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April 24, 2014

First Medical Tourism Awards Tout Top Treatment Tips

(CNN) – When they can see the world, save cash and get that surgery you wanted, it’s no wonder that increasing numbers of travelers are hopping on a jet in search of cut-price healthcare. The worldwide medical tourism industry is said to be growing by up to 25% each year as patients with passports head abroad for procedures costing as much as 80% less than at home.

Trafficking Ring Lured Desparate Young Women to Turkey in Body Organs-for-Sale

(Jerusalem Post) – Young Israeli women in dire economic straits were lured into traveling to Turkey to donate their kidneys and other organs on the promise of quick cash, Negev police said Tuesday, adding that the mastermind of the organ-trafficking ring is still on the run. According to Negev police, the suspect, a man in his 50s from southern Israel, promised girls aged 18 to 20 tens of thousands of dollars to travel to Turkey and undergo transplant surgery.

April 23, 2014

Let’s Get a Medical Tourism Certificate! Is It Worth the Paper It’s Printed On?

(IMTJ) – A new industry is developing around the business of medical tourism. It’s the certification business. You need an impressive sounding name, a web site, a decent laser printer (and a good relationship with a certificate framing service!). There’s a plethora of “get rich quick” certifications which are appearing around medical tourism. They are quick and easy to obtain.

April 22, 2014

Made in the USA: Childless Chinese Turn to American Surrogates

(NPR) – Chinese couples who are unable to have children are turning to a surprising place for help these days: America. By hiring American surrogates, Chinese couples get around a ban on surrogacy in China, as well as the country’s birth limits. It also guarantees their children something many wealthy Chinese want these days: a U.S. passport.

April 14, 2014

Dubai Rolling Out Red Carpet for Medical Tourism Patients

(Medical Tourism Magazine) – The Dubai Health Authority has its eyes set on attracting 500,000 medical tourism patients a year and plans to build 22 hospitals, boosting the national economy by up to Dh2.6 billion by 2020. Designs aimed at making Dubai a major center for medical tourism in time for when the United Arab Emirates land territory hosts World Expo 2020 include the hiring of thousands of healthcare staff and new visas.

April 11, 2014

Luring Medical Tourists for Cash Is a Trip Down the Slippery Slope

(The Globe and Mail) – So it looks like the ‘magic bullet’ solution has been found at last to cure Canada’s health care woes: medical tourism. Last week, Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital defended its position to court affluent medical patients from other countries who can afford to pay generously for out-of-pocket care in a Canadian hospital. It’s a revenue-generating solution for a cash-strapped system, we are told. A handful of other hospitals already engage in this practice, and many across the country are starting to sit up and take notice. Should we break out the champagne and celebrate?

April 8, 2014

Surrogacy Mishaps Shift Medical Tourism Focus Toward Education

(Medical Tourism Magazine) – The Bay Area Reporter said Planet Hospital closed its surrogacy services in December 2013. Following the sudden halt to services, an estimated 30 sets of intended parents are out of money and scrambling to secure a place in the “mothering by proxy” process and move forward with planning their families, Catherine Moscarello, former director of client services for Planet Hospital’s services in Cancun, Mexico, told The Reporter.

April 3, 2014

Toronto Hospital Seeks More Medical Tourists

(The Toronto Star) – Toronto hospitals are unapologetic about raising money through medical tourism and international consulting and, in fact, plan to do more of it in future. And Ontario’s health minister says that’s OK with her. But critics, including Canadian Doctors for Medicare and the Canadian Health Coalition, are fearful that the growing international focus could drain resources from the public health system.

April 2, 2014

Obamacare Health Plans May Prove Costly to Cancer Patients

(Medical Tourism Magazine) – Obamacare may be anything, but affordable to those cancer patients relieved that they can finally get coverage under the new healthcare reform legislature. In fact, doctors, administrators and state insurance regulators fear that rules implemented under the Affordable Care Act may actually cost these Americans access to some of the nation’s best cancer care hospitals.

April 1, 2014

Medical Tourism in Dominican Republic for Cosmetic Surgery a Low-Cost, High-Risk Affair

(Fox News) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued an alert March 7 after health authorities in the United States reported that at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections over the previous 12 months following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.

March 31, 2014

Australian Medical Association Warns NIB Turning Healthcare into a Commodity with Medical Tourism Business

(Herald Sun) – MEDICAL and security concerns have been raised about the new medical tourism business run by health fund NIB offering offshore plastic surgery packages. The health fund announced this week it was offering patients a 12-month guarantee on foreign surgery if they used overseas hospitals and doctors it had vetted. The business is a threat to high charging Australian doctors and the Australian Medical Association has warned it is turning health care into a commodity.

