Medical Tourism

International Medical Tourism

International medical tourism is caused by the difficulty of obtaining medications and therapies that are unavailable in the patient's home country. The issue requires the patients to pool their resources and travel to nations that provide the medical services they need at a reasonable cost in order to receive treatment. As a result, the patients end up saving money and the time it would have taken them to return to their previous level of health. Providing accessible healthcare should be a top goal for all parties involved in the health sector, which is why medical tourists travel for treatment and drugs. The patients, professionals, payers, and the policy are the key interested parties in the provision of available and affordable healthcare, and thus they should come together and find ways to provide the fundamental right of access to the highest levels of healthcare (Connell, 2013).

Public Policy and Legal Issues

There are public policy and legal issues that affect medical tourism and the experience of the patient traveling internationally in search of drugs and treatment. The patients need to have an informed consent of the benefits and risks of the treatment alternatives available so as to enable them to make an informed choice of the treatment and care provided (Todd, 2012).

Key Stakeholders and Policy Recommendations

Patient travel issues, licensing and regulation of professionals and facilities, surrogate decision makers, payments and insurance benefits, medical records issue, patient privacy and other patient rights, and controversial treatments and procedures are some of the public policy and legal issues related to medical tourism (Todd, 2012). Improving the regulatory environments, regulating and allowing ease of entry through credible and mandatory endorsement, providing the necessary subsidies, provision of adequate supply of skilled human resources, and liberalizing immigration of trained workers, are some of the public policies that should be adopted by the state, federal and international levels of administration. The policies would ensure sound principles of patient safety, quality, efficiency and access to needed services regardless of the country of origin, financial means, religious, and cultural or ethnic background. The policy makers, and the payers are the key stakeholders most likely to advance the policy oversight recommendations and how self- interest and profits influence the agenda of accessing drugs and treatment not available in the country of origin.


Connell, J. (2013). Medical tourism. Wallingford (Oxfordshire): Cabi.

Todd, M. (2012). Medical tourism facilitator's handbook. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.

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