Essay on Task: Health Care and Medical Tourism

Submitted By sahanamurthy29
Words: 2901
Pages: 12

MEDICAL Tourism Facilitators:

the Good, the Bad,
-- the Unknown

Medical Tourism Facilitators: the Good, the Bad -- the Unknown

Medical tourism facilitators, those charged with navigating a patient through the process of securing and achieving quality and affordable treatments and procedures abroad, are entering the healthcare travel industry at alarming rates that, if not monitored through standards and best-practices, threaten to strangle the very lifeblood the profession provides.

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Medical Tourism Facilitators: the Good, the Bad -- the Unknown
By Rene’e-Marie Stephano

The odds that a child wakes up one morning after dreaming of a career as a medical tourism facilitator might be far-fetched. The chances might be more reasonable that as the same child becomes an adult and begins to develop a wide range of professional attributes – from problem-solving and decision-making to team management and communication – entry into the medical tourism industry becomes a much more exciting, lucrative and rewarding a thought.
Consider the fact that medical tourism is a $100 billion industry, and growing. 1Now add to that by the year 2017, at least $228 billion in medical care is predicted to leave the United States for foreign markets.2 That figure has been forecast to grow at 35 percent each year.3
Those numbers alone make medical tourism an attractive field to bite into. No wonder the industry is attracting hundreds to pursue careers in medical tourism each day. But, it might come as an even greater surprise that medical tourism facilitators can usually profit 20-40 percent of the total cost of a procedure. In some cases, a medical facilitator can earn more than a surgeon in some countries. That’s because procedures are less expensive due to market price differences, and patient savings are that much higher overseas – up to 75 percent -- than those in the United States.4

1

“Medical Tourism: Update and Implications”; Deloitte Center for Health Solutions; 2009; http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/
Documents/us_chs_MedicalTourism_102609.pdf; Accessed June 4, 2013.

2

“Medical Tourism: Update and Implications”; Deloitte Center for Health Solutions; 2009; http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/
Documents/us_chs_MedicalTourism_102609.pdf; Accessed June 4, 2013.

3

“Medical Tourism: Update and Implications”; Deloitte Center for Health Solutions; 2009; http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/
Documents/us_chs_MedicalTourism_102609.pdf; Accessed June 4, 2013.

4

Herrick, D.; “Medical Tourism: Health Care Free Trade”; National Center for Policy Analysis; Brief Analysis No. 623; Aug. 12, 2008; http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/ba623.pdf;
Accessed May June 4, 2013.

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Traveling patients, many of whom are college-educated with annual earnings from $50,000-$100,0005 , don’t seem to mind facilitators negotiating rewards on their behalf, and why should they. Using a medical tourism facilitator is more convenient and expedient than looking for a program on their own, especially for a patient tasting healthcare travel abroad for the first time. Plus, their medical expenses are dramatically reduced and, in the meantime, patients get to live at resort-like facilities fit with accommodations reserved for kings or queens and other VIP’s.

Profits, Life-Saving Incentives
Now throw in the added bonus that medical tourism facilitators get to take satisfaction in knowing of their direct impact on the lives of millions who are in need of treatments and procedures they may otherwise not be able to afford or find where they live.
Added together, if saving lives and financial prosperity are paramount to career interests, then being properly equipped with the most…