Medical tourism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Medical tourism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain health care. It also refers pejoratively to the practice of healthcare providers travelling internationally to deliver healthcare.[1][2] 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. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available. As a practical matter, providers and customers commonly use informal channels of communication-connection-contract, and in such cases this tends to mean less regulatory or legal oversight to assure quality and less formal recourse to reimbursement or redress, if needed[citation needed]. Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry.[3] However, accreditation and other measures of quality vary widely across the globe, and there are risks and ethical issues that make this method of accessing medical care controversial[citation needed]. Also, some destinations may become hazardous or even dangerous for medical tourists. In the context of global health, "medical tourism" is a pejorative because during such trips health care providers often practice outside of their areas of expertise or hold different (i.e., lower) standards of care.[4][5] Greater numbers than ever before of student volunteers, health professions trainees, and researchers from resource-rich countries are working temporarily and anticipating future work in resource-starved areas.[5][6] This emphasizes the importance of understanding this other definition.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 1 History 2 Description 3 Process 4 International healthcare accreditation 5 Organizations and Associations 6 Risks ■ 6.1 Legal issues ■ 6.2 Ethical issues

■ 7 Employer-sponsored health care in the US ■ 8 Subfields ■ 8.1 Dental ■ 8.2 Fertility ■ 9 Destinations ■ 9.1 Africa and the Middle East ■ 9.1.1 Israel ■ 9.1.2 Jordan ■ 9.1.3 United Arab Emirates ■ 9.2 The Americas ■ 9.2.1 Brazil ■ 9.2.2 Canada


Medical tourism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

9.2.3 Costa Rica 9.2.4 Cuba 9.2.5 Mexico 9.2.6 Panama 9.2.7 United States 9.2.8 Uruguay

■ 9.3 Asia/Pacific ■ 9.3.1 China ■ 9.3.2 Hong Kong ■ 9.3.3 India ■ 9.3.4 South Korea ■ 9.3.5 Malaysia ■ 9.3.6 New Zealand ■ 9.3.7 Pakistan ■ 9.3.8 Philippines ■ 9.3.9 Singapore ■ 9.3.10 Taiwan ■ 9.3.11 Thailand ■ 9.4 Europe ■ 9.4.1 Czech Republic ■ 9.4.2 Cyprus ■ 9.4.3 Estonia ■ 9.4.4 Germany ■ 9.4.5 Poland ■ 9.4.6 Romania ■ 9.4.7 Turkey ■ 10 References ■ 11 External links

The concept of medical tourism is not a new one. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. This territory was the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios. Epidauria became the original travel destination for medical tourism. Spa towns and sanitariums may be considered an early form of medical tourism. In eighteenth century England, for example, patients visited spas because they were places with supposedly healthgiving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.[3]

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.[7] Cost seems to play an important role in the occurrence of medical tourism, many surgery procedures performed overseas cost a fraction of the price they do in America. For example a liver transplant that cost $300,000 USD in America cost about $91,000 USD in Taiwan.[8]


250 in South Africa. more than 70% of middle and upper class women in the country have had some form of plastic surgery. Costa Rica. UDaily: “ The cost of surgery in India. the United States. g.000 Americans went abroad for health care in 2007. Singapore. Malaysia. Mexico and Turkey. South Korea.[3] Popular cosmetic surgery travel destinations include: Argentina. A heart-valve replacement that would cost $200. This is because of their large populations. Bolivia. An estimated 750. the free encyclopedia Page 3 of 21 Medical tourists can come from anywhere in the First World. comparatively high wealth. an estimated 782. Brunei. Japan.000 in India--and that includes round-trip airfare and a brief vacation package. Using Canada as an example. the Middle East. patients are finding that insurance either does not cover orthopedic surgery (such as knee/hip replacement) or imposes unreasonable restrictions on the choice of the facility. and Canada. including all associated fees.500 in the US costs $500 in India. Cuba. Bolivia. Lithuania. Colombia.[12] Additionally. such as FDA-approved prosthetics and hospital stay-over expenses. 26 weeks for a hip replacement and 16 weeks for cataract surgery. Similarly. the high expense of health care or lack of health care options locally. In Bolivia and Colombia.[11] Canada has set waiting-time benchmarks. a metal-free dental bridge worth $5.Medical tourism . Thailand or South Africa can be one-tenth of what it is in the United States or Western Europe. or prosthetics to be used. for non-urgent medical procedures. Cuba. Hong Kong.Wikipedia. However. for example. and the report estimated that a million and a half would seek health care outside the US in 2008. many clinics quote prices that are not all-inclusive and include only the surgeon fees associated with the procedure.[10] A large draw to medical travel is convenience and speed. South Africa.[13] According to an article by the University of Delaware publication. Cosmetic surgery savings are even greater: A full facelift that would cost $20.000 or more in the US. countries such as Argentina. Tunisia and New Zealand. Jordan. Brazil. and recently. plastic surgery has also become quite common.936 Canadians spent time on medical waiting lists in 2005. The growth in medical tourism has the potential to cost US health care providers billions of dollars in lost revenue. Costa Rica. Brazil and Colombia lead on plastic surgery medical skills relying on their experienced plastic surgeons.[13] ” Popular medical travel worldwide destinations include: Argentina.700 in the US is available in many other countries for only $730. http://en. Colombia. India.000 USD.[9] A forecast by Deloitte Consulting published in August 2008 projected that medical tourism originating in the US could jump by a factor of ten over the next decade. goes for $10. and sometimes even less.wikipedia. waiting an average of 9. Thailand. and increasingly high expectations of their populations with respect to health care. Hungary. An authority at the Harvard Business School recently stated that "medical tourism is promoted much more heavily in the United Kingdom than in the United States". According to the "Sociedad Boliviana de Cirugia Plastica y Reconstructiva". and Lasik eye surgery worth $3. In South America. Colombia also provides advanced care in cardiovascular and transplant surgery. surgeon.000 in the US runs about $1. including Europe. a knee replacement in Thailand with six days of physical therapy costs about one-fifth of what it would in the States. The Philippines. UAE. Colombia provides a knee replacement for about $5.4 2011/1/11 . e. 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. Saudi Arabia. Countries that operate public health-care systems are often so taxed that it can take considerable time to get non-urgent medical care.

