When we hear the word “tourism” our imagination immediately focuses on the crowds of people that either follow the guide or go sightseeing throughout a city on their own. They try to see as many places of interest as possible. Tourism is believed to broaden our minds.
The thing is quite different with the medical travel. A medical traveler is anyone who travels across international borders in need of receiving some good medical care.
There is no exact information as to the beginning of the medical tourism. It might have started long ago as soon as diseased people got disappointed with the medical treatment in their native country and found out that there were places abroad where they could get healed easily.
This kind of tourism is becoming more and more popular nowadays due to development of social conditions. It is reported that there are more than 600 hospitals and clinical departments around the world to offer their services to foreign patients.
People go abroad looking for better and more efficient medical treatment. The biggest problem here is to choose the right hospital or clinical center which could be trusted as having an international accreditation.
The so called top destinations, having all necessary characteristics to be called like this, are located worldwide: in Germany and Israel, India and South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore and also in the USA and Costa Rica.
Here is a number of factors to be important for the top destinations:
- international accreditation;
- transparency of outcomes;
- excellent tourism infrastructure;
- quality assurance;
- along with the availability – trained, experienced medical staff.
According to some reliable statistics found in the book “Patients Beyond Borders”, healthcare travelers spend an average of 2500-4300 USD. It includes not only medical treatment but local transport and accommodation, too. Besides, the patients have to be provided with the best source of information, patient case studies and the latest research data.
The market size of cross-border patients constitutes approximately eleven million people. And it has the tendency of growing because the world’s population is aging and becomes more vulnerable to different diseases that require qualified medical care.
In conclusion, it is necessary to admit that with the emergence of new healthcare centers internationally accredited and provided with the most up-to-date equipment, the demand for medical tourism will increase. So there must be an organization with emergency powers, which would be able to meet these demands on a world scale and guarantee first-class facilities.