Medical tourism

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Medical tourism or health tourism is the travel of people to another country for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment in that country. Traditionally, people would travel from less developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that was unavailable in their own communities,[1][2] The recent trend is for people to travel from developed countries to third world countries for medical treatments because of cost consideration, though the traditional pattern still continues. Another reason for travel for medical treatment is because some treatments may not be legal in the home country, such as some fertility procedures.

Some people travel to obtain medical surgeries or other treatments. Some people go abroad for dental tourism or fertility tourism.[3] People with rare genetic disorders may travel to another country where treatment of these conditions is better understood. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available.

Medical tourists are subject to a variety of risks, which may include deep vein thrombosis, tuberculosis, amoebic dysentery, paratyphoid, poor post-operative care, and/or others.

History[edit]

The first recorded instance of people travelling to obtain medical treatment dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria.[citation needed] This territory was the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios.

Spa towns and sanitariums may be considered an early form of medical tourism. In 18th century England, for example, patients visited spas because they were places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.[4]

Description[edit]

Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries.[5] The avoidance of waiting times is the leading factor for medical tourism from the UK, whereas in the US, the main reason is cheaper prices abroad.

Many surgery procedures performed in medical tourism destinations cost a fraction of the price they do in the First World. For example a liver transplant that costs $300,000 USD in America costs about $91,000 USD in Taiwan.[6] A large draw to medical travel is convenience and speed. Countries that operate public health-care systems often have long wait times for certain operations. Using Canada as an example, an estimated 782,936 Canadians spent time on medical waiting lists in 2005, waiting an average of 9.4 weeks.[7] Canada has set waiting-time benchmarks, e. g. 26 weeks for a hip replacement and 16 weeks for cataract surgery, for non-urgent medical procedures.[8]

Medical tourists come from a variety of locations including Europe, the Middle East, Japan, the United States, and Canada. Factors that drive demand for medical services abroad in First World countries include: large populations, comparatively high wealth, the high expense of health care or lack of health care options locally, and increasingly high expectations of their populations with respect to health care.

In First World countries, like the United States, medical tourism has large growth prospects and potentially destabilizing implications. A forecast by Deloitte Consulting published in August 2008 projected that medical tourism originating in the US could jump by a factor of ten over the next decade. An estimated 750,000 Americans went abroad for health care in 2007, and the report estimated that 1.5 million would seek health care outside the US in 2008. The growth in medical tourism has the potential to cost US health care providers billions of dollars in lost revenue.[9]

An authority at the Harvard Business School recently stated that "medical tourism is promoted much more heavily in the United Kingdom than in the United States".[10]

Additionally, some patients in some First World countries are finding that insurance either does not cover orthopedic surgery (such as knee/hip replacement) or limits the choice of the facility, surgeon, or prosthetics to be used.

Popular medical travel worldwide destinations include: Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States.[11]

Popular destinations for cosmetic surgery include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand and Ukraine. According to the "Sociedad Boliviana de Cirugia Plastica y Reconstructiva", more than 70% of middle and upper class women in the country have had some form of plastic surgery. Other destination countries include Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and South Africa.[12]

Some people travel for assisted pregnancy, such as in-vitro fertilization, or surrogacy,[13] or freezing embryos for retro-production.[14]

However, perceptions of medical tourism are not always positive. In places like the US, which has high standards of quality, medical tourism is viewed as risky. In some parts of the world, wider political issues can influence where medical tourists will choose to seek out health care.

Health tourism providers have developed as intermediaries which unite potential medical tourists with provider hospitals and other organisations. Companies that focus on medical value travel typically provide nurse case managers to assist patients with pre- and post-travel medical issues. They may also help provide resources for follow-up care upon the patient's return.

