Kill Two Birds With One Stone Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is​ a​ fairly new term used to​ describe an​ amazing amount of​ people globally that travel world-wide for health care. Why these people travel and for what differs,​ but basically there are two types of​ medical tourists – the​ regular tourist that adds a​ visit to​ the​ doctor for some minor treatment,​ as​ part of​ his or​ her holiday,​ and the​ tourist traveling primarily for medical treatment.

Before there even was a​ term 'medical tourism',​ it​ was common practice among the​ well-to-do in​ third-world countries to​ travel to​ the​ USA,​ Switzerland and Germany for medical care. However,​ since the​ year 2000,​ this trend has been reversed and now countries such as​ Thailand,​ are attracting patients from the​ USA,​ Canada and the​ United Kingdom.

This new market has grown as​ modern health care systems all over the​ world are struggling to​ meet the​ medical needs of​ their own populations. in​ the​ United States,​ the​ price of​ health care is​ beyond the​ means of​ most and there are an​ estimated 40 million people without health insurance. While in​ Britain,​ Canada and Holland,​ socialized health care ensures affordability,​ demand for medical services far outstrips supply and waiting lists for surgical procedures or​ specialty medicine can be as​ long as​ two-to-three years.

Today,​ governments,​ insurers and employers are carefully looking at​ outsourcing medical treatments as​ a​ way to​ improve access and lower health care costs for their citizens,​ policy-holders and employees.

Thailand's health care services are about one-half the​ cost of​ similar services in​ Singapore,​ one-third the​ cost of​ Hong Kong and one-tenth the​ cost in​ the​ United States.

Who are the​ medical tourists and what are they coming for?

By and large,​ medical tourists are traveling for specialty surgical and medical services. the​ recent upsurge in​ the​ popularity of​ plastic surgery,​ however,​ has led to​ a​ new wave of​ medical tourists and headlines like "Sun,​ sea and surgery" or​ "Scalpel tourism" have helped create the​ buzz for this growing phenomenon. Medical tourism destinations,​ such as​ Thailand,​ promote the​ benefit of​ high-quality medical care as​ just one more reason to​ visit the​ kingdom.

Elective out-patient procedures like check-ups,​ dental care,​ and LASIK eye surgery are becoming increasingly popular and there is​ a​ growing interest on​ the​ part of​ the​ tourism industry to​ include these services as​ part of​ their travel packages. Higher intensity medical services,​ like spinal and cardiac surgery,​ pose a​ greater challenge because these medical services are not as​ easily packaged and require significantly more knowledge about medicine.

Bumrungrad Hospital,​ located in​ central Bangkok,​ is​ a​ major player in​ the​ medical tourism field in​ Thailand,​ attracting over 360,​000 international patients every year from over 150 countries worldwide. But Bumrungrad is​ not alone. There are quite a​ few other hospitals in​ Thailand and also in​ out-lying regions that are aggressively marketing their hospitals to​ capture a​ slice of​ this fast growing market. Both Bumrungrad Hospital and the​ India-based Apollo Hospital were recently featured on​ the​ CBS award winning news program "60 Minutes" as​ medical tourism destinations for a​ growing number of​ Americans.

Reliable figures on​ the​ size and growth of​ medical tourism are hard to​ come by,​ as​ government and immigration statistics do not yet categorize inbound travelers coming for medical care. That said,​ the​ Tourism Authority of​ Thailand is​ actively promoting medical tourism as​ medical tourists on​ average spend more and stay longer than leisure travelers.

So,​ whether you​ are the​ casual visitor that will take advantage of​ some minor medical work while in​ Thailand,​ or​ you​ are planning your vacation around your surgery,​ Thailand is​ the​ place to​ go and get it​ done professionally and at​ an​ extremely good price.
Kill Two Birds With One Stone Medical Tourism Kill Two Birds With One Stone Medical Tourism Reviewed by Henda Yesti on January 16, 2018 Rating: 5
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