The Medical Tourism Industry In India

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Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Medical tourism

2.1.1 Introduction to Medical tourism

The word “Medicalâ€? means treatment of illness, disorder or injuries. In general, “Tourismâ€? means traveling for pleasure. According to World Tourism Organization(WTO), the word “Tourismâ€? compromises of “the activities of persons traveling to and staying in place outside their usual environment for leisure, business and other purposes.â€? Understanding of word medical and tourism individually is not sufficient to define Medical Tourism. Medical Tourism is combination of various and definite activities and clear understanding of such activities is essential. (Dr Prem, medical tourism) Considering the above sets of definitions, the following can be observed: When a person travels across the border and outside their usual environment, to seek medical service, the travel portion of the trip travel is called “medical travelâ€?, and upon arrival, such person is called “medical touristâ€?, and such activities which includes utilization of medical services by the medical tourist, be it direct or indirect – hospitality, cultural exposure or site-seeing, is called “Medical Tourismâ€?. Hence, Medical Tourism could be defined as “The Medical Tourism is the set of activities in which a person travels often long distance or across the border, to avail medical services with direct or indirect engagement in leisure, business or other purposes.â€? Medical travel refers to the international phenomenon of individuals traveling, often great distances, to access health care services that are otherwise not available due to high costs, long waiting lists or limited health care capacity in the country of origin. (UNESCAP, 2007) Five key driving the increased popularity of medical tourism: Technology Technological improvements drive medical tourism, like more efficient global transportation and communication systems. The flattening of the world through the Internet and technology in medical industry are improving the quality of services. Patient access to health information on the Internet has increased knowledge and choices. Electronic communications and exchange of health information are faster and easier. Cost When patients don’t have health insurance or their health insurance does not pay for all the care they need, the cost of the care is shifted to those patients with health insurance. This is known as Cost Shifting. The competition in industry is not operating on the proper objectives. The focus should be on providing care to patients, not to gain economy of other countries or build the tourism sector from needy to sick patients. Moreover, the cost of medical treatment in developed countries is extremely high. Hence, private, social and corporate health schemes are very costly. The above pay model is shifting to individuals. Therefore, Cost is another driving factor. Need The emergence of the new consumer needs, like avoiding waiting queues to get medical treatment or the possibility to have the latest medical treatment, requires new solutions which are not available in consumer’s home country. So, Need is another driving factor. Change Hospitals are adopting the more luxury hotel concept rather than a traditional unexciting general wards. After the surgical procedure,

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