Process[edit]

The typical process is as follows: the person seeking medical treatment abroad contacts a medical tourism provider. The provider usually requires the patient to provide a medical report, including the nature of ailment, local doctor’s opinion, medical history, and diagnosis, and may request additional information. Certified physicians or consultants then advise on the medical treatment. The approximate expenditure, choice of hospitals and tourist destinations, and duration of stay, etc., is discussed. After signing consent bonds and agreements, the patient is given recommendation letters for a medical visa, to be procured from the concerned embassy. The patient travels to the destination country, where the medical tourism provider assigns a case executive, who takes care of the patient's accommodation, treatment and any other form of care. Once the treatment is done, the patient can remain in the tourist destination or return home.

International healthcare accreditation[edit]

International healthcare accreditation is the process of certifying a level of quality for healthcare providers and programs across multiple countries. International healthcare accreditation organizations certify a wide range of healthcare programs such as hospitals, primary care centers, medical transport, and ambulatory care services.[15]

The oldest international accrediting body is Accreditation Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation,[16] which accredited the Bermuda Hospital Board as soon as 1968. Since then, it has accredited hospitals and health service organizations in ten other countries.

In the United States, the accreditation group Joint Commission International (JCI) was formed in 1994 to provide international clients education and consulting services.[17] Many international hospitals today see obtaining international accreditation as a way to attract American patients.[18]

Joint Commission International is a relative of the Joint Commission in the United States. Both are US-style independent private sector not-for-profit organizations that develop nationally and internationally recognized procedures and standards to help improve patient care and safety. They work with hospitals to help them meet Joint Commission standards for patient care and then accredit those hospitals meeting the standards.[19]

The different international healthcare accreditation schemes vary in quality, size, cost, intent and the skill and intensity of their marketing. They also vary in terms of cost to hospitals and healthcare institutions making use of them.[20]

Increasingly, some hospitals are looking towards dual international accreditation, perhaps having both JCI to cover potential US clientele, and Accreditation Canada. As a result of competition between clinics for American medical tourists, there have been initiatives to rank hospitals based on patient-reported metrics.[21]

Other organizations providing contributions to quality practices include:

  • The United Kingdom Accreditation Forum (UKAF) is an established network of accreditation organisations with the intention of sharing experience good practice and new ideas around the methodology for accreditation programmes, covering issues such as developing healthcare quality standards, implementation of standards within healthcare organisations, assessment by peer review and exploration of the peer review techniques to include the recruitment, training, monitoring and evaluation of peer reviewers and the mechanisms for awards of accredited status to organisations.[22]

Risks[edit]

Medical tourism carries some risks that locally-provided medical care does not.

Some countries, such as India, South Africa, or Thailand have very different infectious disease-related epidemiology to Europe and North America. Exposure to diseases without having built up natural immunity can be a hazard for weakened individuals, specifically with respect to gastrointestinal diseases (e.g. Hepatitis A, amoebic dysentery, paratyphoid) which could weaken progress and expose the patient to mosquito-transmitted diseases, influenza, and tuberculosis. However, because in poor tropical nations diseases run the gamut, doctors seem to be more open to the possibility of considering any infectious disease, including HIV, TB, and typhoid, while there are cases in the West where patients were consistently misdiagnosed for years because such diseases are perceived to be "rare" in the West.[23]

The quality of post-operative care can also vary dramatically, depending on the hospital and country, and may be different from US or European standards. Also, traveling long distances soon after surgery can increase the risk of complications. Long flights and decreased mobility associated with window seats can predispose one towards developing deep vein thrombosis and potentially a pulmonary embolism.[24] Other vacation activities can be problematic as well — for example, scars may become darker and more noticeable if they sunburn while healing.[25]

Also, health facilities treating medical tourists may lack an adequate complaints policy to deal appropriately and fairly with complaints made by dissatisfied patients.[26]

Differences in healthcare provider standards around the world have been recognised by the World Health Organization, and in 2004 it launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety. This body assists hospitals and government around the world in setting patient safety policy and practices that can become particularly relevant when providing medical tourism services.[27]

