amoebic dysentery, influenza, typhoid, and tuberculosis. Health complications could also arise when traveling due to cramped seats in airlines and long distance flights.
Even accredited hospitals in countries like India lack adequate complaint registering procedures. This leads to a lot of patients being completely dissatisfied with the services offered. There are also many legal and ethical problems involved during organ transplantation within India and China. This primarily is due to the large-scale illegal purchase of tissues and organs during these countries. Despite these shortcomings, healthcare travel seems to be the way forward unless of course countries like the United States can find a way to cut their medical costs drastically or start providing medical travel and leisure insurance.
Popular Medical Tourism Destinations
Many people are on the lookout for both simple and complex procedures such as cardiac surgery, hip and leg replacement, dental surgery and cosmetic surgery. For these procedures the most popular medical traveling destinations are India, Argentina, Cuba, Hungary, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, The Philippines, Ukraine, Lithuania, and South Korea. High quality plastic surgery at affordable prices is available in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Colombia. Over the last few years, South United states countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia have become a sizzling destination for world-class plastic surgeries. These countries boast of talented and skilled cosmetic surgeons of repute. Most healthcare tourists come from countries like the United States, Canada, the U. K, plus Japan.
Implications for the Healthcare Industry
Medical travel has created implications in countries from where they begin. In 2007, more than 750, 500 Americans sought healthcare services away from country and more than 1 . 5 million are expected to seek offshore health care in 2008. This has resulted in the usa health care industry losing billions of dollars and is set to lose even more later on. According to a Deloitte Consulting survey of 2008, medical tourism in the usa could most likely increase by almost 10 times in the next decade. This trend is alarming and can barely be ignored by the healthcare sector. While this may spell trouble for your healthcare insurance industry, it could also be a motivating factor for the healthcare industry to lower its premiums to remain competitive. This major shift towards medical tourism has opened the doors for medical tourism insurance. Presently, very few medical insurers cover healthcare tourism. However , there is a growing demand for medical tourism insurance and might soon see major health care insurance providers offering people the option traveling abroad. This would definitely be a significant step in making healthcare more affordable.