I’m an advocate for sending patients overseas for medical treatment when it’s justified by quality and cost considerations. However, I really object to the term medical tourism. To me, tourism connotes an entertaining, fun-filled vacation trip made with discretionary dollars. I suppose spa treatments and some cosmetic procedures could fit the definition, but tourism seems like just the wrong term for a trip to another country for a hernia repair or kidney transplant.
It’s really more like a business trip than tourism, though I don’t think medical business would be the right term either.
Promoters will make some progress marketing a trip that combines fun with medical care, but I think positioning the services more seriously would be a much better idea.January 15, 2007