March 27, 2014

‘Stem Cell Tourism’ Takes Advantage of Patients, Says Law Professor

(University of Wisconsin-Madison News) – Desperate patients are easy prey for unscrupulous clinics offering untested and risky stem cell treatments, says UW-Madison law and bioethics Professor Alta Charo, who is studying “stem cell tourism.” Stem cells are cells that can form many types of cells in the body, and that makes them inherently promising — and dangerous. “Stem cell tourism” refers to people traveling, both within the U.S. and abroad, in pursuit of advertised stem cell therapies to purportedly treat a variety of medical conditions.

March 26, 2014

Medical Tourist or International Patient…What Am I?

(IMTJ) – An article in a German newspaper on medical tourism once again brings up the biggest problem on claimed medical tourism figures. You cannot blame non-specialist journalists for helping to spread the disease of over claimed numbers that is rife. When a journalist  asks a country “How many medical tourists do you get?” he or she may fail to appreciate that  the response “We get ‘n’ international patients a year “ is not the answer to the question.

March 21, 2014

When Medical Tourism Goes Wrong…Botched Up Bodies Abroad

(IMTJ) – The problem of “cosmetic surgery abroad gone wrong” has become such a topic in the UK that we now have a weekly national TV programme, entitled “Botched Up Bodies”.  This Channel 5 programme tells the story of British men and women who have gone abroad for treatment and the surgeons who are fixing the problems that have arisen when they return home.

Asia: Medical Tourism an Uncertain Prescription for Asian Economies

(IMTJ) – But medical tourism also creates social and health risks for countries investing in the sector. Investment in medical tourism can drain resources from the public health sector and divert attention away from the less profitable health needs of the local population. High paying jobs in the medical tourism sector can increase the flow of workers from the public to private sector and from rural to urban areas, as has been the case in Thailand and Malaysia.

March 13, 2014

Medical tourism proving there’s more to Florida than Disney, sun, and beaches

(Medical Tourism Magazine) – A bill, SB1150, would set aside $3.5 million for a four-year marketing campaign aimed at promoting “sun-and-surgery” packages connected to specific healthcare providers in the state. Under the current version of the bill, which is gathering support in the Florida Senate, hospitals and other healthcare providers would submit proposals to be included in the promotional packages.

March 10, 2014

Will Belgium’s legalized child euthanasia trigger death tourism?

(Forbes) – Speculation on whether Belgium will become a new destination for what is known as “death tourism” has also been raised by representatives of political parties opposed to lifting age restrictions for medically assisted deaths. They argue that as cultural differences and moral reasons prevent most other nations from legalizing euthanasia, people will travel to countries that allow the practice. They worry that Belgium has opened its doors to death-seeking visitors.

March 6, 2014

Thailand offers tourists a chance to win a new face

(CNN) – Fancy a different face but can’t afford to go under the knife? Thailand’s Tourism Authority has launched an Extreme Makeover contest, offering three lucky ladies a chance to win free facial surgery along with a shot at $5,000 and a luxury vacation. To enter, you’ll have to submit photos showing your face from various angles, along with a health profile and written explanation of why you so badly covet a makeover.

March 4, 2014

Indian hospitals are doing a roaring trade in medical tourists from Afghanistan

(Time) – Last week, a report by international charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said one in every five of the patients interviewed had a family member or close friend who had died within the last year due to a lack of access to medical care. Aid money can’t always fix the problem. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recently revealed that construction defects, and a lack of water, staff and and power, meant that the Salang Hospital in Parwan province was unable to function properly, despite the fact that over half a million dollars had been spent on it.

February 24, 2014

Plastic surgery in the Dominical Republic: Is the cheap cost of medical tourism worth the risk?

(Latin Post) – In the past, medical tourism was reserved only for the very rich, or for celebrities who wished to keep their under-the-knife travails secret from the prying eyes of the general public. Today, for a variety of reasons, medical tourism — especially in the Dominican Republic — has become increasingly popular, and is in fact affordable for all budgets… but is it all its cracked up to be?

February 19, 2014

Medical tourism in Asia goes under the knife

(Asian Scientist) – Medical tourism in Asia is booming. People from both Asia and the West are being attracted to cities and ‘hubs’ of medical excellence in a number of countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand, India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. This tourism is a reversal of medical travel’s historic trend of being from low- to high-income countries. But the travel for cheaper treatments, including cosmetic, dental and transplantation surgery, has risks as well as benefits for the host countries.


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