perceptions of medical tourism are not always positive. The oldest international accrediting body is Accreditation Canada.Wikipedia. it has accredited hospitals and health service organizations in ten other countries.[17] Many international hospitals today see obtaining international accreditation as a way to attract American patients. there are parallel issues around medical tourism. medical tourism is viewed as risky. [16] However. wider political issues can influence where medical tourists will choose to seek out health care. International healthcare accreditation Because standards are important when it comes to health care. etc. and may request additional 2011/1/11 . the patient can remain in the tourist destination or return home. The provider usually requires the patient to provide a medical report. Certified medical doctors or consultants then advise on the medical treatment.Medical tourism .[19] http://en. The patient travels to the destination country. to be procured from the concerned embassy. In places like the US. Once the treatment is done. which accredited the Bermuda Hospital Board as soon as 1968. who takes care of the patient's accommodation. They also help provide resources for follow-up care upon the patient's return. They have been inspecting and accrediting health care facilities and hospitals outside of the United States since 1999.[15] which is the practice of traveling abroad to undergo in-vitro fertilization. Process The typical process is as follows: the person seeking medical treatment abroad contacts a medical tourism provider. surrogate pregnancy and other assisted reproductive technology treatments including freezing embryos for retro-production. After signing consent bonds and agreements. Companies that focus on medical value travel typically provide nurse case managers to assist patients with pre. choice of hospitals and tourist destinations. which has high standards of quality. formerly known as the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation. South Africa is taking the term "medical tourism" very literally by promoting their "medical safaris".wikipedia. Companies are beginning to offer global health care options that will enable North American and European patients to access world health care at a fraction of the cost of domestic care. Both are independent private sector not-for-profit organizations that develop nationally and internationally recognized procedures and standards to help improve patient care and safety.and post-travel medical issues. evidence-based medicine and quality assurance. is discussed. the best known accreditation group is the Joint Commission International (JCI). the free encyclopedia Page 4 of 21 In Europe Belgium. and diagnosis. Since then. Poland and Slovakia are also breaking into the business. Health tourism providers have developed as intermediaries to unite potential medical tourists with provider hospitals and other organisations. medical history. including the nature of ailment. The approximate expenditure. where the medical tourism provider assigns a case executive. treatment and any other form of care. local doctor’s opinion. the patient is given recommendation letters for a medical visa. and duration of stay. international healthcare accreditation. In some parts of the world.[14] A specialized subset of medical tourism is reproductive tourism and reproductive outsourcing. They work with hospitals to help them meet Joint Commission standards for patient care and then accredit those hospitals meeting the standards. In the United States.[18] Joint Commission International is a relative of the Joint Commission in the United States.

