Appearances are often deceptive, so is true for the medical tourism industry, if only partially. Medical tourism industry has fast gained such a popularity that is has become a preferred way of being medically treated. However, the procedure so involved with this is not as simple as it appears. With so many positives involved with medical tourism industry, some intricacies have also paved their way through. So, one should be aware of the both the positives as well as complexities of the industry that is talked about at such a large scale.
The prime focus for a medical traveler is the incentive that he earns while on a vacation in addition to having a medical treatment. The positives attached to the booming medical tourism industry are:
Low prices means more savings, and often means that the treatment will be affordable.
At hand availability of the top-notch services.
Top class consultants and surgeons.
Skillfully planned package that is designed to fulfill the medical needs and covering the main tourist attractions of the place.
These global factors have made medical tourism industry boom on a massive scale. With such an advent in medical tourism, come certain risks and challenges as well. The complexities and intricacies involved with the medical tourism industry are:
Trust and Transparency:
This is one major global challenge attached to the medical tourism industry. It is of utmost importance to develop a trustworthy relationship with the medical tourist that visits a particular medical tourist destination. For example, there can be different meanings attached to the same term, for example, Medical tourist:
Medical Tourist: A patient who specifically travels to a destination for healthcare.
Medical Tourist: A patient who resides in the country but is not a native (ex-pats).
Medical Tourist: A patient who does not reside in the country, and is not native, but receives healthcare (tourist/business traveller).
Two significant risks horrify the medical tourism industry. The first is dispute resolution: We live in a society where malpractices have become a significant part of the working scenario. The idea that there is actually no place to run to in case of exploitation in the name of medical tourism causes inhibitions in potential travellers. Second is the risk that one might find himself involved in apolitical and social unrest, which again is a hindrance in the medical tourism industry. Ultimately, procedures will need to be established and globally adopted to ensure patient safety and rights.
Awareness of the Brand:
Customers are often innocent, they generally believe what they hear or see. The major challenge for these upcoming medical tourism destinations is to get rid of the low cost branding that is attached to their very name. A name is what matters in this industry. It has to be well renowned and acceptable. Many destinations face this very significant obstacle.
Cannibalism of the medical tourism industry:
One of the biggest enemies of medical tourism is medical tourism itself. The growth of this industry has to be balanced on all grounds. This issue may appear minor, but this has huge impacts globally. There is fierce competition amongst individual service providers, as each of them want to be the first choice for patients. Thus, there has to be a focused national strategy that brings about an alliance for healthcare and tourism.
Medical Tourism has been on a constant high but the industry has more complexities than it lets on. The complexities so involved with this industry need immediate attention so that the industry continues to perform well.