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Medical Tourism, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1457

Essay

Over the years, there has been an unceasing rise in the demand for health services globally. People’s movement from one area to another is being exhibited by the quest for health services, primarily by the aged. This, together with epidemiological alterations, the increase in cases of chronic illnesses, has contributed to the rise in the demand for better and advanced medical services. A persistent variation in the medical field has been evident due to the speedy advancement of medical tourism and the private healthcare field, which is currently one of the most profitable industries in the globe (Simons, Pike, Hulseberg, Prouty, & Swierczewski, 2016). The continuous rise in healthcare costs in several nations and cheaper options of attaining competent care in third-world nations have contributed to the constant growth in medical tourism. Nonetheless, many of the medical practices in this tourism happen with no regulatory structure that contributes to the observation that the medical practice highly focuses on profit. Furthermore, medical tourism receives many criticisms since it threatens the equitable delivery of healthcare globally. Therefore, medical tourism has numerous adverse effects on the overall health and well-being of people.

Many risks might arise with medical tourism practices. Some of the hazards include the likelihood of the tourist evolving embolisms because of the long flights. Such risk can be in the pulmonary embolisms’ form arising from prolonged immobility since the patient has to travel for several hours (Mogaka et al., 2017). This kind of tourism might also interfere with the tourist’s care plan as they might require moving back to the nations they came from before they are fully integrated into the new care plan. Individuals seeking new treatment options may also suffer from medical malpractices because of a lack of sufficient laws that govern these medical practices in many tourist destinations. The lack of adequate laws to oversee these practices has resulted in healthcare being a dangerous option for medical travellers. Nonetheless, these hazards are still present as a result of the steady growth of this industry.

Another adverse effect evident in medical tourism is the lack of equitability in distributing public funds in the host nations. The activity often threatens equity in the usage of public resources. The development of these tourism businesses in the host nations vastly relies on the government’s help through subsidies and government funds (Takuli, Bhatt & Pokhriyal, 2014). These aids might be in the form of cheaper duties and importation of health equipment that are of great aptitude to offer services in private healthcare facilities aiding the medical tourists. Despite these private healthcare institutions providing services to the entire population, including domestic patients, some of these facilities do not meet these necessities, with hospitals offering medical services only to tourists because of the extraordinary profits. Furthermore, this kind of tourism may also have adverse effects on the health services that are financed by the public sector. This may contribute to a form of public subsidization since well-trained doctors are employed by the private hospitals as a result of good salaries and better medical equipment. As a result, inequality has spiked with the use of public resources.

Imbalances in offering healthcare services in host nations are also highly associated with medical tourism. The tourism is accountable for the worsening medical practices through actions like brain drain as the better salaries and equipment adopted by the healthcare facilities entice doctors from other public hospitals. The tourism activity is also accountable for the rural deficiency in eligible health care employees (Abd Mutalib et al., 22016). Many of these services offered by medical tourist institutions are primarily located in urban areas. An increase in medical tourist practices may lead to a scenario where the rural dwellers cannot afford the healthcare system due to the rise in the number of tourists seeking health services, which leads to an increase in the care expense for the inhabitants of the host countries. Medical tourism has given rise to healthcare reserves, which highly depend on technology, and in turn, scaling up costs of essential health services. The outcome is that a large number of the population is unable to access these high-cost healthcare services.

This kind of tourism might also have adverse effects on the departure nation of these tourists. This can occur in a situation where difficulties arise after a medical process is done on a patient within the medical tourist facility. The care expenses for such an individual might, in turn, be double equated to whether the patient could have received health services in their host nation initially. In a situation where the medical tourists’ medical procedures are partially or fully funded by public financing, the medical complications might contribute to a rise in the public expenses of post supportive care. Besides, medical tourism might adversely affect the tourists’ host nation as it diminishes fair access to healthcare (Snowdon, Bassi, Scarffe, & Smith, 2015). Wealthy individuals might decide to opt-out of the medical systems offered in their host nation and, in turn, negatively affects the necessity to alter medical ideals in those nations since the high-class population can solve their health problems abroad. This leaves the low-class population with poor services in their host nation.

This form of tourism offers a platform and opportunity for a patient to attain affordable and rapid healthcare services linked to the amenities received in the host country (Snowdon, Bassi, Scarffe, & Smith, 2015). Nonetheless, travelling overseas is connected to many risks, especially for the patient, and additional long-term expenses that the patient’s home health system may spend. Seeking medical health services in other countries also deteriorates the patient’s health when experimental services contribute to other side effects. Even if healthcare institutions in a majority of the states are of superior and excellent quality, failing to investigate some of these institutions may contribute to insufficient care and problems that may need follow-up services for the sick. A number of services attained by these tourists need follow-up protocols even when the procedures are effective. As a result, complications may be experienced when follow-up management is untimely and efficient in the health tourism native countries. Additionally, challenges may be seen during the handover of medical records from the tourist country to the native country, further aggravating the challenges during follow-up care. The patients may also be host to some infections and carry them back to their native countries like the NDMI superbug; an infection noticed to be significantly related to medical tourists.

Proponents of medical tourism feel that it permits individuals to attain quicker and more effective healthcare services compared to those offered in their host countries. They argue that treatment abroad is more advanced and results in better outcomes as compared to their host nations (Lunt, Smith & Exworthy, 2011). Others feel that medical tourism assists in lowering the treatment costs if an individual chooses a nation offering more affordable healthcare services compared to the native countries. Besides, several healthcare institutions have collaborated with medical tourism organizations to permit the sick to have contact with post-management reviews and examinations. Furthermore, with the practice’s nature, the sick have the capacity to examine different nations while seeking the healthcare intervention that they need.

In conclusion, medical tourism has adverse effects on both the medical systems and the general welfare of the medical tourists. The lack of sufficient laws to govern this practice has led to the deterioration of the practice, leading to increased healthcare costs and reduced contact to healthcare services by resident individuals. In scenarios when a nation rations care, the capacity to portion and dispense medical resources evenly can be affected. This may undermine the needs of local healthcare facilities while attracting profit-motivated facilities. Without regulation, it is impossible to realize the positive benefits of medical tourism.

References

Abd Mutalib, N. S., Ming, L. C., Yee, S. M., Wong, P. L., & Soh, Y. C. (2016). Medical tourism: ethics, risks and benefits. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 50(2), 261-270.

Lunt, N., Smith, R., & Exworthy, M. (2011). Medical Tourism: Treatments, Markets and Health System Implications: A Scoping Review, Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mogaka, J. J., Mashamba-Thompson, T. P., Tsoka-Gwegweni, J. M., & Mupara, L. M. (2017). Effects of medical tourism on health systems in Africa. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 6(1), 1-25.

Simons, M. P., Pike, B. L., Hulseberg, C. E., Prouty, M. G., & Swierczewski, B. E. (2016). Norovirus: new developments and implications for travelers’ diarrhea. Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines2(1), 1. Retrieved from http://tdtmvjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40794-016-0017-x

Snowdon, A. W., Bassi, H., Scarffe, A. D., & Smith, A. D. (2015). Reverse innovation: an opportunity for strengthening health systems. Globalization and health11(1), 1. Retrieved from http://globalizationandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12992-015-0088-x

Takuli, S. S., Bhatt, S., & Pokhriyal, D. (2014). Medical Tourism: Emerging Challenges and Future Prospects. Avahan: A Journal on Hospitalty and Tourism, 2(1), 175-188.

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