Risks involved with medical tourism


While millions of patients move to developed countries each year to experience high quality treatment at low cost. The remarkable growth in the medical tourism sector, numerous facilities are still trying to attract potential medical tourists using unethical practices. The laws and healthcare authoritarian in developed countries are not strict as they are in developed nations.

While the medical tourism is old as tourism itself as the for centuries, populations across the globe have been travelling for health care, such as taking several trips to spa town homes to mineral waters that were said to have some healing properties. People travel great distance in order to avail the medical and wellness care or to take some cosmetic surgeries done.

Many people, especially medical tourists come from either North America or Western Europe. Majority of them are seeking lower healthcare costs, while Europeans look for shorter wait times for treatment. This also has a darker side, as in India, the healthcare industry contains both private and public sector from which domestic and international patients can receive the aid. Indian doctors working in private sectors have notably higher earning potential.

India is one of the lowest levels of public healthcare support across the world. They like to treat higher paying foreigners and residents are left with only four doctors for every 10,000 patients. These low rates have led to over 500,000 deaths in India being caused by tuberculosis and another 600,000 deaths from easily preventable diarrheal diseases. However, the government of India has been highly criticized for putting price tags on the lives of the local patients.

Furthermore, there are numerous physical risks in medical tourism. Uncertified doctors may expose their patients to dangerous and incurable diseases, such as HIV, typhoid and TB and even clean facilities can leave medical tourists with diseases that are normally overlooked if natives have developed immunity. Apart from this, misinformation can lead to worst, inefficient treatment and wastage of time money and health.

Pre-operative and postoperative care is not available in many of the hospitals overseas. The cost of the entire trip amounts to more than the predictable amount at the end and the patients meet a financial barrier. Problems can shoot from legal permits and paper works at well. A change of place can make the patients and their families anxious and nervous due to the difference in the language and culture barrier.


Medical tourism has emerged as the best way to get medical care while treated in other country. However, it also has a dark side, which makes a difference while looking forward for medical tourism.