Medical tourism is one such phenomenon which highlights the globalization of the health sector and it presents with the advancements that have been attained in the field of medicine (Bennett 2008; Connell 2007; Reisman 2010). Medical tourism is a concept whereby individuals travel to other countries for the purpose of availing healthcare facilities in countries other than their homeland. The notion was initially considered to be restricted to the residents of developing countries as people travelled from these countries to the developed ones in search of the best available healthcare treatments. But this horizon has now expanded and people from developed countries have also started engaging in the practice of medical tourism. In the year 2004, it was seen that the number of patients who visited India for the purpose of medical treatment were 1.2 million whereas 1.1 million people went to Thailand for the same purpose. The concept of medical tourism has also gained popularity amongst the citizens of the United States and it was estimated that in the year 2007 approximately 750,000 Americans would travel abroad for acquiring healthcare services (Horowitz et al 2007). Medical tourism is a branch of tourism which has existed for a long time but in different forms. Many travelers used to visit countries for the purpose of rehabilitation or availing spa facilities. Therefore, the utilization of tourism for healthcare has been in existence before the coining of this term. But medical tourism is a broader term which utilizes all forms of healthcare that can be availed. The procedures that can be opted for in medical tourism may be elective that is cosmetic surgeries or they may be non elective procedures like hernia repairs and hip replacements. Medical tourism has peaked owing to many underlying causes. These include the emergence of legal and ethical boundaries for availing healthcare facilities. For instance, the practice of euthanasia is illegal in Britain and people therefore have to travel to other countries like Switzerland if they wish to opt for this practice. Other reasons include the better healthcare options that are available in other countries of the world. The healthcare cost is also a factor that has led many people to travel to developing countries to opt for medical procedures. This is because there is a substantial difference in the healthcare cost in comparison to the home country of these people (Connell 2007; Knox 2005). Medical tourism has many benefits which may explain the reason why this practice has gained much popularity amongst the masses. The health sector in the United States of America is becoming increasingly costly and therefore it now lies beyond the approach of many individuals to avail healthcare procedures. It has been seen that even simple dentistry treatments are being overcharged for. Furthermore, the life expectancy of the individuals in the country has also increased. This means that there is a greater aging population and therefore a greater need for healthcare treatments but there are lesser resources and staff to handle these patients. There are also many loopholes in the insurance policies and many individuals still remain uninsured in the country. It is at this point that medical tourism proves to be very beneficial for the people residing in the country. The easy access of travelling and lower costs prove to be very
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