The dilemma of medical tourism: Closer to hope, far from home


It has been a long cold war between the skeptics and the believers but the scales keep balancing each other every time we try to understand whether the medical tourism industry is really booming or going down. One way of looking at it would be to say that if I were in a situation where I want to take the chance of my life, travel abroad, get that procedure done, and get back happy and relieved to my family and friends. Or on the contrary, it would be justified if I rather prefer to die close to home, at peace, having my entire family by my side and having put my trust on a medical institution which I have known for years, rather all the years I have lived. It is truly a personal perspective that affects the medical tourism industry the most.

For most third-world countries and even developing countries where some affluent sections of the society can afford to go abroad for medical procedures, and provide a patronizing push for the sector. For people in countries like the United States of America where, before ObamaCare, medicine wasn’t affordable, people would have to travel to countries like Canada and countries in Europe for medical care. All this is not at all feasible if you consider a patient who isn’t even fit to walk, having to travel to another country for medical treatment. It would be safe to say that he could do with the treatment available at home. In fact, the patient would perhaps be happier to receive the treatment at home, with family and friends at hand.

Surveys reveal that more than 90% of patients want to be there with their family and friends rather than travel in the last few days of their treatment. Thus, we can safely conclude that the patient should be comfortable travelling abroad and only can the medical tourism industry flourish and thrive. Also, the fact of the matter is the cost of medical treatment. We tend to look somewhere else when we can’t afford the burden of rising costs of medical treatment, but medical care is becoming more and more affordable thanks to new medical insurance schemes. All said and done, the governments of all the countries of the world should come together to support a global effort to encourage and promote medical tourism for everyone in the world.


Medical tourism is not gaining as much momentum as it should considering all the facilities and advantages it has on offer. A sustained push can put the medical tourism industry right on the track where it deserves to be.