Medical tourism refers to people who travel abroad for treatment purposes. This treatment is usually medical. That is to say, people fly to other countries for better health assistance. In more cases, people from less developed countries tend to visit certain developed countries. Generally, the people who opt for medical tourism are the citizens of either less or underdeveloped countries. They do not have a reliable medical system. Consequently, they decide to go abroad to get satisfactory medical treatment.
Interestingly, some people from developed countries opt for medical tourism in less developed countries as well. This is particularly because of the lower price of treatment. In developed countries, though the treatment is reliable. So is the cost. They get a sheer amount of money. Thus, the citizens of these developed countries, who can not afford the price, opt for medical tourism. Obviously, less developed countries are on their top list.
Brief History of Medical Tourism
The history of medical tourism is as old as human existence. Greeks were the first medical tourists when they traveled to the eastern Mediterranean for treatment purposes. Historians believe that there were two basic reasons for the medical tourism of Greek. Firstly, health care in Greece was unreliable. Quality treatment was a rare incident. Secondly, health care was highly costly. If one would have found a reliable treatment, which was very unlikely, the cost was very high. Thus, those who could not afford the price were compelled to travel somewhere else. In the context of the then Greeks, the eastern Mediterranean was the best possible option.
Thus, reliability and high cost of health care are the two fundamental motivations of medical tourism. Needless to say, medical tourism is both an option and a compulsion. The reason varies from individual to individual. Nevertheless, there are certain diseases and phenomena that attract medical tourism. Following is a brief list:
Recent statistics have shown that almost 70% of people go abroad for surgery. Surgery is a strictly medical term. It involves any medical process or procedure that remove, repair or insert a specific part of the body. Thus, the purpose of surgery is either to directly cure or avoid a disease. However, the process of surgery is quite sensitive and risky. There are more chances of dying during the process of surgery. That is why people opt for medical tourism specifically for surgery.
The operation, like surgery, is another important factor in medical tourism. People go abroad for operations worldwide. Unlike surgery, an operation is peculiarly a surgical term. It is to do a specific action for an expected purpose. However, the main reason for medical tourism for operation is the cost.
In developed countries, where medical care is reliable, the operation is very expensive. Although their success rate is pretty high, still it costs a lot. That is why, people from these developed countries tend to go to less developed countries, where the operation is not that costly. So, these patients are either lower or working class.
Dental Erosion & Other Diseases
Dental health is another key factor in medical tourism. That is, leave their home countries and visit other countries for dental health check-ups. Since teeth are very essential assets of humans, maintaining sound dental health is obligatory. Without teeth, one can barely taste the outside world. However, some people feel that they can not sustain long-lasting dental health in their home countries. They do not find reliable dentists. They lack updated mediums and so on. Consequently, they go abroad for dental health assistance. Yet, they find reliable dental health assistance there.
Last but not the least, psychiatry is a critical driving force for medical tourism. In this current era of technology, almost everyone suffers from a mental disorder. Anxiety, depression and abnormality are the clichés of our age. Ultimately, suicides and honor killings are part of the day to day life. Due to this chronic situation, people feel the need for a guaranteed treatment, prevention and assistance of mental disorder. As a result, they opt for medical treatment. They fly to other countries for better assistance for mental disorders.