perhaps having both JCI to cover potential US clientele. training. However. medical travel facilitators.[20] Prior to that.[25] Risks Medical tourism carries some risks that locally-provided medical care does not. mosquito-transmitted diseases.Wikipedia.g. and tuberculosis. paratyphoid) which could weaken progress. is made up of international hospitals.Medical tourism . the free encyclopedia Page 5 of 21 QHA Trent Accreditation. healthcare providers. the Trent International Accreditation Scheme was a key player. assessment by peer review and exploration of the peer review techniques to include the recruitment. the first for-profit trade association for medical tourism. ISQUA and Trent. and typhoid.[24] The goal of these types of associations is often to raise awareness of medical tourism in the hopes of expanding the industry. Some countries. As a result of competition between clinics for American medical tourists. HealthCare Tourism International (HTI) is a 501(c) non-profit organization that is complementary to the Joint Commission International accreditation group. intent and the skill and intensity of their marketing. cost. TB. Communication and Education. They also vary in terms of cost to hospitals and healthcare institutions making use of them. depending on the hospital and country. amoebic dysentery. Exposure to diseases without having built up natural immunity can be a hazard for weakened individuals. China and http://en. insurance companies. such as 2011/1/11 . and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting medical tourism in a global environment. while there are cases in the West where patients were consistently misdiagnosed for years because such diseases are perceived to be "rare" in the West. Health care organizations can apply for selfcertification or accreditation on the HTI website. Hepatitis A. monitoring and evaluation of peer reviewers and the mechanisms for awards of accredited status to organisations. some hospitals are looking towards dual international accreditation. Malaysia. implementation of standards within healthcare organisations. specifically with respect to gastrointestinal diseases (e. Increasingly. because in poor tropical nations diseases run the gamut.[22] Other organizations providing contributions to quality practices include: ■ The United Kingdom Accreditation Forum (UKAF) is an established network of accreditation organisations with the intention of sharing experience good practice and new ideas around the methodology for accreditation programmes. based in the UK. size. JCI and Trent fulfill the role of accreditation by assessing the standards in the healthcare in the countries like India. including HIV. The MTA has three tenets: Transparency.[26] The quality of post-operative care can also vary dramatically. The different international healthcare accreditation schemes vary in quality. and may be different from US or European standards. influenza. The Association promotes the interests of its healthcare provider and medical travel facilitator members. is an active accreditation scheme.[21] A forecast by Deloitte Consulting regarding medical tourism published in August 2008 noted the value of accreditation in ensuring quality of healthcare and specifically mentioned JCI. However. or Thailand have very different infectious disease-related epidemiology to Europe and North America. Trent for potential British and European clientele and Accreditation Canada. there have been initiatives to rank hospitals based on patient-reported metrics. covering issues such as developing healthcare quality standards. doctors seem to be more open to the possibility of considering any infectious disease.[23] Organizations and Associations Medical Tourism Association (MTA).

[35] Medical tourism may raise broader ethical issues for the countries in which it is promoted.wikipedia.[36] In Thailand. such as stem cell treatments.[29] Finally. is often criticized on grounds of fraud. some argue that a "policy of 'medical tourism for the classes and health missions for the masses' will lead to a deepening of the inequities" already embedded in the health care system.[30] The limited nature of litigation in various countries is one reason for the lower cost of care overseas. blatant lack of scientific rationale and patient safety.[37] Medical tourism centred on new technologies.[27] To minimise these problems. The Declaration of Istanbul distinguishes between ethically problematic "transplant tourism" and "travel for transplantation". such as providing 'unproven' therapies to patients outside of regular clinical trials. Other vacation activities can be problematic as well — for example.[30] For example. Legal issues Receiving medical care abroad may subject medical tourists to unfamiliar legal issues. owing to the hospital and/or the doctor not possessing appropriate insurance cover and/or medical indemnity. after returning home. in 2008 it was stated that.[28] Differences in healthcare provider standards around the world have been recognised by the World Health Organization. the illegal purchase of organs and tissues for transplantation had been alleged in countries such as India[32][33] and China[34] prior to 2007.Wikipedia. While some countries currently presenting themselves as attractive medical tourism destinations provide some form of legal remedies for medical malpractice. it is often challenging to differentiate between acceptable medical innovation and unacceptable patient exploitation. patients might not be covered by adequate personal insurance or might be unable to seek compensation via malpractice lawsuits. these legal avenues may be unappealing to the medical tourist. However. Also. a patient will have limited contact with his or her surgeon. Also. traveling long distances soon after surgery can increase the risk of complications. medical tourism patients often combine their medical trips with vacation time set aside for rest and recovery in the destination country.[31] Ethical issues There can be major ethical issues around medical tourism. "Doctors in Thailand have become so busy with foreigners that Thai patients are having trouble getting care". Hospitals and/or doctors in some countries may be unable to pay the financial damages awarded by a court to a patient who has sued them. the free encyclopedia Page 6 of 21 Thailand. This body assists hospitals and government around the world in setting patient safety policy and practices that can become particularly relevant when providing medical tourism services. when pioneering advanced technologies.Medical tourism .[38][39] http://en. This means that it will be difficult to deal with any complications that may arise later such as a delayed infection. health facilities treating medical tourists may lack an adequate complaints policy to deal appropriately and fairly with complaints made by dissatisfied patients. Long flights and decreased mobility in a cramped airline cabin are a known risk factor for developing blood clots in the legs such as venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolus economy class syndrome. and in 2004 it launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety. Should problems 2011/1/11 . For example in India. scars may become darker and more noticeable if they sunburn while healing.

