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.
February 17, 2014
(The Economist) – In the mid-2000s American insurers set out to find these savings by touring foreign private hospitals. They found that many were as good as their rich-world counterparts, and far cheaper. A big shake-up seemed likely. In 2008 Deloitte predicted an “explosive” boom in medical tourism, saying that the number of Americans going abroad for health care would grow more than tenfold by 2012. It did not happen.
February 12, 2014
In China, harvesting organs is government policy
(The Epoch Times) – Currently, China stands next to the US on the number of reported transplants performed every year, with 600 transplant centers nationwide. It has effectively become a destination of transplant tourism with perspective organ receivers traveling to China from neighboring countries for the purpose of finding a matching “donor”.
February 11, 2014
UK medical tourism study highlights lack of information on health and financial risks
(IMTJ) – The final report of a two year UK study into medical tourism (“Implications for the NHS of inward and outward medical tourism”) was published this week and highlights the lack of information available to prospective patients on the health and financial risks of medical tourism.
February 10, 2014
Hi-tech healthcare on offer in growing Australian medical tourism market
(ABC.net) – Over the last decade Australians have been heading overseas in droves, to places like Thailand, India, South Korea and Malaysia for medical treatment. It’s often cheaper, and patients can combine a holiday with plastic surgery or dental work. But as Australians fly out, a growing number of medical tourists are flying in — from New Zealand, the United States and increasingly from Asia.
February 5, 2014
Medical tourists seeking treatment overseas without sufficient information and advice
(Science Codex) – A team of researchers has found that British people travelling abroad for medical treatment are often unaware of the potential health and financial consequences they could face. The researchers say this can, in some cases, have catastrophic effects for individual patients. At least 63,000 UK residents travel abroad for medical treatment each year. However, the study led by the University of York, and involving the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Royal Holloway University, the University of Birmingham and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, concludes that many people are embarking on medical tourism without understanding the risks involved.
January 17, 2014
In boost to fertility treatment, govt allows import of frozen embryos
India has allowed the import of human embryos for artificial reproduction, opening up what is expected to be a huge segment of the medical tourism market. The decision will allow foreign couples to bring in frozen human embryos and rent a surrogate womb in India for the baby to be born. The relaxed rules will also apply to other infertility-related treatment such as IVF. (Indian Express)
January 14, 2014
Medical tourism on the rise despite warnings
A new breed of tourist is taking the post-holiday glow to a new level and booking in for cosmetic surgery abroad. No official statistics are available on the number of Australians leaving the country for surgery, but Patients Beyond Borders, which publishes guides for such tourists, estimates that globally about 8 million patients go overseas for medical care – and that figure is growing about 15 to 25 per cent a year. (Sydney Morning Herald)
January 9, 2014
Switzerland: Swiss medical tourism continues to grow
Switzerland puzzles many in medical tourism as it keeps increasing medical tourism numbers despite having some of the highest prices in the world. Lianne van den Bos of Euromonitor International explains, “The continued high prices in Switzerland, when compared to neighbouring European countries, is offputting especially for European tourists who see Switzerland as a high price country. But tourists coming from China, Asia and Middle East are far more concerned about quality. (IMTJ)
December 31, 2013
More Alzheimer’s patients finding care far from home
Spouses and relatives in Western nations are increasingly confronting Kuratli’s dilemma as the number of Alzheimer’s patients and costs rise, and the supply of qualified nurses and facilities struggles to keep up. Faraway countries are offering cheaper, and to some minds better, care for those suffering from the irreversible loss of memory. (Seattle Times)
December 30, 2013
UK aims to cut costs by charging migrants, visitors for emergency room treatment
Britain’s government has announced plans to require migrants and international tourists to pay for emergency medical treatments. They would also require migrants and visitors to pay for minor surgery that takes place in doctors’ offices. The changes, along with other fee increases, are part of an overall plan to reduce “health tourism” and lessen the tax burden. (Associated Press)
Medical tourism market – Global industry analysis, size, share, growth trends and forecast, 2013-2019
The rise in healthcare costs in developed countries coupled with the availability of high quality medical services at lower prices in developing nations has driven expansion of the medical tourism industry. Moreover, the rise in the elderly population along with a growing number of uninsured people has further triggered the market growth. (Sacramento Bee)
December 23, 2013
Medical tourism – The imperfect market
Medical tourism is a global business driven by patients looking for the cheapest price….. So, goes the mantra still sold at conferences to wide-eyed politicians and businesses, seeing an easy way to make more money from their healthcare services. The only problem with this mantra is that medical tourism is not global, it is not a perfect market and customers do not flock to the lowest price country or hospital. India is one of lowest price countries in the world and it has gone from a medical tourism leader to a struggler, within five years. (IMTJ)
December 19, 2013
USA: How cosmetic surgeons must learn to live with medical tourism
The paper, by ASPS member surgeon Dr. Kevin Chung and Lauren Franzblau of the University of Michigan, discusses the rise and transformation of the medical tourism industry, foreign and domestic forces that influence cosmetic surgical tourism, and the pros and cons for all involved parties.Chung and Franzblau argue that- “The rapid globalization of the industry marks a fundamental shift in the world’s perception of elective procedures: patients are becoming consumers and these medical services are being viewed as commodities.” (IMTJ)
December 16, 2013
Skilled manpower redefined India’s health space – Narain, Kumar
The availability of specialised medical treatment heralded the emergence of medical tourism. While the United States and Europe became the centre of healthcare in the last century, an emerging trend in the health space world has evolved in recent times. Skilled manpower in health and wellness services has revolutionised India’s healthcare system, which has made India a haven for medical tourism, raking in over $2 billion in 2012, BusinessDay investigation reveal. (Business Day Online)
December 12, 2013
Why is cosmetic medical tourism rising to never-before-seen heights?
The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) published its unbelievable numbers in its ‘International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures Performed in 2011′. According to ISAPS, when it comes to plastic surgeons and cosmetic procedures by countries and continents the numbers are mind-blowing. Although the US is the leader – with 1,094,146 cosmetic procedures performed in 2011 alone, countries such as Brazil (905,124), China (415,140) and Japan (372,773) are quickly picking up the pace, offering the same procedures available in the US, at the same quality, but at much lower prices. (SBwire)
December 4, 2013
Medical tourism hamstrung by obsolete visa rules
India, long seen as a centre for cost-effective treatment by people around the world, is losing its competitive edge in the medical tourism space. The strict visa regime is making people give the country a miss in favour of other Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia which, although costlier, are seen as more welcoming of medical tourists. While there are no studies to show how much business is being lost annually, experts say getting a medical visa to India is almost impossible without hassles. (Business Standard)