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
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