Free Essay Example: Medical Tourism

Published: 2023-10-04
Free Essay Example: Medical Tourism
Essay type:  Rhetorical analysis essays
Categories:  Globalization Medicine Population Tourism
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1658 words
14 min read

Medical tourism is the process by which patients travel to other countries to get medical attention there. Patients prefer to seek medical attention in other countries due to the disparity in the prices of medical procedures and the quality of medical services offered. Some patients also find medical services in a different state due to their perception of health care in their home countries. Among the best countries in medical tourism are Malaysia, Singapore, India, Panama, and Thailand. The commonly offered services are orthopedic, cardiovascular, cosmetic surgeries, and dental services. Health tourism destination needs to have suitable insurance policies and regulations that consider foreign patients.

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1) Explain reasons for different populations to seek out medical tourism. Consider:

A. Define what groups of people become medical tourists. Does it vary by country?

Medical tourists are the people who travel to other countries to get medical care. Medical tourists can also include domestic tourists. These people include the ones who go in search of cheaper health services or patients who prefer not to wait for treatment in their respective countries. For example, medical care in the United States is costly; as such, some of the country's citizens may prefer to seek medical attention elsewhere (Ionel et al., 2014). In other cases, they are patients who seek medical care elsewhere because the services they want are not present in their locality. For example, organ transplant is illegal in the United States but legal in other undeveloped countries.

B. What social or cultural factors drive people to seek medical attention in another country?

A leading social factor that drives people to seek medical attention in another country is their perception of medical care in their country. In other cases, their family and friends also play a part in this by giving their opinions of the local medical care. Patients also decide to seek medical attention in another destination because of the emotional attachment they may have about the destination. Many patients also prefer to seek medical attention in their original countries because they feel at home in these countries.

C.What monetary factors drive people to seek medical attention in another country?

Medical care in countries like the USA is costly as such patients in such countries have had to seek medical support from other countries that offer the same services at a lower price. The most important thing is that the quality of treatment is excellent. South Asian countries like India, Philippines, and Thailand offer services at relatively lower prices when compared to the United States and U.K.

D. How do other (political, availability, etc.) issues in potential medical tourists’ home countries push them to seek treatment elsewhere?

Patients from countries like the U.K. and Canada are faced with the challenge of getting medical attention in time due to delayed procedures in their countries. Some patients prefer to get services elsewhere due to regulations that prevent specific procedures like organ transplants in their countries. The availability of restricted services in other countries can motivate a patient to become a medical tourist.

2) Describe significant U.S. healthcare tourism benefits and challenges. Consider:

a.What medical procedure industry sectors (e.g., neurology) are growing?

Currently, among the fastest-growing medical procedure industries include dental services, cosmetic surgeries, fertility treatment procedures, cardiovascular, and neurological surgery. The growth of these sectors is the reason why countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Costa Rica, and Singapore, among others, prevail in medical tourism.

c.What impact does the U.S. insurance system have on medical tourism?

i. People coming to the United States

The U.S. insurance industry is costly, even for medical tourism. The expensive insurance affects not only the foreigners but also domestic medical tourists. Therefore, most of the medical tourists prefer to use other options like using their savings to cater for their medical bills. The fact that the U.S. insurance system is unfavorable to foreigners makes some of the potential medical tourists choose other destinations that have better insurance services.

ii. People coming from the United States

In the U.S., very few insurance companies offer insurance serviced for medical tourists; thus, the patients who prefer to seek services elsewhere have to pay for the medical care themselves.

d.What are the major challenges in U.S. medical tourism?

U.S. medical care is the most expensive medical care in the world. As a result, some of the patients prefer other destinations, which are way cheaper than the U.S. The insurance industry in American is also expensive, and it is not well integrated with the medical tourism industry. Another challenge in the U.S. medical tourism sector is the difficulty in traveling to the country due to government restrictions on issuing visas from certain countries. Citizens from such countries may be prevented from getting treatment in the USA; as such, the medical tourism sector is affected.

e.What benefits does the United States provide to the medical tourism industry?