If there are complications, the patient may need to stay in the foreign country for longer than planned or if they have returned home, will not have easy access for follow up care.[28]

Legal issues[edit]

Receiving medical care abroad may subject medical tourists to unfamiliar legal issues.[29] The limited nature of litigation in various countries is one reason for the lower cost of care overseas. While some countries currently presenting themselves as attractive medical tourism destinations provide some form of legal remedies for medical malpractice, these legal avenues may be unappealing to the medical tourist. Should problems arise, patients might not be covered by adequate personal insurance or might be unable to seek compensation via malpractice lawsuits. Hospitals and/or doctors in some countries may be unable to pay the financial damages awarded by a court to a patient who has sued them, owing to the hospital and/or the doctor not possessing appropriate insurance cover and/or medical indemnity.[30]

Ethical issues[edit]

There can be major ethical issues around medical tourism.[29] For example, the illegal purchase of organs and tissues for transplantation had been methodically documented and studied in countries such as India,[31][32] China,[33] Colombia[34] and the Philippines.[35] The Declaration of Istanbul distinguishes between ethically problematic "transplant tourism" and "travel for transplantation".[36]

Medical tourism may raise broader ethical issues for the countries in which it is promoted. For example in India, some argue that a "policy of 'medical tourism for the classes and health missions for the masses' will lead to a deepening of the inequities" already embedded in the health care system.[37] In Thailand, in 2008 it was stated that, "Doctors in Thailand have become so busy with foreigners that Thai patients are having trouble getting care".[38] Medical tourism centered on new technologies, such as stem cell treatments, is often criticized on grounds of fraud, blatant lack of scientific rationale and patient safety. However, when pioneering advanced technologies, such as providing 'unproven' therapies to patients outside of regular clinical trials, it is often challenging to differentiate between acceptable medical innovation and unacceptable patient exploitation.[39][40]

Employer-sponsored health care in the US[edit]

Some US employers have begun exploring medical travel programs as a way to cut employee health care costs. Such proposals have raised stormy debates between employers and trade unions representing workers, with one union stating that it deplored the "shocking new approach" of offering employees overseas treatment in return for a share of the company's savings. The unions also raise the issues of legal liability should something go wrong, and potential job losses in the US health care industry if treatment is outsourced.[41]

Employers may offer incentives such as paying for air travel and waiving out-of-pocket expenses for care outside of the US. For example, in January 2008, Hannaford Bros., a supermarket chain based in Maine, began paying the entire medical bill for employees to travel to Singapore for hip and knee replacements, including travel for the patient and companion.[42] Medical travel packages can integrate with all types of health insurance, including limited benefit plans,[43] preferred provider organizations and high deductible health plans.

In 2000, Blue Shield of California began the United States' first cross border health plan. Patients in California could travel to one of the three certified hospitals in Mexico for treatment under California Blue Shield.[44] In 2007, a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Companion Global Healthcare, teamed up with hospitals in Thailand, Singapore, Turkey, Ireland, Costa Rica and India.[45] A 2008 article in Fast Company discusses the globalization of healthcare and describes how various players in the US healthcare market have begun to explore it.[46]

Destinations[edit]

Africa and the Middle East[edit]

Jordan[edit]

Jordan through their Private Hospitals Association, managed to attract 250,000 international patients accompanied by more than 500,000 companions in 2012, with a total revenues exceeding 1B US$. [47] Jordan won the Medical Destination of the year award in 2014 in the IMTJ Medical Travel Awards. [47]

Israel[edit]

Israel is a popular destination for medical tourism.[48] In 2010, Israel treated 30,000 medical tourists, mostly from the former Soviet Union.[48] There are reports that these medical tourists obtain preferential treatment, to the detriment of local patients.[48] Some people come to Israel to visit health resorts at the Dead Sea,[48] and on Lake Kinneret.

