It is certainly true that medical tourism evolved out of the need of people to search for and receive alternative medical treatment, and treatment that is equal for everyone but special for each one.
The United States and the United Kingdom are the two best examples to understand the reason behind the growing medical tourism industry in other countries. Before ObamaCare, public healthcare and healthcare policies governed the lives of people in the USA. Gradually, people realized that the healthcare system was hollow and meaningless. Expensive medical treatment in the USA was a major factor that led to the outflow of patients, and the number has steadily increased over the years. They are even wary of the new ObamaCare which does provide for basic medical facilities to the Americans but for people who require specialized care, there are only costly alternatives.
It was reported a couple of years back that a medical procedure costing somewhere between $12,000-60,000 in the US could cost around $6,000-18,000 in a country like India which has trained medical staff from US or British medical institutes and proper medical facilities and care to ensure that you leave the hospital with a smile on your face. In fact, for some patients it is enough to receive proper medical care in terms of behavior of the medical staff. Some Americans actually travel because they are unhappy about the behavior of medical staff in the US.
People in the UK faced the same problem when they were greeted with sky-rocketing prices for common medical procedures and treatment. They rather chose to travel to Austria or Germany for treatment. Poland is also rising as a medical tourism hot spot for the very reasons. Cosmetic surgery is another reason tourists travel to foreign countries because the laws in their own countries may not have provisions for such procedures that may be considered unethical or unsafe. Countries which provide such treatment, like the controversial stem cell therapy argue that they would go to any lengths to save the life of a patient if they see that he is dying anyway.
Medical tourism will continue to flourish in developing countries all across the world as the developed countries of the world keep turning a blind eye to their own healthcare policies.