The past decade has witnessed a steady growth in the number of medical tourists globally that travel to seek health care outside their home countries according to various international reports. Medical tourism is a behavior usually associated with the elites in the society but there are other salient factors which push up this trend and they are as follows:
With the ease of access to the internet, everyone has suddenly become a journalist and rummaging of the internet for materials is on the rise. On the internet and various other media, some doctors receive a hype that places them as demigods. This draws attention from readers and listeners who would tend to do all it takes to visit them if they have similar problems. Some countries would crown themselves as the best in provision of a particular healthcare to lure medical tourists. For example, Hungary tags itself as world dental capital. As far as this gimmick is concerned, it has been a success judging from the number of foreign medical tourists that head to the country yearly to get dental care.
2. Obsolete and neglected healthcare
A country that has delayed healthcare will lose the trust of her citizens and the next thing that would happen is that her citizens will begin to travel to other countries to seek better healthcare. Likewise, when a patient is undergoing treatment from a doctor and there seems to be no improvement (‘guessing medicine’ they may term it), the next step the family would probably take is to move the patient to another facility or country.
3. Health policies
Some health policies are making it costly for patients to receive treatment in their home country, like the Obamacare. Much of the hike in cost of healthcare has to do with health insurance policies. Natives of such countries with harsh healthcare policies or weak medical insurance would seek for doctors from countries that have more relaxed policies and cheaper healthcare.
4. Luxurious treatment
It is not a rumor that some countries give priority to treatment of medical tourists, obviously because of the economic gains. Everyone wants to be treated like royalty and when such information goes out to the public, there is no way many people would opt to have a taste of it especially when they are buoyant enough to pay the price.
5. Several external factors
Other factors hinged to medical tourism like transport has a role to play in the upward or downward flow of medical tourists. If there are incentives on flight tickets, it will encourage more people to fly and medical tourist might just seize the opportunity to fly as well. On the other hand, if flights should jack up the price of their tickets, it would discourage some people from flying.
6. Inefficiencies in local healthcare
When people cannot hold their doctors responsible for a failed healthcare which they foresee as negligence on the part of the doctors, they would seek for a better alternative where the doctors can be held accountable with a vibrant legal action.
- Internet facilities accelerates interest in medical tourism globally
- Schemes and policies help people attract medical tourists
- A drop in flight tickets can positively affect medical tourism
- Distrust of health system drives patients to other countries
- Patients want satisfaction and accountability from healthcare providers
- Medical tourism is associated with the elites
- Elite clients expect luxurious treatment
- Inefficiency and negligence hamper medical tourism
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