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The rise and risks of medical tourism

Published
  • November 06 2013, 10:15am EST

Medical tourism is a booming industry dominated by Asian countries including India, Thailand and Singapore. India alone saw 2.5 million medical tourists in 2012 and one Thailand hospital serves 400,000 patients annually. This trend shows no signs of abating. According to Transparency Market Research, in 2012 the global medical tourism market was $10.5 billion and is estimated to reach $32.5 billion by 2019. Scarcity of medical resources, improved communication between countries, globalization of health care, internet marketing and ease of travel have also boosted the industry.

As medical travel grows in popularity and expands to other countries, U.S. employers need to be educated on the ins and outs of tourism to ensure safety of their employees and avoid fraud. It’s also important for patients to do their own research, and be prepared to think about the downsides of medical tourism.

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