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Medical Tourism

Medical tourism also known as medical travel is a fascinating concept, gaining quick recognition all over the world, although the practice of traveling abroad to receive medical procedures has been practiced for several hundreds of years especially in Asia. Medical Tourism is the act of traveling to other nations to obtain better or sooner(to avoid delay) medical services. Medical tourism is a term that has risen from the rapid growth of global healthcare where people from all around the world are traveling to other countries to obtain advanced medical surgery, cosmetic plastic surgery and dental surgery at a fraction of the cost of healthcare in their home country. While abroad, if physical conditions permit, patients and or attendants can experience the interesting cultural attractions the destination country. The concept of medical tourism was initially coined by the travel agencies and media as a catch all phrase to describe a fast growing industry where people travel to different nations to obtain medical services. Overseas treatment is quickly becoming a safe and viable option to healthcare all over the world.

A combination of large number of factors has led to the recent increase in popularity of medical tourism. The huge cost of healthcare in industrialized nations, the ease and affordability of international travel and the advancement of technology and international standards of medical service acts as a catalyst for medical tourism. More and more people are traveling abroad at an affordable, enjoyable, and safe alternative instead of doing it in home countries. Earlier medical tourists were generally residents of the industrialized nations of the world and primarily from United States, Canada, Great Britain, Western Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Now many Asians, Africans and Latin Americans also travel abroad for treatment. Presently more and more people are traveling out to places where they can combine vacationing and obtaining medical care at an affordable cost.

Non resident Indians or persons of Indian origin form a big group of medical tourists to India. A big advantage is the convenience offered in India compared to that of other countries. Few nations that operate from a public health care systems are so taxed that it can take a long time, to get required medical care. The time duration spent for waiting for a procedure, such as a hip replacement, may be a year or more in Britain and Canada. If the same patient reaches in Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Philippines or Delhi/Mumbai India may have the operation on the same day of arrival provided all back end work is completed in advance. Additionally, many people are finding that insurance coverage either does not cover orthopedic surgery or charges unreasonable restrictions on the choice of the facility, surgeon or prosthetics to be used within their countries.

Medical tourism includes medical care along with tourism to different parts of the world. This process is made simple and easily approachable by medical tourism facilitators. As medical tourism deals with medical care, tourism and healthcare destinations in the world, the people in medical tourism industry and the medical facilitators have a responsible job to perform.

As the field is growing, the competition is ever increasing. The professionals involved in medical tourism such as medical tourism facilitators like Uniworld need to work harder to achieve their goals and maintain their position in the industry. They should be well aware of all the facets of medical tourism and the basis on which the whole industry stands. They need to understand the medical care, hospital and healthcare facilities, the destinations and the global culture. They must also be able to analyze the drifts, the changing trends and experiments in medical tourism. Also the most important aspect is the national regulations of different countries, certification of programs, legal and ethical issues involved in medical tourism and so on. The Board of Directors and staff in Uniworld are well aware of these facts and works towards achieving this goal.

There are many reasons for the increased popularity of international medical travel services:

  • Exorbitant healthcare costs in industrialized nations
  • Long waiting lists for surgery in countries offering socialized healthcare
  • Ease and affordability of international travel
  • Favorable currency exchange rates in foreign countries resulting in low cost surgery
  • Rapidly improving technology and standards of care
  • Proven safety of healthcare in countries such as India
  • International accreditation of foreign hospitals like JCI.

All the hospitals affiliated with Uniworld are JCI(Joint Commission International, http://www.jointcommissioninternatinal.org) or NABH(National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers, http://www.nabh.co) accredited and maintains international quality control measures.