Medical tourism is the fastest growing sector in the world and it has become a multimillion-dollar business. It has become a lucrative source of income for NHS. According to several reports, more than eighteen hospitals generate their maximum revenue from foreign patients. In the UK, thousands of medical tourists spend millions of dollars on hotels, restaurants, transport, and shopping.
With no doubt maximum numbers of the UK people, leave their country in order to get advance medical care. Every year thousands of the UK residents move to countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and India for medical treatment and spend millions of dollars on medical treatment, shopping, traveling, and hotels. Data show that in the year 2010, 63,000 people move from the UK to abroad for treatment and around 52,000 people from abroad came here for treatment. This huge difference is quite enough to show the popularity of medical tourism, which is increasing continuously.
What is NHS?
It is the National Health System of the UK. It is a package of care for individuals who are not in hospitals, but have some ongoing healthcare needs and requirements. An individual can be at his own home, in a care home or somewhere outside the hospital. NHS is a national level healthcare system, which will pay for healthcare including, fees of the physician, nurse, and care home fees.
Effects of medical tourism on NHS
The rise of the medical tourism sector has given rise to many challenges for the NHS. It is almost impossible to understand that whether medical tourism is advantageous for NHS, or it becoming disastrous for national health services of the country. More than 50,000 people move from the UK to countries like Thailand, India, and Malaysia for cosmetic surgeries, dental surgeries, cardiac surgeries, bariatric surgeries, and organ transplants.
Continuity of care
It is very essential part of medical procedure. Every patient requires complete and quality continuity of care. When a person returns home after having complex surgery it often becomes difficult for medical service providers to know the severity of the treatment. Local nurses and doctors do not understand the accurate needs of the patient after the surgery. The main reason behind this could be lack of information.
It often becomes difficult to understand the needs of the patients. According to NHS, people with some conditions can get the benefits of national healthcare services. Sometimes, a person with complex conditions fails to get the benefits of the healthcare system.
Authenticity of medical procedures
People who opt for medical tourism often fail to get authentic information regarding their medical treatment. Most of the healthcare service providers do not event meet the medical needs and wants of the patient. Lack of information about the treatment leads to more critical and dangerous health conditions. When such patients return to their countries it becomes very difficult for the native doctors or surgeons to correct the treatment and it becomes very expensive for the patient.
Quality and safety of medical treatment
It is not always necessary that the treating facility of medical tourism destination offer quality and safe medical treatment to the foreign patients. Wrong medical procedure can make their ailment more complex and most of the times patients have to face safety issues.
Apart from this, medical tourism has increased the inflow of foreign patients to the UK. As a result, NHS is generating multiple sources of revenues and at the same time national health system ahs to focus on the healthcare requirements of medical tourists.
As medical tourism is booming, it has become a great source to generate revenue for the destination country. It is vital to understand the authenticity of treatment and care that medical tourism destinations offer.