Iran[edit]

30,000 people come to Iran each year to receive medical treatment (2012).[49]

South Africa[edit]

South Africa is the first country in Africa to emerge as a medical tourism destination.[50] It offers medical and dental care.[51][non-primary source needed]

The Americas[edit]

Brazil[edit]

In Brazil, Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo was the first JCI-accredited facility outside of the US,[52] and more than a dozen Brazilian medical facilities have since been similarly accredited.[53] Brazil requires visas for US citizens based on a reciprocal arrangement since Brazilians are required to obtain a visa to visit the US.

Canada[edit]

Canada has entered the medical tourism field. In comparison to US health costs, medical tourism patients can save 30 to 60 percent on health costs in Canada.[54]

Costa Rica[edit]

In Costa Rica, there are two Joint Commission International accredited (JCI) Hospitals. Both are in San Jose, Costa Rica. When the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the world’s health systems in the year 2000, Costa Rica was ranked as no. 36, which was higher than the U.S., and together with Dominica it dominated the list amongst the Central American countries.[55]

The Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine - PROMED (www.promedcostarica.org) is the official agency regulating the quality and promoting the country as medical tourism destination.

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions reported a cost savings average of between 30-70% of US prices.[56]

Cuba[edit]

To date no Cuban facility has achieved JCI Accreditation.[53]

Cayman Islands[edit]

Mexico[edit]

US doctors point out that the Mexican legal system makes it almost impossible to sue Mexican doctors for malpractice.[57]

Some clinics may also offer alternative medicine therapies that have been proven ineffective or are banned in the United States.[58] The Mexican government has shut down some of these in recent times, in response to controversial cases like that of Coretta Scott King.[59]

United States[edit]

A McKinsey and Co. report from 2008 found that between 60,000 to 85,000 medical tourists were traveling to the United States for the purpose of receiving in-patient medical care.[60] The same McKinsey study estimated that 750,000 American medical tourists traveled from the United States to other countries in 2007 (up from 500,000 in 2006).[61] The availability of advanced medical technology and sophisticated training of physicians are cited as driving motivators for growth in foreigners traveling to the U.S. for medical care,[60] whereas the low costs for hospital stays and major/complex procedures at Western-accredited medical facilities abroad are cited as major motivators for American travelers.[61] Also, the decline in value of the U.S. dollar is offering additional incentive for foreign travel to the U.S., although cost differences between the US and many locations in Asia are larger than any currency fluctuations.

Several major medical centers and teaching hospitals offer international patient centers that cater to patients from foreign countries who seek medical treatment in the U.S.[62] Many of these organizations offer service coordinators to assist international patients with arrangements for medical care, accommodations, finances and transportation including air ambulance services.

Many locations in the US that offer medical care comparable in price to foreign medical facilities are not Joint Commission Accredited.[citation needed]

Asia/Pacific[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

All 12 of Hong Kong's private hospitals have been surveyed and accredited by the UK's Trent Accreditation Scheme since early 2001.[63]

India[edit]

Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a $2 billion industry by 2015.[64][65] As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon - with the United States leading the way - more and more Westerners are finding the prospect of international travel for medical care increasingly appealing. An estimated 150,000 of these travel to India for low-priced healthcare procedures every year.[66]

South Korea[edit]

The Korea Times reported in a series of articles that Korean hospitals have adopted a discriminatory pricing policy, charging foreigners two to three times more than the full-fee for locals.[67] The paper revealed that the price disparity in medical fees for foreign patients is extremely high, considering that the difference between the lowest and highest fees for the most-sought-after procedures exceeds more than 10 times on average.[68]

It claims the government is overlooking soaring medical fees on foreign patients, who are unprotected from malpractice, discriminatory charging, overpricing and patient privacy rights under the Korean Medical Law.[68][69]

Malaysia[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

In 2008, it was estimated that on average New Zealand’s surgical costs are around 15 to 20% the cost of the same surgical procedure in the USA.[70]