Israel See also: Medical tourism in Israel http://en. teamed up with hospitals in Thailand. including travel for the patient and companion. and Tunisia. a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.[45] Subfields Dental Main article: Dental tourism Dental tourism involves individuals seeking dental care outside of their local healthcare systems.[46] The main reasons for fertility tourism are legal regulation of the sought procedure in the home country. Singapore. including limited benefit plans.[42] preferred provider organizations and high deductible health plans.[43] In 2007. Companion Global Healthcare. In-vitro 2011/1/11 .Wikipedia. [44] A 2008 article in Fast Company discusses the globalization of healthcare and describes how various players in the US healthcare market have begun to explore it. The unions also raise the issues of legal liability should something go wrong. For example. with one union stating that it deplored the "shocking new approach" of offering employees overseas treatment in return for a share of the company's savings. or lower price. Destinations Africa and the Middle East Countries in this region involved in medical tourism include Saudi Arabia. Costa Rica and India. In 2000 Blue Shield of California began the United States' first cross border health plan.. Turkey. Fertility Main article: Fertility tourism Fertility tourism is the practice of traveling to another country for fertility treatments. Hannaford Bros. donor insemination and surrogacy are major procedures involved.[41] Medical travel packages can integrate with all types of health insurance.Medical tourism . Ireland. in January 2008.wikipedia. South Africa.[40] Employers may offer incentives such as paying for air travel and waiving out-of-pocket expenses for care outside of the US. Patients in California could travel to one of the three certified hospitals in Mexico for treatment under California Blue Shield. a supermarket chain based in Maine. the free encyclopedia Page 7 of 21 Employer-sponsored health care in the US Some US employers have begun exploring medical travel programs as a way to cut employee health care costs. began paying the entire medical bill for employees to travel to Singapore for hip and knee replacements. Such proposals have raised stormy debates between employers and trade unions representing workers. and potential job losses in the US health care industry if treatment is outsourced.

000 patients each from Palestine and Sudan. Colombia. 1. In comparison to US health costs. Brazil.wikipedia. The Americas Countries in the Americas that are treating foreign patients include Argentina.[50] Some have American-sourced international healthcare accreditation. Other medical tourists come to Israel to visit the Dead Sea.000 foreigners travelled to the country for medical procedures.200 UK citizens. Cuba. Bolivia. bringing in $40 million of revenue. This included an estimated 45. a world-famous therapeutic resort. Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital in São Paulo was the first JCI-accredited facility outside of the US. Brazil is only now entering the global market. with related revenues exceeding one billion dollars in 2007. the free encyclopedia Page 8 of 21 Israel is emerging as a popular destination for medical tourists. and 400 Canadians also sought treatment in Jordan that year.Wikipedia.[49] More than 250.000 Iraqis and approximately 25.[51] and more than a dozen Brazilian medical facilities have since been similarly accredited.[47] Medical tourists choose Israel for several reasons. For non-cosmetic procedures. perhaps most commonly from the US. because they can receive quality health care at a fraction of the cost it would be at home. However.[49] United Arab Emirates Hospitals in Dubai and other emirates have expressed an intent to develop in medical tourism. Panama. Dominican 2011/1/11 . medical tourism patients can save 30 to 60 percent on health costs in Canada. An estimated 1.Medical tourism .S and other countries where medical procedures are simply done in an office. for both surgeries and in-vitro fertilization treatments.[47] In 2006. while others are looking towards the UK.[47] The Israel Ministry of Tourism and several professional medical services providers have set out to generate awareness of Israel's medical capabilities.[52] Brazil requires visas for US citizens based on a reciprocal arrangement since Brazilians are required to obtain a visa to visit the US.000 patients from other countries sought treatment in Jordan that year. Costa Rica.[54] http://en.[48] Jordan Jordan is an emerging medical tourism destination. [49] The kingdom was rated as number one in the region and fifth in the world as a medical tourism hub in a study by the World Bank.800 US citizens. Peru and Uruguay. Guatemala. Mexico. 15. Unlike in the U. Brazil Brazil has long been known as a destination for cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgery in Brazil is done in specific plastic surgery only hospitals[53] Canada Canada has entered the medical tourism field. Some come from European nations such as Romania where certain procedures are not available. Australia and Canada for accreditation services. Others come to Israel. Treatment costs can be as low as 25 percent of costs in the US.

in their 2009 report "Medical Tourism Consumers in Search of Value" reported cost savings average of between 30-70% of US prices. travel to Cuba from Canada. Recently announced by JCI accredited Clinica Biblica. however. the free encyclopedia Page 9 of 21 Costa Rica Costa Rica's popularity in the medical tourism industry has been growing steadily over the years. now routinely cross to Mexico for medical care. producer Michael Moore leads a group of uninsured American patients to Cuba to obtain more affordable medical treatment. is a $40 million dollar hospital in Guanacaste designed to target the influx of medical tourism arriving in the Liberia International airport every year. cancer treatment.wikipedia. particularly those living near the Mexican border. Advanced Life Savings Treatment 2011/1/11 . Cuba has hospitals for Cuban residents and others that focus on serving foreigners and diplomats.[57] Cuba Cuba has been a popular medical tourism destination for more than 40 years. For Americans. Mexico.Medical tourism . Mexican dentists often charge one-fifth to one-fourth of US prices. Currently there are 3 Joint Commission International accredited (JCI) Hospitals all of which are currently located in San Jose. Cuban immigration authorities do not stamp the passports of US visitors so that Americans can keep their travels a private matter.[63] while other procedures typically cost a third what they would in the US."[58] In 2006. In the 2007 American documentary film. the country is able to attract over 20. eye surgery. particularly from Latin America and Europe. To date no Cuban facility has achieved JCI Accreditation.[62] http://en. The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. or.000 medical tourists. A recent Miami Herald story focused on the high quality of health care that Canadian and American medical tourism patients receive in Cuba. Costa Rica. Residents of Canada.[55] Because of Costa Rica's close proximity to the USA. which criticizes the US healthcare system. Thousands of patients travel to Cuba. and Life Style Treatment Services (Full range of dental work and cosmetic surgery). Costs are about 60 to 80 percent less than US costs.Wikipedia.[60] The Cuban government has developed Cuban medical tourism to generate income for the country. the UK and most other countries can travel to Cuba without any difficulty.[59] Medical treatments included joint replacement. travelers must either obtain US government approval. Sicko has greatly increased foreigners' interest in Cuban healthcare. Jamaica or the Dominican Republic.000 US patients a year. the Bahamas. the low prices and nearby beaches on which to recuperate.[56] It is also the prices of medical services that are quite attractive to consumers seeking quality care at an affordable price. Costa Rica offers these levels of care ranging from Intermediate Life Saving capabilities. cosmetic surgery and addictions rehabilitation.[61][62] Popular specialties include dentistry and plastic surgery.[52] Mexico Americans. Sicko. Cuba attracted nearly 20. Complex Life Saving Treatment Capabilities. because of the US trade policy towards Cuba. more frequently. This will make for a total of over six major private hospitals and 22 public hospitals. although a tourist visa is generally required. attracted by the "fine reputation of Cuban doctors.

