Medical Tourism: The Next Big Thing

Medical tourism can be defined as a process of leaving the country of residence to

receive medical care. The growing popularity of medical tourism has attracted the

attention of the authorities, researchers and media. Originally, the term refers to the

travel of patients in less developed countries to the more developed countries for


Today, there is a change in both qualitative and quantitative patient mobility, as

people from the rich countries travel to less developed countries to avail health

services. This change can be explained by the relatively low cost of treatment in

the less developed countries and flights availability at low cost and increased

marketing and consumer information online for medical services.

The word "tourism" in the concept of medical tourism is that people often stay

abroad after the medical procedure. So travelers can enjoy their visiting travel, day

trips or participate in any other traditional tourism.


Medical tourism is a global phenomenon of billions of dollars, which could grow

significantly over the next decade. For those interested in healthcare services, the

cost is a crucial factor when choosing a doctor abroad.

Because the cost of healthcare is being increased too much in the United States and

elsewhere, many employers and insurance companies began to consider medical

tourism as a way to lower the treatment cost. More and more countries around the

world are starting to see the financial benefits of this market, offering high-quality

medical services at significantly lower prices.

The main reason for clinics and hospitals in the developing countries to be able to

lower their prices, which is directly related to the economic situation of the nation.

A direct correlation with a per capita GDP of the country was observed, which is

an indicator of income level. Consequently, the price of surgery is 30% and 70%

lower in these countries that promote their medical tourism in comparison to the

United States.


The quality of services in the health sector has two main components: the technical

quality or mechanical and service or functional quality. The technical equipment is

the main aspect in the diagnostic algorithm of patients, while functional quality is

measured by the services offered in health centers (such as service personnel,

nurses and especially physicians for patients and their assistants). The quality of

service in the medical tourism industry is important to attract customers.

A major obstacle in accepting medical tourism is the perception of inadequate

quality. One of the keys to elimination is the use of appropriate marketing

strategies and quality assessment by an internationally recognized institution. This

accreditation is important to build confidence in the quality of health care.


The categories of different treatments and their availability are also an important

factor in the decision to participate in the medical tourism. The most common

types of treatments that patients continue to travel for medical tourism are elective

cosmetic surgery, dental medicine, organs graft, heart surgery and orthopedic


However, a variety of services can be obtained through medical tourism, various

essential treatments for different types of traditional and alternative treatments.

Reproductive tourism and reproductive outsourcing are gaining popularity, this is

the practice of traveling abroad for surrogacy, IVF and other techniques of assisted



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