chapter  2
Introduction to the Phenomenon of “Medical Tourism”
WithDan Cormany
Pages 26

The common understanding of medical tourism as travelers choosing to journey for less expensive medical care is only one aspect of the drivers of this phenomenon. The provision of services and the reason travel is elected vary greatly depending upon the motivations of those involved. A number of primary and secondary factors have converged to nurture a new boon in medical travel. The 60 Minutes report in 2005 emphasized critical care, but in truth, treatments range from lifestyle adjustments to cosmetic and dental surgery to life-saving organ transplants and heart valve replacement. The relative importance to each medical tourism category of each of the four components (medical care, hotel and restaurant facilities, tourism opportunities, and governmental policies) is represented by the portion of each pie slice attributed to it. The innermost component, that of healthcare facilities, is suggested here as the most key element in the decision making process of the true medical traveler.