Lack of a central organized structure
For those accustomed to conventional medicine, you will not find a similar, or perhaps any, structure in alternative medicine and wellness tourism.In alternative medicine, it is not necessary for practitioners to perfect their techniques or acquire knowledge with education. Rather, they make use of techniques practiced over the years, or learnt from their ancestors. Moreover, since medical organizations and government authorities do not regulate this field, anybody can start practicing anything, without much by way of qualifications.
In alternative medicine, the therapist might provide treatment for a wide range of medical conditions, and the patient will have no way to test the claims, other than reading some anecdote testimonials. Alternative medicine practitioners don’t give much importance to modern lab tests, rather perform their own, sometimes bizarre, tests.
Many patientsseeking alternative therapies can be driven away by this lack of structure, however the fact is that since many of these therapists don’t make use of lab tests and perform all therapies on their own, setting up a complete medical structure isn’t relevant. Moreover, since most of the therapists catering to the wellness sector have special requirements, their facilities are designed, and managed, in accordance with their requirements.
No proper research and development
While most of the scientific community simply refutes the claims made by most alternative medicine therapists, the fact is that some of the therapies, such as those provided under Ayurveda and Acupuncture, have proved to be effective. However, the current lack of funding from mainstream medical world towards the development of functional alternative medicine and therapies has meant that there is no proper research and development for alternative medicine therapies.
The presence of a comprehensive research and development program for alternative medicine would definitely end the magical claims made by quacks, while improving the stature of therapies that actually prove to be beneficial. Moreover, the presence of such a structure would make alternative medicine safe and globally accepted.
While most alternative therapies, such as homeopathy and Ayurvedic treatments have shown to the effective, they take a lot of time before they start showing their benefits. If a research and development program is initiated, practitioners can make use of modern technology to better their therapies.
Problems with continuity of care
Medical tourists have enough options to continue care after he/she returns home after undergoing a conventional treatment or surgery, the same isn’t as comprehensive or is missing altogether in alternative medicine and wellness tourism. Since most alternative medicine therapies are region-dependent, it becomes next to impossible for patients to access therapists in their own country, who can keep them in good shape after they return to their home country.
For example, if a wellness seeker goes to an Asian country for weight-loss massages, he/she may not be able to get a similar specialist back in the home country, who can continue the procedures so that the person does not gain weight again. In most cases, it has been seen that wellness tourists have to go back to conventional medicine after they return from their wellness journey, as they either do not find a therapist in their home country or do not find the alternative medicines they require for a long-term success of their alternative treatment.
One of the biggest limitations of complementary medical tourism is the scarcity of the insurance policies that cover CAM treatments. In most of the cases, people have to pay on their own and they do not receive any reimbursements. If you are seeking insurance reimbursement for your wellness trip that involves treatment with complementary therapies, you should always choose a licensed CAM practitioner who has the insurance cover for his or her practices. While there are a few insurance companies that offer coverage for CAM treatments, it could be a challenging task for the potential tourists to find the right policy in their best interests.