Medical Tourism, Definition, Categories, Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

Medical Tourism, Definition, Categories, Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

Medical Tourism
  • What is medical tourism?

Medical tourism, also known as surgical tourism, or medical travel, international travel for the purpose of receiving medical care. The constant growth in the globalization of health has led to the rise of medical tourism. International trade in health services has also enhanced medical tourism. While most people prefer to treat their conditions closer to home, certain parameters might often become obstacles while seeking medical treatment. When people travel to foreign countries to receive medical treatment, it is called Medical Tourism.  Every year, lots and lots of people participated in this Medical Tourism. Most of the time people around the world travel to different developed and advanced countries for major and good quality medical treatments at affordable costs.
  • How does medical tourism work?

A lot of people still do not fully understand or know what medical tourism is really all about. Before you go on a trip abroad or decide to go for the cheaper health care rates in other countries, you have to be well-informed about your procedure first and the coverage of your treatment and care. This will significantly minimize the risks and the chances of falling prey to dishonest individuals. You should also know more about the right agencies. Talk with your doctor or health care provider to make sure you fully understand the risks and benefits of the procedure, or try using video consultation from leading international medical experts from UK, USA and Europe. Docspert Health enables you to have an online video consultation with the international expert to discuss your condition and their medical advice, with the option of having a medical interpreter. You can book a video consultation here. You can also receive a detailed medical report about your condition with an accurate diagnosis, the best treatment plan and answers to your questions. Our medical team helps you understand the expert's report. Docspert Health enables you to travel abroad to consult the expert or to receive your treatment or operation.
  • What are the categories of medical tourism?

Travel is focusing on Medical treatments and the use of health care services uses a far wider term which is known as health tourism. It covers a wide range of health-oriented tourism from health, conductive and preventive treatment to even curative self-driving as well as rehabilitation. There are three main categories of medical tourism well known in the health industry.
  1. Outbound Medical Tourism: When patients travel from their native country to a foreign country to undergo medical treatment is called outbound.
  2. Inbound Medical Tourism: When patients travel from a foreign country to their home country for medical treatment it is called inbound
  3. Intrabound or Domestic Tourism: This involves no International traveling and patients travel from one part of their own country to another to seek medical help.
  • What are the types of medical tourism?

  1. Dental or Dentistry:
People often seek dental healthcare facilities outside their own country or local healthcare systems. Their own country might be lacking ever-advancing facilities.
  1. Orthopedics:
One of the most asked for the top 10 types of medical tourism is in the department of Orthopedics. People might seek medical tourism to treat their musculoskeletal system.
  1. Cosmetic/Plastic surgery:
To remove signs of aging or change or improve, doctors attend to a person’s appearance for cosmetic or plastic surgeries. This asks for highly developed technological procedures and instruments. Every hospital may not carry out these procedures. So, a person seeking this kind of surgery mostly travels to other countries.
  1. Cardiology:
To treat congenital heart diseases, coronary artery disease, heart failure, or Bueller heart disease and Electrophysiology one might seek medical tourism. A country might not have the proper training or expert cardiologists. Hence a person could go to a foreign country to treat any heart disease.
  1. Bariatric surgery:
Bariatric or weight loss surgery request highly trained professional experts or surgeons to do this. Though, all countries do not have a properly trained professional to undergo this kind of surgery or even equipment. Thus, most people opt for medical tourism in the case of this surgery.
  1. Fertility treatment:
People often seek medical tourism in the case of fertility treatments. So, the main reason being when it is a question of fertility treatment people want the best option and don’t want to take risks.
  1. Eye surgery:
Eye Surgery is a very risk-prone surgery. People can depend on expert surgeons for their dexterity and training. All Countries do not have suitable facilities or experts to perform such surgeries. Thus, people have to travel to foreign countries for the best options.
  1. Ears, nose, and throat:
ENT surgeries require a lot of modern equipment and technologies. Thus, people mostly travel to foreign countries to undergo such surgeries.
  1. Organ transplants:
Organ Transplants involve a lot of risk-taking and surgeons should be taking care of these procedures with the help of the best equipment.
  1. Rehabilitation:
Most countries do not have proper rehabilitation centers and thus, medical tourism is the only option. Thus, Medical Tourism is the act of people traveling to other countries to seek medical treatment. Generally, this involves people traveling from less-developing countries to a country that is more developed in nature. Also, has higher medical facilities and requirements. Another reason might be that certain medical services that have no license or is unavailable in their native country. The main reason behind medical tourism is for surgeries or similar treatment. However, people do travel for fertility tourism and dental tourism also.
  • What is the difference between wellness tourism and medical tourism?