Pakistan[edit]

Singapore[edit]

Singapore has a dozen hospitals and health centers with JCI accreditation.[71] In 1997 (published 2000), the World Health Organization ranked Singapore's health care system sixth best in the world and the highest ranked system in Asia.[72]

Thailand[edit]

Thailand has 37 JCI-accredited hospitals.[73] In 1994 The Thai Dental Council was established and is the premier governing body of dental practices in Thailand, and has now formulated uniform competency requirements for dental practitioners, thus directly influencing the medical and dental teaching programs. The Ministry of Public Health plays an important role in developing healthcare to promote scientific based education.[74] In addition, the Thai government has placed a more important role in public health programs for its citizens.

Europe[edit]

In 2006, it was ruled that under the conditions of the E112 European health scheme, UK health authorities had to pay the bill if one of their patients could establish urgent medical reasons for seeking quicker treatment in another European union country.[75]

France[edit]

British NHS patients have been offered treatment in France to reduce waiting lists for hip, knee and cataract surgery since 2002.[76] France is a popular tourist destination but also ranked the world's leading health care system. This ranking reflects the expertise offered by doctors and surgeons to patients cared for in France. The French National Authority for Health (HAS) issues high-level quality requirements for French health care, with which clinics and hospitals must comply in order to be accredited.[77] European Court of Justice said that National Health Service (England) has to pay back British patients [78]

Germany[edit]

Costs for medical treatment in Germany are commonly 50% of those in the USA.[79]

United Kingdom[edit]