"About 90 percent [feel] the care they had received in Mexico had been good or excellent.000 American medical tourists traveled from the United States to other countries in 2007 (up from 500..[68] Many of these organizations offer service coordinators to assist international patients with arrangements for medical care. has been performed for longer by Mexican surgeons. considered an elective procedure that is not covered by some US insurers. physicians in south Texas lobbied against the changes. Several major medical centers and teaching hospitals offer international patient centers that cater to patients from foreign countries who seek medical treatment in the U.[66] whereas the low costs for hospital stays and major/complex procedures at Western-accredited medical facilities abroad are cited as major motivators for American travelers. However.A.[62] Indeed "some U. United States Although much attention has been given to the growing trend of uninsured Americans traveling to foreign countries.S.[64] US doctors point out that the Mexican legal system makes it almost impossible to sue Mexican doctors for malpractice.S. many employers in Southern California are turning to insurance plans that send their workers to Mexico for routine care.S.000 people a year. dentists .[63] More American insurers are providing coverage for travelers. board 2011/1/11 . it has been noted that the decline in value of the U.[66] the same McKinsey study estimated that 750. arguing that local doctors could not compete with the lower costs in Mexico".S.. as the out-of-pocket costs to them are much lower. which was approved by the FDA in the US in 2001. costs differences between the US and many locations in Asia far outweigh any currency fluctuations. position as a hub for international travel. and accustomed to working with the same medical equipment and technology used in the United States and Europe. Many of Panama’s doctors are bilingual.[64] According to a report commissioned by Families U. have conceded to the competition and begun a 'reverse migration' opening offices in Mexico to take advantage of lower costs". legislators explored the possibility of allowing health maintenance organizations to operate on both sides of the border." In addition to dental and plastic surgery.[63] However. Panama offers savings of more than 50% compared to the US and Europe. health and medical tourism is growing rapidly.. finances and transportation including air ambulance services. a McKinsey and Co. dollar is offering additional incentive for foreign travel to the U.[3] No Panamanian hospitals currently have international healthcare accreditation.S. the free encyclopedia Page 10 of 21 In Texas. On most procedures.S.000 in 2006).[67] Also.[65] Panama In Panama. accommodations.. whether through US. Australian or Canadian sources. "With healthcare costs in the United States continuing to rise. although. Factors drawing medical tourists include Panama's tourist appeal. for medical care.Wikipedia.wikipedia. Mexican hospitals are popular for bariatric surgery for weight loss. a Washington advocacy group for health-care issues. plans that are growing by nearly 3. report from 2008 found that a plurality of an estimated 60.Medical tourism . British. About 80 percent rated the care they had received in the United States as good or excellent".000 medical tourists were traveling to the United States for the purpose of receiving inpatient medical care. and use of the American dollar as the official currency. http://en. lap band surgery. many who travel to Mexico for care report that they are satisfied.[67] The availability of advanced medical technology and sophisticated training of physicians are cited as driving motivators for growth in foreigners traveling to the U.000 to 85. A popular bariatric procedure.

