When a person travels to another country in order to take advantage of the medical treatments offered there that are not available in one’s home country, this is called “medical tourism.” Some destinations for medical tourism include Canada and Mexico, which can be convenient for those who live in the United States and the United States for those living in other countries.
People who take advantage of medical tourism do so for a variety of reasons. These may include being able to get treatment at a more affordable price or availing oneself of a treatment that has not been approved in one’s own country. Treatments include, but are not limited to, gastric bypass surgery, plastic surgery, and treatment for all types of cancer.
Mexico, Dubai and Other Medical Tourism Locations
Oftentimes with this type of arrangement, travel packages are available, and many of these include transportation to and from the destination airport, pre- and post-operative examinations, the surgery or procedure itself, a brief hospital stay, and a recuperation period at an exclusive resort hotel or other accommodations. Prices range from affordable to extravagant.
One advantage of purchasing a medical tourism package is the safety issue. With a medical tourism package, a traveler will most likely be able to easily identify the transportation and other escorts that are designated specifically for the facility being used. This will help alleviate the possibility of using unsafe transportation or finding oneself in an unsafe part of the country or area in which the medical treatment is being sought.
As with any other type of foreign travel, it is important to keep several things in mind. Travelers should make sure that passports, visas, and other documents necessary for travel abroad are in order, and, again, safety should be the main issue. Take advantage of government websites and other sources of information to find out if any travel alerts have been issued for the medical tourism destination chosen. For example, if someone is planning a medical tourism trip to Mexico, information can be obtained from the State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management Consular Information Program.
Domestic Medical Tourism
Medical tourism may not always mean traveling to another country. Sometimes the medical treatment needed or desired may be as close as another state. Florida, in the United States, is even considering legislation that will allow them to promote the state as a medical tourism destination. This could be especially advantageous for travelers who cannot afford a trip abroad. Other locations such as Southern California, New York and Austin, Texas are fast becoming domestic tourism destinations for those seeking medical help closer to home.
Another advantage of domestic medical tourism is the fact that one’s family or friends may be able to be present, something that might not be possible with foreign travel. What can be more conducive to recuperation than waking up from surgery surrounded by familiar faces and having family members close by to enjoy the amenities offered by the recuperation facility?