National Health Service (England) is public but some private hospitals and clinics in the United Kingdom are medical tourism destinations, especially London.[80][81] Nevertheless, as at the present time very few UK private hospitals have gone through independent international accreditation (they only have the mandatory registration with the UK's watchdog, the Care Quality Commission), so they have not as yet measured themselves against the best clinics and hospitals elsewhere in the world.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Michael D. Horowitz, MD, MBA; FACS, Research Associate, Jeffrey A. Rosensweig, PhD, Associate Professor of International Business and Finance and Director, and Christopher A. Jones, DPhil, MSc, FRSM, Research Associate (2007). "Medical Tourism: Globalization of the Healthcare Marketplace". MedGenMed. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Medical tourism--health care in the global economy". Physician Exec. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Paul McFedries (2006-05-17). "fertility tourism". Word Spy. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  4. ^ Gahlinger, PM. The Medical Tourism Travel Guide: Your Complete Reference to Top-Quality, Low-Cost Dental, Cosmetic, Medical Care & Surgery Overseas. Sunrise River Press, 2008
  5. ^ Laurie Goering, "For big surgery, Delhi is dealing," The Chicago Tribune, March 28, 2008
  6. ^ Tung, Sarah (July 16, 2010). "Is Taiwan Asia's Next One-Stop Plastic-Surgery Shop?". Time. 
  7. ^ The Private Cost of Public Queues in 2005, Fraser Institute
  8. ^ Wait times shorter for some medical procedures: report., Canwest News Service
  9. ^ Linda A. Johnson, "Americans look abroad to save on health care: Medical tourism could jump tenfold in next decade," The San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 2008
  10. ^ Lagace, Martha "The Rise of Medical Tourism", Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, December 17, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  11. ^ "Patient Beyond Borders, Medical Tourism Facts&Statistics" Retrieved July 14, 2014
  12. ^ "Medical tourism: Need surgery, will travel" CBC News Online, June 18, 2004. Retrieved September 5, 2006.
  13. ^ Jones CA, Keith LG (2006). "Medical tourism and reproductive outsourcing: the dawning of a new paradigm for healthcare". Int J Fertil Womens Med 51: 251–255. 
  14. ^ Jones C. "Ethical and legal conundrums of post-modern procreation". Int J Gynaecol Obstet. Dec 4, 2007
  15. ^ Joint Commission International Accreditation & Certificationweb, Joint Commission International, retrieved 19 July 2011 
  16. ^ "Accreditation Canada History". Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  17. ^ "A Journal Through the History of The Joint Commission". The Joint Commission. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  18. ^ "Medical Tourism Magazine", Medical Tourism Association, February 2008
  19. ^ "Facts about Joint Commission International". Joint Commission. 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  20. ^ "INDIA: Accreditation a must", International Medical Travel Journal
  21. ^ "Home". World Hospital Monitor. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  22. ^ "United Kingdom Accreditation Forum". Ukaf.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  23. ^ "TB Often Misdiagnosed". American Lung Association of Illinois. Archived from the original on March 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  24. ^ "New DVT Guidelines: No Evidence to Support "Economy Class Syndrome"; Oral Contraceptives, Sitting in a Window Seat, Advanced Age, and Pregnancy Increase DVT Risk in Long-distance Travelers". American College of Chest Physicians. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Caring for Your Incision After Surgery", FamilyDoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians, December, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^ "World Alliance for Patient Safety". Who.int. 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  28. ^ Ginger Rough (June 7, 2009). "Globe-trotting to cut down on medical costs". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Medical Tourism: Ethical Pitfalls of Seeking Health Care Overseas". Ahcpub.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  30. ^ "Medical Protection Society | MPS UK". Medicalprotection.org. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  31. ^ "IFTF's Future Now: The dark side of medical tourism". Future.iftf.org. 2006-04-19. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  32. ^ Chopra, Anuj (February 9, 2008). "Organ-transplant black market thrives in India". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  33. ^ "Transplants and Ethics in San Francisco". The Epoch Times. 2007-05-23. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  34. ^ Roger Lee Mendoza (2010). Colombia’s organ trade: Evidence from Bogotá and Medellín. Journal of Public Health, 18, 4 (August 2010): 375-384, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10389-010-0320-3.
  35. ^ Roger Lee Mendoza (2010). Price deflation and the underground organ economy in the Philippines. Oxford Journal of Public Health, Vol. 33, No. 1 (March 2010): 101-107, http://jpubhealth.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/1/101.abstract.
  36. ^ Participants in the International Summit on Transplant Tourism and Organ Trafficking convened by The Transplantation Society and International Society of Nephrology in Istanbul, Turkey, 30 April to 2 May 2008. "The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism." Kidney International 74, no. 7 (2008): 854-59.
  37. ^ http://www.issuesinmedicalethics.org/132ed042.html
