The Rise of Health Tourism Around the World

surgical instruments

Health and medical tourism have seen a sudden rise around the world. It’s not just those from the Western part of the world that are keen to flock to foreign countries to have a range of ailments seen to. Middle Eastern patients are now sourcing cheaper means of medical care. Largely, this occurs in Asia. Health tourism has always played a part in society. Many people have flocked to foreign countries to seek out a wide range of different operations and treatments. Usually, the low prices and the lure of a holiday have played a significant role in why people choose to seek health care abroad.

From the USA to South Korea

There has always been a need for people to be mobile. Social mobility ensures that people can seek out the services that are more efficient for them. Many Brits have taken to seeking out Dallas fertility clinics. This is because it is often cheaper to source this kind of intense treatment abroad. But, South Korea is emerging as a new destination for health tourism. What is more, it is attracting a wealth of rich Middle Eastern patients. It seems that the need for more specialist approaches to medicine is always welcomed. In South Korea, it appears that the heady mix of Western and Eastern practices is largely part of the appeal. Hospitals practice both conventional and holistic forms of treatment.

It’s Not a New Phenomenon

When it comes to health tourism, this is not a new feat by any means. For years, Americans have travelled to Mexico for cut-price treatments. Cosmetic and dental surgery can be costly. So, for many, they have found a cost-effective solution to getting these treatments done. In the north of America, Canadian health tourists have crossed the border due to long waiting times in their hometowns.

For some, it presents a wealth of benefits. Lower waiting times and reduced costs are two of the main reasons cited as why people are willing to travel for their health care.

But, of course, it’s not all as it seems with health tourism.

The Implications

For those wanting to undergo treatment in developed countries, with established health care providers, the risk is very low. For those that are willing to travel to deprived countries for cheap medical attention, there are moral issues surrounding this. Largely, these issues are about what happens to patients in unregulated countries. It can pose a lot more problems in the long term. It seems that in many poorer countries, the price of care is not calculated when it comes to the long-term health of the patient.

The Numbers

The numbers can be tough to figure out. A lot of people don’t admit to travelling abroad for health care. However, in 2009 an estimated 750,000 Americans went abroad in order to seek out medical treatments. In 2014, this number rose to 857,000. With this, it seems that the rise in health tourism is yet to slow down. At the crux of this is the rising cost of medical care. It seems that everyone wants to make a saving in all aspects of life.