Friday, June 10, 2011

Why is Medical Tourism Gaining So Much Support?

The current in medical tourism is due to the following factors:

(1) Rising health care costs. Rising health care costs in developed countries especially the US are forcing their citizens to seek affordable health care elsewhere. Charges for common procedures such as heart bypass can be $11,000 in Thailand compared to $130,000 in the United States. Knee replacement can cost $40,000 compared to $13,000 in Singapore.

(2) Cross-border medical training. More and more doctors from developing countries have studied and specialized abroad. Mexico, for example, has many doctors trained in the US who speak excellent English and fully understand the medical needs of medical tourists from Western countries. The same is true for India in relation to the US and Australia in relation to Thailand.

(4) Accreditation. To overcome the scepticism of patients, many medical tourism facilities apply for accreditation. Several American organizations conduct inspections, evaluations of and grant accreditation to medical facilities outside the US. One of these is the Joint Commission International (JCI). More encompassing is accreditation by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare which is the umbrella organization for accreditation agencies in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and Ireland.

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