  38. ^ "Medical Tourism Creates Thai Doctor Shortage". NPR. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  39. ^ USA (2011-10-03). "Lindvall O, Hyun I. Medical innovation versus stem cell tourism. Science. 2009 Jun 26;324(5935):1664-5". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  40. ^ ISSCR Guidelines for the Clinical Translation of Stem Cells. 2008[dead link]
  41. ^ Union Disrupts Plan to Send Ailing Workers to India for Cheaper Medical Care, The New York Times
  42. ^ McGinley, Laurie, "Health Matters: The next wave of medical tourists might include you", Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2008.
  43. ^ "Mini-Meds: Limited benefit plans provide cost-effective compromise" Houston Business Journal,
  44. ^ Perry, Laura. "New Releases." Blue Shield of California. N.p., 7 June 2000. Web. 15 Nov. 2009. <https://www.blueshieldca.com/bsc/newsroom/pr/United_Behavioral_Health.jhtml>
  45. ^ Bruce Einhorn, "Outsourcing the Patients", BusinessWeek, March 13, 2008
  46. ^ Greg Lindsay,"Medical Leave" Fast Company, May 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2008.
  47. ^ a b "IMTJ MEDICAL TRAVEL AWARDS 2014". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  48. ^ a b c d Health Ministry to probe Israel medical tourism industry following Haaretz exposé, Haaretz, Nov. 18, 2010
  49. ^ "Fars News Agency :: Ahmadinejad Stresses Iran's Growing Medical Tourism Industry". English.farsnews.com. 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  50. ^ ": Medical tourism in SA". Mediaclubsouthafrica.com. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  51. ^ "Dental Tourism South Africa Medical Facilities". Dentalsafaris.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  52. ^ "Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein Becomes First Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission International" (Blog). PR Newswire. Retrieved 2014-11-12. 
  53. ^ a b "(JCI) Accredited Organizations". Joint Commission International. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  54. ^ Evolving medical tourism in Canada, Deloitte
  55. ^ "South Korea wants to expand medical tourism beyond cosmetic surgery". Imtj.com. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  56. ^ Medical Tourism Consumers in Search of Value 2008 Deloitte Development LLC
  57. ^ Manuel Roig-Franzia, Discount Dentistry, South of The Border, Washingtonpost.com, June 18, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2008.
  58. ^ Lloyd Shearer (8 March 1968). "The Cancer Clinics of Tijuana". Palm Beach Post-Times Parade. pp. 4–5. They travel to Tijuana, about 15 miles south of San Diego, Calif., just across the Mexican border to seek cures for cancer in clinics which use drugs that have been declared worthless or have been legally banned in the United States: laetrile, krebiozen, Hoxsey herbs, gloxylide, etc., etc. 
  59. ^ Jill Underwood (3 February 2006). "Mexico's Controversial Clinics". Time Magazine. 
  60. ^ a b Allison Van Dusen (May 29, 2008). "U.S. Hospitals Worth The Trip". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-09-17. It narrowly defined medical travelers as only those whose primary and explicit purpose in traveling was to obtain in-patient medical treatment in a foreign country, putting the total number of travelers at 60,000 to 85,000 per year. 
  61. ^ a b Fred Hansen, A revolution in health care, Institute of Public Affairs review article (January 2008).
  62. ^ International Medical Services, Stanford Hospital & Clinics
  63. ^ Trent Accreditation Scheme Newsletter, Iss. 6, 2001
  64. ^ Indian Medical Tourism To Touch Rs 9,500 Crore By 2015, The Economic Times, posted on IndianHealthCare.in
  65. ^ Hamid, Zubeda (20 August 2012). "The medical capital's place in history". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 15 Sep 2012. 
  66. ^ "Swamis to Surgeries", medicaltourismmag.com, January 19, 2011
  67. ^ "Korea Times, Major Hospitals Overcharge Foreigners". Koreatimes.co.kr. 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  68. ^ a b "Korea Times, Foreigners Victims of Inflated Medical Fees". Koreatimes.co.kr. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  69. ^ "Korea Overlooks Soaring Medical Fees on Foreigners". Koreatimes.co.kr. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  70. ^ Eleanor Black Watkin (July 8, 2008). "One Company With an Eye on U.S. Customers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  71. ^ Joint Commission International (JCI) Accredited Organizations
  72. ^ "Health system attainment and performance in all Member States, ranked by eight measures, estimates for 1997" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  73. ^ "Hospitals of Thailand 2014". Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  74. ^ R Khampang (2013). "Health Biotechnologies in Thailand: Redefining Policy Directions". Journal of Translational Medicine 11 (1): 1. doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-1. PMC 3564822. PMID 23281771. 
  75. ^ "NHS Waiting lists: targets and England&Wales comparison". Thompsons.law.co.uk. 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  76. ^ "NHS patients recover after surgery abroad". BBC News. January 19, 2002. 
  77. ^ "Why choose France for medical treatment ?". France-surgery.com. 2011-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  78. ^ BBC : NHS told to fund treatment abroad
  79. ^ "Compare International Medical Bills". NPR (2008). Accessed 7 October 2009
  80. ^ The forgotten medical tourism destination
  81. ^ "UK: New London agency could promote medical tourism". 20 April 2011. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]