The U.S. is among the countries with the best medical care in the world; therefore, it attracts a significant number of patients from other countries. The USA government has created policies that make the country a medical tourist destination, thus leading the way for other countries to follow. For example, the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide insurance plans for their employees (Debra, 2017). The United States also affects the medical tourism industry by producing a significant number of patients traveling to other countries like Mexico, for medical attention.

f. Because of what factors is the United States considered the leader in medical tourism?

Why do so many people choose the United States?

The United States has invested in medical care, therefore, making the countries medical care among the best in the world. The country’s medical advancement is connected to the country’s technology and innovation. However, the cost of medical care is prohibitive in the U.S. compared to other destinations for medical tourists. Therefore, patients wishing to get the best medical attention regardless of the high cost prefer to travel to the United States. Policies in the United States promote medical tourism. For example, some preventive health care facilities in the United States can now specialize in treating medical tourists only and provide additional services like accommodation.

How do these factors create growth opportunities?

Due to the high quality of medical services in the U.S., medical tourists seeking the best medical facilities prefer to go to the United States (Morteza et al., 2013). As a result, the country’s government has invested millions of dollars in making sure that medical tourists are provided with the best medical care.

3) Describe important worldwide healthcare tourism benefits. Consider:

In what countries are markets growing?

Medical tourism has been growing in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Costa Rica, Panama, and Malaysia. Mexico has also grown to become a preferred destination for a majority of U.S. citizens due to its closeness to the country. India, due to its improved medical infrastructure and high performing medical practitioners, it has become a preferred medical destination in the international medical community. Besides that, the country also offers excellent medical services at considerably lower prices. Countries in central Europe like Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania offer cheap but high-quality dental care services, and as a result, they attract a significant number of medical tourists. Recently the South Korea, and the Philippines have witnessed a rise in medical tourism, and they pose a threat to the original destinies of medical tourism like Thailand.

What specialties are growing?

Orthopedic surgery, Neurology, and Oncology are among the specialties that attract a majority of patients to North American and Asia. Asian countries have been known to provide excellent dental and cosmetic services, and as a result, the number of medical tourists has increased. The aesthetic and dental services have not only grown in Asia but also in countries like Mexico and Panama. The treatment of infertility is also a growing like in Russia were the AltaVista Fertility Clinic has become a significant destination for medical tourists.

What are the legal opportunities for different countries involved in medical tourism?

Medical policies in one country may differ from that in other countries, and mostly the disparity exists in developed and less developed countries. For example, the donation organs are among the most controversial issues in medical tourism. People in vulnerable countries are more willing to donate their organs in exchange for financial benefits, while as, in developed countries, there are regulations and policies regarding organ donation.

The provision of medical visas provides countries wishing to increase the number of medical tourists a chance to boost medical tourism (Morteza et al., 2013). Countries like Indian and Malaysia have made a policy that medical tourists are given medical visas in the quickest way possible.

What are economic or market opportunities for different countries involved in medical tourism?

A majority of countries that hope to gain from the globalization of medical services are now focusing on improving their services to medical tourists. As a result, these countries seek to provide full packaged services to medical tourists (Ruhet, 2018). This includes serving their patients with services ranging from travel services, accommodation, and insurance. The market also demands more medical research and investments in medical infrastructure. Social media provides an excellent platform for countries to advertise their medical facilities to potential consumers. States can use social media platforms to not only communicate about their health care facilities but also the country's facts like climate and tourist attractions.

How do medical tourism agencies create opportunities in the medical tourism sector?

Medical tourism agencies act as connectors between potential destinations for medical tourists and patients. These agencies not only connect the patients to a medical facility, but they are also responsible for the whole medical tourism experience. A right medical tourism agency will give the patient a good experience, thus create more opportunities for the medical tourism sector to grow.

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