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Sustainable Medical Tourism

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Sustainable Medical Tourism

Around 35 countries is recognized as medical tourism destination across the globe. one month back I have started discussion on linked regarding sustainable medical tourism , I got many responses from industry experts saying yes medical tourism can be sustainable. I though lets throw light on this topic & collecting information through various sources, there is one research paper also published on this topic by Robert S. Bristow This paper explores the role of contemporary medical tourism in one Latin American country that has both an established ecotourism industry and highly acclaimed medical services.

Christina de Moraes  said that, “When you ask if MT can be sustainable, I think that people have been going elsewhere for care for decades already, independent of MTFs and other MT agents that have sprung up in the last 5 years or so. So, in this case, MT WILL continue, of course!

The question really is: “Will the new businesses and business models that have sprung up to provide services to patients as well as providers be sustainable?”

The answer to this lies in just how effective, valuable and WANTED (rather than needed!) our benefits and services are perceived by our customers, be it patients or medical providers”.

 When a medical institution gets into Medical tourism it is with the intention to make profits. Countries like Thailand, Jordan, Malaysia, India etc have entered into this circle because they can make 200 or 300 % profit.The question of viability does not arise. The countries who are availing this medical tourism facilities still find it cheaper because medical care cost is higher in their own country. I would suggest pl analyse your cost and you would come to know that a large component of your cost is of fixed nature (overheads). The art lies in controlling these overheads by improving the quality of service and optimum utilisation of facilities.  this inputs by  Mr Narendra Karkera.

after that I realize medical tourism it’s not in organized form specially in India , need to develop  some strategy there is huge medical tourism potential in India.

Adalto felix de Godoi said that ,  “If you take a look how people travel internally (inside the country – from one city to another – from the most advanced technologically to the least advanced to get natural treatments) and abroad to get treatments. You are noticed that in your own country with people travel from a wide variety of reasons – from centuries.  Believe, it will never end. It is impossible to get all kind of treatments everywhere. So people will always travel to get the cure somewhere else.  The problem in my view is that, the professionals are paying too much attention to international market and forgetting the more powerful internal market. The money can be, sometimes, right beside us while we are looking it in other country”.

While people have been travelling to far-flung places for treatment for centuries, it was on their own ,the information received by word of mouth. Today the MT firms are doing an excellent job by disseminating information about various skills available due to technological advancements. So patients have now a wider choice and can decide on the best place considering the costs and the expertise available. A word of caution here. We need to find mechanisms to protect consumers from unscrupulous advertisements as happens in any other business. Could there be a role here for an international watchdog? Dr Yashpal Bansal state this statement.

But my Question is for sustainable medical tourism can we create common model ? Which can applicable to various medical tourism destination.

Sustainable medical tourism is attempting to make as low impact on the local culture as possible, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of sustainable is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for local people, companies and the medical tourists themselves.

but if you see practically there are negative impact , local patients are facing many problems , they are not getting appointment highly skilled surgeon, Beds are not available, one side we promoting medical tourism but other side it’s affecting on local, how to handle this situation. one more thing as a definition of medical tourism , a person who is coming for treatment supposed to involved in tourism activity so directly or indirectly it will help to that destination.

I think sustainable medical tourism is the need of the hour, but we have to study, & prepare proper model. what do you think please share your views on this topic

Anil Bankar 

mtc.abindia@gmail.com

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