The Indian government is taking steps to address infrastructure issues that hinder the country's growth in medical tourism.[73] Asia/Pacific Many Asian Pacific countries are medical tourism destinations.[74] China is home to leading stem cell research and treatment hospitals that offer Westerners who want to take advantage of stem cell treatments that are still considered experimental or have yet to be approved in their home country. China China is fast emerging as a desirable destination for individuals seeking medical care in a wide range of medical specialties.[78] Estimates of the value of medical tourism to India go as high as $2 billion a year by 2012. primary care interfaces etc. All 12 of Hong Kong's private hospitals have been surveyed and accredited by the UK's Trent Accreditation Scheme since early 2001. as well as the fact that foreigners are not likely to face a language barrier in India. neurology.755 beds respectively.[75][76] Hong Kong As of 2006.124 and 27. Uruhealth. Others are looking towards dual international accreditation with Trent and the Australian 2011/1/11 . Hong Kong public hospitals have yet to commit to external accreditation. 9. including cardiology.500-crore industry by 2015. A private medical tourism initiative. with both Trent and JCI (and have therefore attained a standard surpassing some of the best hospitals in Thailand and Singapore).Wikipedia.[79] Advantages for medical tourists include reduced costs.wikipedia. geography.).[71] The initiative involves the infrastructure. Hong Kong had 12 private hospitals and 39 public hospitals. the free encyclopedia Page 11 of 21 Many locations in the US that offer medical care comparable in price to foreign medical facilities are not Joint Commission Accredited. providing 3. A wide range of health care services are offered. human resources and experience of two healthcare companies: MP Personalized Medicine (Montevideo)[72] and SEMM-Mautone Hospital (Punta del Este). making it a Rs. Some of Hong Kong's private hospitals have now gone on to obtain dual international accreditation. http://en. orthopedics and others.[69] has been created with support from the Ministries of Tourism[70] and Public Health. the availability of latest medical technologies and a growing compliance on international quality standards. Many leading hospitals provide treatments integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western medical technology and techniques. and always uses combinations of UK-sourced and Hong Kong-sourced surveyors. Uruguay Uruguay recently entered the medical tourism market. public health.Medical tourism . A number of private and government hospitals in major cities have established international departments. India Main article: Medical tourism in India India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%.[77] This has been a major factor in the ascent of standards in Hong Kong's private hospitals. The Trent scheme works closely with the hospitals it assesses to generate standards appropriate to the locality (with respect to culture.

[88] Korean hospitals and clinics provide a variety of medical services for medical tourists including comprehensive health screening. There is a highly active Association for Private Hospitals of Malaysia working to develop http://en.[83] However.[84] The paper revealed that the price disparity in medical fees for foreign patients is extremely high.Medical tourism . and skin lightening. and Korean traditional medicine. infertility treatment. The Korea Times reported in a series of articles that Korean hospitals have adopted a discriminatory pricing policy. English is widely spoken. cancer 2011/1/11 .480 foreign-based patients and the Korean health ministry expects that number to increase to 140. Korea had 27. India is known in particular for heart as one of the “hot destinations” for medical tourism. overpricing and patient privacy rights under the Korean Medical Law. eye surgery and orthopedic surgery. facelifts. who are unprotected from malpractice. ophthalmology. hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine. The country has excellent hospitals. state-licensed clinics and hospitals are now allowed to directly seek out foreign patients through various promotional activities.[83] Over 30 South Korean hospitals and clinics are member providers under the Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion (CKMOP).[7][80] The most popular treatments sought in India by medical tourists are alternative medicine. and Yonsei Severance Hospital.[87] Malaysia Malaysia is well on its way to develop itself as a medical tourism hub.[85] It claims the government is overlooking soaring medical fees on foreign patients. charging foreigners two to three times more than the full-fee for locals. Among these facilities are the “Big Four” – Seoul National University Hospital.[87] Due to legislation passed in May 2009. considering that the difference between the lowest and highest fees for the most-sought-after procedures exceeds more than 10 times on average.wikipedia.[82] South Korea Listed on CNN. dental care. spinal treatment.000 by 2015. joint/rheumatism care.[85] [86] In 2008. the most popular treatments for medical tourists are cosmetic procedures such as eyelid surgery. A policy announcement of this effect is likely soon. Ministry of Tourism India(MoT) is planning to extend its Market Development Assistance (MDA) scheme to cover Joint Commission International (JCI) and National Accreditation Board of Hospitals (NABH) certified hospitals. nose jobs. the free encyclopedia Page 12 of 21 Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in America or Britain. bone-marrow transplant. Currently. organ transplantation.[81] The South Indian city of Chennai is considered to be the healthcare capital of India as it is home to some of India's best medical centers. and many staff have been trained to a high level in the UK or in the US. otorhinolaryngology. cardiac bypass surgery. Asan Medical Center. Samsung Medical Center.Wikipedia. South Korea is quickly establishing itself in the field of medical tourism. discriminatory charging.