Wellness tourists aim to prevent diseases rather than treat existing conditions. For example, medical tourism involves people who travel for surgeries and dental care, while wellness tourism involves travelers seeking to try out spa treatments and rituals, balanced diet seminars and fitness events
  • When did medical tourism start?

As early as 5000 years ago, constant streams of medical travelers and spiritual students flocked to India to seek the benefits of these alternative-healing methods. When Rome became a global power, several hot-water baths and springs called thermae came into existence and gained popularity among the elite.
  • What is the history of medical tourism?

Ancient Greeks were known for their travels to the sanctuary of the healing god, Asklepios, believed to reveal remedies for different ailments in the dreams. This sanctuary was in fact a small territory in the Saronic Gulf named Epidauria – today considered as the birthplace of medical tourism as we know it.
  • Is medical tourism a good idea?

Your risk of complications depends on the destination, the facility where the procedure is being performed, and whether you are in the good physical and psychological condition for the procedure(s). Other issues that can increase you risk of complications include: Infectious Disease
  • What are the risks of medical tourism?

All medical procedures have some risk of complications, those associated with procedure done in other countries include wound infections, bloodstream infections, donor-derived infections, and diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV. Antibiotic resistance
  • What are the disadvantages of medical tourism?

Main disadvantage of medical tourism is that the patient and their family members are not sure about the qualifications of the doctors. In most cases, patients are not aware of their tolerance levels and may invite secondary health problems. Talk with your doctor or health care provider to make sure you fully understand the risks and benefits of the procedure, or try using video consultation from leading international medical experts from UK, USA and Europe. Docspert Health enables you to have an online video consultation with the international expert to discuss your condition and their medical advice, with the option of having a medical interpreter. You can book a video consultation here. You can also receive a detailed medical report about your condition with an accurate diagnosis, the best treatment plan and answers to your questions. Our medical team helps you understand the expert's report. Docspert Health enables you to travel abroad to consult the expert or to receive your treatment or operation.
  • What are the advantages of medical tourism?

Immediate service. This is another significant benefit of medical tourism. Patients from overseas are given immediate access to health care services. Medical tourism allows them to be placed on the priority list, and when dealing with health matters, waiting is not an option always.
  • How popular is medical tourism?

Medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular. This phenomenon is driven by marketplace forces and occurs outside of the view and control of the organized healthcare system
  • Why is medical tourism booming?

This booming market is driven by consumers seeking quality care at reasonable costs. Although the market initially focused on cosmetic surgeries, it has expanded to include dentistry as well as cardiovascular, bariatric, organ transplant, eye, orthopedic, fertility, and cancer-related procedures
  • Is medical tourism legal?

Medical tourism is legal in almost all respects, primarily because there is very little regulation, and therefore very little legal protection. However, there are ways to protect yourself before you go. There should be a host of written agreements to sign from the health care facility, the group arranging the trip, health and/or travel insurance agreements, and potentially many others. Make sure that you understand all contracts you are signing, or will be signing, by asking for copies well in advance. Have a local health care attorney read them over so that you know exactly what you are consenting to before you sign, arrive, and go under the knife in a country that potentially speaks a foreign language. Recovering in peace will be much more enjoyable knowing that you have secured your rights in advance.
  • Is medical tourism safe?

Medical tourism is generally considered safe, but it's critical to research the quality of care, physician training, and surgical specialties of each country.
  • Will medical tourism survive covid-19?

Medical tourism has been burgeoning in the last decade, with major players consolidating strategies to form strong networks for international travel. The global medical tourism market generated more than $58.6 billion in 2018, with a strong projection to hit $142.2 billion by 2026. And it was well on its way. Rising awareness of quality and more affordable healthcare options in other destinations and the guarantee of a terrific patient care experience perked up by congenial environment and beautiful tourist attractions were the key drivers of the flourishing business. But the coronavirus pandemic hit the brakes on the industry’s expansion. With a record decline in airline demand, closure and shut down of medical tourism agencies and widespread financial hardships that have wrecked many industry key players, medical tourism came to a screeching halt.  But the future remains uncertain. Especially, as the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic remains unclear.

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