Most travellers plan their trips to experience the culture of a different region; however, they are increasingly seeking out the best options for medical treatment.
It is commonly assumed that they are looking for quick and fast options to treat their illness, but a recent report suggests that other factors may be coming into play and predicts that the medical tourism market may generate $150bn (£113bn) by 2021.
Although a lack of medical insurance is a major factor in seeking treatment overseas, the need for accessibility, focused services and high-quality care are the major influences driving this market.
A major destination for patients is India, where the market is anticipated to grow by 200 per cent over the next year to reach revenues of $9bn, according to local statistics. New facilities and highly-skilled staff are the driving forces, providing quality medical care at comparatively low cost.
One of the issues that potential health tourists will consider is the security of blood storage in light of the scandal unearthed in the UK. In the late decades of the 20th century, people suffering from haemophilia were given blood donated, or sold, by people suffering from hepatitis C or the HIV virus.
Blood storage has since become a major issue for health care providers. Advances in medical refrigeration have thus become increasingly important and solutions can be found at providers such as https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/medical-refrigeration.
For patients looking for solutions to their medical issues, India is increasingly a major player in this global trend of patients travelling overseas. The Indian government is aware of the potential in this market and visa requirements have been amended to encourage medical visits.
Although this is an increasingly global market, covering dental in addition to general medicine, quality assurance between countries remains an issue. There is no international body providing regulation; nonetheless, India remains an attractive destination given the high-level of training that doctors receive and the fact that many have returned to the country after studying and practising overseas, especially in the UK and US.
Patients travelling to India also often benefit from the traditional health practices that are available, such as yoga, unani and homeopathy. Many patients suffering from acute issues will have investigated these alternatives, which often go hand in hand with more traditional surgical interventions.