com. It has all the hallmarks of a very successful destination especially for North American based patients. A number of modern hospital facilities exist in Islamabad. Karachi and Lahore which are fully equipped and facilitated. The Ministry of Health has launched a medical tourism page. the fact that New Zealand is one of the safest[93] places in the world and only 12 hours direct flight from the west coast of North America. Penang Adventist Hospital are JCI accredited.[95] Many doctors and surgeons in Pakistani hospitals tend to be foreign qualified. then New Zealand as a medical travel destination looks set to develop. On average it is considered that New Zealand’s surgical costs are around 15 to 20% the cost of the same surgical procedure in the USA. Malaysian hospitals such Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur [10] (http://www. Philippines The Philippines has been growing as a destination for medical tourism. ].$140.Wikipedia.[92] Added to this the personalized level of medical .000 he was told the operation would have cost at home. while Malaysia has a national accreditation healthcare scheme (MSQH) and many Malaysia's hospitals are currently firmly on the way to achieve international healthcare accreditation. International Specialist Eye Centre. medical tourism in Pakistan has been arranging potential trips for many medical health and care procedures. It is first and foremost English speaking with a rich heritage of producing world class doctors and medical research.000.0% in 2007.[91] One patient who had his prosthetic hip replaced in New Zealand said the total cost including travel. The US Medical Tourism Association magazine reported that this services sub-sector grew 8. http://en. due to insecurity and instability in the region. the free encyclopedia Page 13 of 21 medical tourism. lodging and the surgery at a private hospital was $20. This includes being a first world. Many of its private hospitals are internationally accredited.[89] However.Medical tourism . due to the traditional political. the world renown natural beauty and tranquility.000 .gimc.[90] New Zealand New Zealand is a relatively new destination to medical travel. state of the art and offer an integrated package of care. A number of patients from neighbouring countries have traveled to Pakistan for treatment.wikipedia. or if pending legislation results in an increase in patient wait times for surgical procedures (as has been seen in other countries where care has been nationalized). as opposed to the $80.[96] The number can be expected to grow as American health-care costs rise. Pakistan Pakistan has mentioned its keenness on working towards medical tourism and has considered it as a key element in its recent tourism 2011/1/11 . The cost of the surgical care in New Zealand is significantly cheaper. developed economy with a sophisticated and comprehensive medical system.[94] Despite suffering several blowbacks. economic and cultural connections between the United States and the Philippines.

4 billion baht. In 2006. which caters to medical tourists. besides the English-speaking medical staff. When Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala needed medical care in 2006. and patient numbers from Indochina. as well as procedures that are considered more along the lines of fringe medical practices.[105] Bumrungrad treated approximately 55. the Department of Health launched a campaign to promote inbound medical tourism.[103] Treatments for medical tourists in Thailand range from cosmetic. such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Patients from developed countries such as the United States and the UK are also beginning to choose Singapore as their medical travel destination for relatively affordable health care services in a clean cosmopolitan city. and orthopaedic treatments to dental and cardiac surgeries. the Middle East and Greater China are growing.000 (8. In 2005. focusing on integrating the resources of the government and academia to build Taiwan's brand as a medical tourism destination. as opposed to the $100.[102] Costs for procedures remain comparatively low.[100] In 1997 (published 2000). ISO 2000 is not an accreditation scheme. and Phyathai Hospitals Group has interpreters for over 22 languages. medical tourism was projected to earn the country 36. However. the Philippines takes its position on no.000 euros) he estimated the operation would have cost him at home. the thousands serving in American medical facilities being a testament to its quality of medical education. Bangkok Hospital.200 euros). http://en. physicians and dentists to the US. Treatments also include spa. physical and mental therapies.[99] Singapore Singapore has a dozen hospitals and health centers with JCI accreditation.000 (68. a 30% increase from the previous year.[108] Some of the country’s major hospitals have also achieved certification by the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9001:2000. Thailand Medical tourism has been a growing segment of Thailand's tourism and health-care sectors. Taiwan is known for liver transplants.[106] Hospitals in Thailand are a popular destination for other Asians. the free encyclopedia Page 14 of 21 The Philippines is one of a few countries that sends qualified nurses. Europe and the US. joint replacement surgery. and reconstructive and plastic surgery.[107] Many Thai physicians hold US or UK professional certification.Medical tourism . has a Japanese wing. the World Health Organization ranked Singapore's health care system sixth best in the world and the highest ranked system in Asia. one Bangkok hospital took in 150. Taiwan The Taiwanese government has declared its determination for the country to become a medical tourism center. organ transplants.000 American patients in 2005 alone.[97][98] According to year 2000 WHO rankings of the world's health systems. cardiac.60. bone marrow transplants. Bumrungrad International was accredited most recently in 2005 by the Joint Commission. In 2007.Wikipedia.000 treatment seekers from 2011/1/11 .[101] Patients come from neighboring countries. he went to Bangkok. Bumrungrad International hospital states that many of its doctors and staff are trained in the UK.[104] One patient who had coronary artery bypass surgery at Bumrungrad International hospital in Bangkok said the operation cost him US$12. South Asia.wikipedia.

