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Basic Points of Medical Tourism

Video: Basic Points of Medical Tourism
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Hello, I am Peter Yuen I am the Professor and Dean of the College of Professional & Continuing Education at the Hong Kong Poly technic University. Today, I am going to share with you a lecture on medical tourism. In this lecture, we will discuss what is and what is not medical tourism, the types of medical tourism, why is medical tourism important what are the trends of medical tourism these days? We would also look at the supply chain of the medical tourism industry. What are the common reasons for people to undertake medical travel? What are the common procedures used by medical tourists? And what are the top destinations for medical tourism?
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I would also explore with you the different models of medical tourism currently adopted by different countries. What are the key success factors for these different types of medical tourism models? We would also explore some ethical considerations associated with medical tourism. Towards the end, I would also introduce some facilitating organizations in the medical tourism industry.
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What is medical tourism? There are actually no agree definition universally on the term medical tourism. It generally refers to cross-boarder travel for the purpose of obtaining health care. We sometimes hear similar terms often used interchangeably. Cross-boarder heath care, global health care, international health care, medical travel, health tourism, wellness tourism.
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Because there are no universal definition, sometime we find people use these terms interchangeably, but in fact I think some of these terms mean different things.
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We go to the World Health Organization(WHO) for definition of health, then the term health is in fact refers to the state of complete physical and mental well-being. Not merely the absence of disease, so health tourism will be a very encompassing term. Involving not just treatment of disease, but also health promotion, prevention, as well as diagnose and treatment. If we use the term medical care or medical tourism, then we are confining it to the diagnoses and treatment of disease and conditions. If we used term health tourism, then it is more encompassing, but if we used term wellness tourism then that would only include health promotion, as well as some prevention activities.
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That would include activities like weight loss, detox stress release etc. What is not medical tourism? It would be expatriates seeking care in their own country of residence. They are not traveling to another country to receive care but receiving care in their normal country of residence. We would also not consider the activity as medical tourism for tourists receiving emergency care during their vacation or during their travel. Foreign medical groups setting up operations, targeting mostly better-off local patients are also not regarded as medical tourism.
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Are there different types of medical tourism? Like general tourism, we also can classify tourism as outbound tourism and inbound tourism. Outbound patients travel to another country to receive care. Inbound patients are from other countries traveling to receive medical care. Related concepts would be north-south travel or south-north travel. Meaning patients from less developed countries going to more developed countries to receive care. And north-south would be the reverse, patients from better-off countries more developed countries travelling to emerging economies to receive care.
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Government is now attaching a lot of importance to medical tourism. Many governments aspire to develop medical tourism in their jurisdiction- developing some of the cities into medical hubs. In fact this is regarded as one of the fastest growing new business in the world. Medical tourism is big business, because medical procedures are expensive. Even simple procedures would cost thousands of dollars a day. So compare the spending of general tourists to that of medical tourists, and medical tourists would be spending many times more than that of a general tourist. The demand for medical travel is also rising. This is due to the fact that the population in most developing economies are aging.
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The aging process is very quick and scale is actually quite swell. Another factor driving them on is the increase in affluence in many emerging economies. People in these economies now have the means to travel abroad to receive care.
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There are also supply side increases. 110 00:07:17.175 –> 00:07:21.145 We see the increase in the number of the international
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accredited facilities in many emerging economies. Health care traditionally viewed as welfare or consumption activities by government and politicians. And now see it as an important economic activity and engine for economic growth. Something capable of earning very significant foreign currencies.

In this study, you will learn about the basic points of medical tourism, such as what is and what is not medical tourism, types, and governments’ thinking.

Before we continue with Week 5, do you have any questions? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

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