Medical tourism is a recent trend, relatively speaking. People of status and power have long been making treks to remote locations for unique medical care. But only recently, with flights affordable to most economic classes and more modes of travel available than ever before in history, has medical tourism become a trend of global culture. Globalization has affected earth’s population in more ways than we can even measure, and the way that people receive medical care is included in that trend. With travel so accessible, many are turning to the logical conclusion that if another country can meet one’s healthcare needs better than their own country, why not travel?
Medical tourism has risen in popularity during the past few decades. Foreign travel insurance policies are written more carefully than ever before, and include more benefits to travelers than any other time in history. There are even some nations that open up their healthcare provision to foreigners without an insurance policy. This is because medical tourism is not just a public service, it is also a very lucrative industry. For some countries, their medical industry is their biggest money maker, where as many of the rest of their industries struggle significantly in the global marketplace. By opening their medical industry up to foreigners, they can multiply the revenue that their medical industry brings in. This creates a win/win situation for the country and for the travelers seeking medical care.
Medical tourism is the way of the future. It is a practice that promotes good foreign relations and diplomacy. The medical field has long been a neutral, peaceful vehicle between countries, even ones that have a negative relationship. Even two countries that are warring with one another have long been known to harbor each other’s medical professionals. The practice of medicine is universally something that harms no one and helps everyone, which makes the medical industry a neutral arena even between two opposing bodies.