with twice as many hospitals per capita as the United States. Estonia is known for its good medical care and scored particularly high in the Health Consumer Powerhouse report. Romania Romania is a member state of the European Union. Czech Republic Czech Republic has built its medical tourism on spas and medical care equalling the world standards (for example Ostrava University Hospital). when Poland joined the European Union. Estonia. Estonia Estonia is particularly popular among Scandinavians for medical tourism.[111] All German citizens have health coverage. issue 18.[113] The high hospital density results in shorter waitlists for treatment. Portugal. Cyprus.wikipedia. Romania. Malta. Hungary. it has become another locale for people seeking cheaper medical 2011/1/11 . Czech Republic. Poland. US citizens sometimes travel to Germany to seek treatments such as artificial cervical disc replacement that are not US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. produced on behalf of the European Union.[115] http://en.[110] Germany Germany is a destination for patients seeking advanced medical technology. and Ukraine. The medical tourism industry achieves world standards and has to comply with EU regulation since it joined the EU in 2004. below the USA's ranking at 37 and the United Kingdom's ranking at 18. the free encyclopedia Page 15 of 21 The World Health Organization's 2000 ranking put the Thai healthcare system at number 47. safety. Currently very few hospitals have independent accreditation. Germany.[114] Germany is an attractive destination for patients from the Middle East since traveling to the USA has become more difficult for them since the September 11 attacks.[109] Europe Countries in Europe that have active medical tourism sectors include Turkey. Medical tourism in Romania is quality driven as outlined in the Medical Tourism Magazine.[112] resulting in a high hospital density. The quality of care in Poland must comply with EU standards. Lithuania. Poland Since 2004. Medical tourism services in Romania varied but cover a large scope.Medical tourism . Costs for medical treatment compete well with other developed European countries and are commonly 50% of those in the USA. and quick treatment. The quality of services is implemented by both national and EU bodies of accreditation. high standards.Wikipedia. Slovakia. Spain. Cyprus Cyprus is actively developing its medical tourism industry.

(http://www. Over 34 hospitals and medical institutions have achieved Joint Commission International ^ Tung. 113. 6. hosting about 40. 2008 8. the United States. 354-357. & Ausiello. "Americans look abroad to save on health care: Medical tourism could jump tenfold in next (2006). Cosmetic. online. ^ James. Global Health Ethics for Students. 1-10.00. ^ a b c d Gahlinger. Duffle Bag Medicine. August 3. ^ Lagace. (2002). 2008 4. the free encyclopedia Page 16 of 21 The private healthcare system in Romania is amongst the most dynamic in the country in terms of investments and growth." (http://www.Medical tourism .org) has been established by the DEİK-Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey Healthcare Committee and the Accredited Hospitals Association of Turkey. information about the healthcare. D.2004023. 2006. The Medical Tourism Travel Guide: Your Complete Reference to Top-Quality.Web/product_files/PrivateCostofPublicQueues2005. 10. The American Journal of by Becca Hutchinson.canada.[116] There are facilitators in Romania helping traveling patients access services. The site contains information on prices and hospital statistics. Journal of the American Medical Association.E. Medical Care & Surgery Overseas. 14911492. March 28. Retrieved July 1. ^ 2011/1/11 Sarah (July 16.chicagotribune. Developing World Bioethics..healthinturkey. 2008 11. Low-Cost Dental.html. 2007. 77-78. Accessed 7 May 2009.cfx?id=290) . D. Martha "The Rise of Medical Tourism" (http://hbswk. ^ a b Pinto. (2000). July 25. ^ The Private Cost of Public Queues in 2005 (http://www.G. [1] (http://www. ^ Bezruchka. & Upshur. 11. http://en. Delhi is dealing. Web site www.[118] References 1. Going Global.html) .8599. (1999). 2010). 7. Turkey Turkey attracts medical tourists from Europe and the Balkans. December 17. "For big surgery. The New Physician. ^ a b Laurie Goering. 9.html) . http://www. The San Francisco Chronicle. pharmaceutical and insurance environments as well as an international patient guide. Retrieved September 5. "Is Taiwan Asia's Next One-Stop Plastic-Surgery Shop?" (http://www.fraserinstitute. Eurasia and the Middle East.time.wikipedia. PM.cgi? f=/c/a/2008/08/03/BUGA121GPF. Sunrise River Press.D. Fraser Institute 12. 2008. 9. 3. Johnson. 2005.A. R.000 annually.A. Time. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge. both medical and touristic services.html) . ^ Linda A. (2009). UDaily. ^ Wait times shorter for some medical procedures: ." (http://www. [11] (http://www.story) The Chicago Tribune. M.amsa. S.[117] The Turkish private healthcare system is striving to become a strategic global health service provider manufacturing center.2004023. ^ Roberts. 295.. Market reports state that growth can still be expected in the private system in the years to come. ^ a b "Medical tourism growing worldwide" (http://www. Global Health: A Chance for Western Physicians to Give and Receive. Canwest News Service 13. 48. Medical Tourism as Medical Harm to the Third World: Why? For Whom? Wilderness and Environmental

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org/cgi-bin/search? search=medical+tourism) .com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/11/02/AR2006110200728_pf.html) ■ CBC News on "Medical tourism: Need 2011/1/11 . http://en.washingtonpost. See Terms of Use for details.go. Inc. ■ Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.Wikipedia.html) ■ A Cut Below: Americans Look Abroad for Health Care (ABC News) (" Categories: Health economics | Types of tourism | Medical tourism ■ This page was last modified on 7 January 2011 at 13:55. the free encyclopedia Page 21 of 21 External links ■ Businesses May Move Health Care Overseas (Washington Post) ( a non-profit organization.Medical tourism .wikipedia..Open Directory Project Retrieved from "http://en.dmoz. will travel" (http://www.wikipedia. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.cbc. additional terms may ■ Listings of medical tourism websites (http://search.