Health and Medical Tourism 4
Health and Medical Tourism
Health tourism is a term that used universally by searchers on the health and tourism discipline to refer to the movement of tourist with the basic need of improvement of one’s health. Though generally this term can be considered as an improvement of one’s health it’s associated with a number of requirements that the health seekers are concerned with rather than mere improvement of health. For instance spar and sun basking that is associated with prevention of some of the body disorders and improvement of the body immune systems. Also, medical tourism is also related to other health and entertainment services such as sceneries and body massage. Therefore, the term health and tourism is a broad field that may be viewed to cover the entire essence of tourism which has resulted in the emergence of deferent thoughts that tries to scrutinize these two closely interrelating disciplines (medical tourism and tourism).
Despite the fact that different ideas developed in defining the immerging tourism sub-discipline teams as health tourism has raised some difficulties in finding the appropriate definition health tourism which has been historically closely associated with Europe more than other western regions. For instance Goodrich, 1994; Hall, 2003 defines health tourism as the need to find the wellbeing of body spirit and mind. Another definition from
ESCAP says that is an international phenomenon was the tourists seek health services from other regions that are far from their localities or countries. In both definitions, the aim of the travelers is to sustain their health needs (ESCAP, 2009). However, some of the definitions tend to complicate the definition when they include the desires of pleasures such when the tourism travel to access massage services and sun beach basking. For instance, when a tourist travels for spiritual needs and comfortability, it tends to lose the meaning of the definition through the aspect of generalization of the need for the visitors. In contrary, the term health tourism is defined by most of the medical and health literature while considering the primary interest of the traveler bearing in the mind the key determiner why some tourist may prefer to visit some places despite the others.
The Australian tourists who travel with the interest of improving their health status have various similar proposes. First, an Australian tourist may travel to seek for health services that are available in the equatorial region countries such as Mozambique where their coastal beaches are warm in all the season of the year. In winter where most of the Australian parts are experience service snowfall, the tourist may tend to vacate this region to avoid the associated coldness diseases. Secondly, Australian tourist tends to choose to visit areas where the health services are considerably convenient while planning for their vacation tours. Such regions may offer some health services that cannot be provided by the local health organizations such a spar (Goodrich, 1994).
Despite that fact that medical tourism has been defined using different thought, the primary concern of the travelers/ the tourist is to meet the health needs. Therefore, any definition ought to base its facts from the health needs facts. Some of the facts that a tourist may tend to tour for is if the health service required cannot be provided in homes land due to either some cultural restrictions or they are not applicable. For instance, some of the tourist travel to perform an abortion (considered as abortion tourism) since such act are prohibited in their countries and only the some regions offers. Another reason why tourist may travel is as a result of the immigration where the tourist may travel back to their original homeland to seek for services that there are familiarize with and in some cases the services may not be found in the migrated countries. For example the body organs transplant (Goodrich, 1994). In a nutshell, the term medical tourism should not be defined as a general tourism since tourist travel for pleasure proposes but should rather be based on the traveler intention, consecutively, the same definitions should not be defined the same as for patient that seek health services in other countries. Therefore, medical tourist should be defined as tourists who chose the places to visit with a closer look at where the health service fits their intention such as places that offers both the leisure and health services.
Various reasons lead to tourist seeks health services in other regions. These reasons can be classified into five broad categories which include, cost, duration of the service, commercial and noncommercial behaviors, and finally the extent of the medical research in the traveler’s field of health. Illness treatment cost varies in different world regions; a tourist may prefer to seek treatment in other areas due to the current cost especially for chronic diseases. Subsequently, some region may specialize in research of certain health problems or diseases intensively which make it suit the best place to get the recent updated certain health services. Therefore, a tourist may prefer to visit such areas for its treatment efficiency. Secondly, some of the health services can be consumed in conjunction with other pleasure services such as spa and sun basking. Finally, some of the tourists may seek medical services from their original homeland if they have migrated due business or on working schedules (De Arellano, 2007).
Despite the fact that the tourist seeks treatment overseas for the convenience of their health, there is garter risk that is associated with such procedures. Tourist that engage in this kind of treatment rises danger of being exposed to new pathogen consecutively they act as transmitters of the diseases that they carry to the area they visit. According to Hall and James (2011), there is a substantial evidence of tourist associated with nosocomial infections whereby traveling of the sick tourist have been the primary cause of the spread of noroviruses complications due to treatment such as arthroplasty (Hall, & James, 2011).
Hall, C.M. and James, M., 2011. Medical tourism: emerging biosecurity and nosocomial issues. Tourism Review, 66(1/2), pp.118-126.
ESCAP, U., 2009. Medical Travel in Asia and the Pacific-Challenges and Opportunities. Bangkok: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
De Arellano, A.B.R., 2007. Patients without borders: the emergence of medical tourism. International Journal of Health Services, 37(1), pp.193-198.
Goodrich, J.N., 1994. Health tourism: A new positioning strategy for tourist destinations. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 6(3-4), pp.227-238.