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Medical Tourism: International Healthcare Locations and Information

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-13

Synopsis: Information on medical tourism and international travel to obtain cheaper, or better, health care and surgery by overseas doctors. The recent trend is for people to travel from developed countries to Third World countries for medical treatments because of cost consideration, though the traditional pattern still continues. 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 improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries.

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Main Document

Medical tourism or health tourism is defined as the travel of people to another country to obtain medical treatment in that country. Traditionally, people would travel from less developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that was unavailable in their communities, The recent trend is for people to travel from developed countries to Third World countries for medical treatments because of cost consideration, though the traditional pattern still continues. Another reason for travel for medical treatment is because some treatments may not be legal in the home country, such as some fertility procedures.

Medical Tourism Locations and Information Publications (14)

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 improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries.

An estimated 750,000 Americans went abroad for health care in 2007, and the report estimated that a million and a half would seek health care outside the US in 2008. Furthermore, some US employers have begun exploring medical travel programs as a way to cut employee health care costs.

Health tourism providers have developed as intermediaries to unite potential medical tourists with provider hospitals and other organizations. Companies are beginning to offer global health care options that will enable North American and European patients to access world health care at discounted prices than domestic care. Medical services typically sought by travelers include elective surgery procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as:

Medical tourism for knee/hip replacements has emerged as one of the more widely accepted procedures because of the lower cost and minimal difficulties associated with the traveling to/from the surgery.

Traveling to another country for fertility treatments. The main reasons for fertility tourism are legal regulation of the sought procedure in the home country, or lower price. In-vitro fertilization, donor insemination and surrogacy are major procedures involved.

Dental tourism involves individuals seeking dental care outside their local healthcare systems.

Pill capsules arranged in the shape of a world map.
Pill capsules arranged in the shape of a world map.

Safety

Accreditation and other measures of quality vary widely around the world, and risks and ethical issues still make medical tourism a controversial topic.

Medical Tourism Association (MTA), the first non-profit trade association for medical tourism, is made up of international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting medical tourism in a global environment.

Popular medical travel destinations include:

Popular Cosmetic Surgery Travel Destinations Include:

How Much Can You Save?

Using U.S. costs across a variety of specialties and procedures as a benchmark, average range of savings for the most-traveled destinations:

Subtopics and Associated Subjects

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Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 13). Medical Tourism: International Healthcare Locations and Information. Disabled World. Retrieved June 27, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/medical/tourism/

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