What is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism (or health tourism) is a comparatively new direction in the world
s practice. One cannot consider medical tourism to be a branch of tourism in general. This is a separate service sphere for people with extensive health issues. The inability to receive proper healthcare services pushed the development of health tourism and gave patients the possibility to look for diagnostic and treatment alternatives abroad. Willingness to become a patient of foreign healthcare institution may be connected with several reasons such as: poor state of medicine in the patients native country, lack of trust of the skills of local doctors, unsuccessful previous diagnostic tests and treatment, the desire to receive TOP-quality medical services, and availability of innovative treatment methods abroad. Thus, according to official data, the number of people going abroad for medical issues increases annually by 20 %. It has to be mentioned, that this statistic data includes world medical tourism in general, regardless of the level of medical service in the native country of a patient. Let us explain here about how medical tourism works and what should a potential client of a foreign hospital take into consideration.
Kinds of Medical Tourism
Medical tourism market can roughly be divided into several areas: Treatment abroad – includes only offers related directly to the health problems Aesthetic procedures – plastic surgery, cosmetology and aesthetic dentistry Diagnostic programs – are popular among those patients whom the doctors in their homeland cannot establish a certain diagnosis. Also, those people who doubt their diagnosis go for diagnostics abroad Spa treatment – is also a branch of health tourism, but not for direct treatment.
This kind of medical tourism is chosen by people with minor chronic diseases, as well as with the purpose of prevention and relaxation
Popular Treatment Destinations abroad A question is, where exactly do medical tourists go and what complaints do they have to refer to the foreign specialists?
According to the International Association of Medical Tourism, the following destinations are the most popular: Plastic surgery and dentistry. Patients most often go to hospitals in Turkey, South Korea and Thailand to get treated with aesthetic or plastic surgeon. Cardiology and cardiac surgery. German hospitals are in the highest demand for the treatment of cardiovascular pathologies. Here they have the highest rate of successful coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures. Orthopedics and traumatology. The most sought after orthopedic procedure is joints endoprosthetics. Hospitals in Germany and the Czech Republic have a good reputation when it comes to dealing with this area of medicine. Oncology and oncologic hematology. Treatment of cancer is a priority for the United States, Germany, and Israel. Hospitals in Turkey and South Korea have also greatly proved themselves in the treatment of cancer. Transplantation. Turkey and India are a popular destination for organ transplantation. Neurology. Treatment of neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, etc.) is best provided in Germany, Israel and Turkey. IVF and childbirth – is a sought after area of healthcare. Turkish hospitals occupy the first place when it concerns IVF. USA and Thailand should also be mentioned in this area. Diagnostics. To confirm or deny a diagnosis, to get a second opinion patients most often go to Germany and Israel. A popular treatment option among medical tourists is a comprehensive “check-up” procedure involving a complex diagnostics of the whole body. Rehabilitation. The majority of patients travel to Germany, Turkey and Israel for neurological, orthopedic or psychiatric rehabilitation.
As can be seen, Germany and Turkey are the most popular destinations for medical tourism. No doubt, the state of healthcare is very established as the healthcare system is a priority direction in the economy of these countries.