Demand For Medical Tourism Health And Social Care Essay

Demand For Medical Tourism Health And Social Care Essay

Surveies on wellness related mobility have long paid attending to the migration of patients from less developed states to industrialised states in hunt of wellness services that are unavailable in their state of beginning ( Paffhausen, et al. , 2010 ) . Recently, motion in the opposite way, which is referred to as medical touristry, has captured the involvement of the media ( Horowitz, et al. , 2007 ) . Medical touristry describes the phenomenon of citizens from extremely developed states going to states at variable degrees of development for world-class but low-cost medical services that are non available in their ain communities ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ; Woodman, 2007 ) .

Unlike wellness touristry which is by and large viewed as a pleasure-oriented touristry affecting gratifying and restful activities ( Pollock & A ; Williams, 2000 ; Bennett, et al. , 2004 ) , medical touristry is distinguished from wellness touristry by the earnestness of unwellness and the degree of physical intercession required ( Hendersen, 2004 ; Carrera & A ; Bridges, 2006 ; Connell, 2006 ) . In this regard, Hendersen ( 2004, p.113 ) defines medical touristry as a pattern that ‘incorporates wellness showing, hospitalization, and surgical operations ‘ .

This essay will concentrate the treatment on a figure of medical touristry issues with mention to economic theory including market drivers and determiners of demand for medical touristry, the crowding-out and crowding-in effects of medical touristry on public wellness of hosting states.

The essay begins with the market drivers and determiners of demand for medical touristry. This will be followed by treatment of the ability of medical touristry in bettering public wellness – the crowding-in consequence. The essay will so discourse the crowding-out consequence of medical touristry – the fact that national resources are diverted from public heath to more profitable private services for international patients.

Market drivers and determiners of demand for medical touristry

Although medical touristry is an emerging industry ( Hopkins, et al. , 2010 ; Paffhausen, 2010 ) , the industry itself has grown dramatically over the past decennary ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ; Paffhausen, 2010 ) . The rapid growing of the planetary medical touristry industry is facilitated by the important addition in demand for cross-border medical interventions which is fuelled by a figure of factors such as high wellness attention costs, expensive insurance premiums, long waiting lists, and high income in developed states ( Horowitz & A ; Rosensweig, 2007 ; Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

Health attention costs are a push and a pull of demand for medical touristry

1There is incompatibility in the value of monetary value snap of demand for wellness attention among different surveies and different medical services. For physician services, Lee and Hadley ( 1981 ) found that monetary value snap of demand is about -2.8 to -5.07, while in the survey of McCarthy ( 1985 ) the value was -3.07 to -3.26. At hospital degree, monetary value snap of demand for wellness attention is smaller, runing from -0.8 for patient yearss to -1.1 for admittances ( Feldman & A ; Dowd, 1986 ) . Rosett and Huang ( 1973 ) found that outgo for wellness attention is sensitive to monetary value, with monetary value snap of -0.35 to -1.5. Although different surveies yield different Numberss and different groups of people may hold different degree of sensitiveness to monetary value, these surveies tell us the same narrative: demand for wellness attention is monetary value elastic.

Health attention market faces high monetary value snap of demand and patients are sensitive to price1 ( Rosett & A ; Huang, 1973 ; Lee & A ; Hadley, 1981 ; McCarthy, 1985 ; Feldman & A ; Dowd, 1986 ) . In fact, the primary ground why people travel in hunt of wellness attention is monetary value considerations ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . Harmonizing to microeconomic theory, as wellness attention costs rise, the demand for wellness attention would diminish as a consequence ( McPake & A ; Normand, 2008 ; Folland, et al. , 2010 ) . As a rational economic person, in the attempt to minimise costs of

wellness attention and maximise public-service corporation, the patient has become a medical tourer ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

Like other trade goods, monetary value is one of the most of import determiners of measure demanded for wellness attention ( McPake & A ; Normand, 2008 ; Folland, et al. , 2010 ) . Rising wellness attention costs in place scenes and significantly lower monetary values of medical interventions in finish states are playing as a push and a pull severally of demand for medical touristry ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

In the United States ( US ) , for illustration, it is estimated that the national wellness outgo has raised by 43.5 % from $ 1.3 trillion in 2003 to $ 2.8 trillion in 2008, of which 12 % ( $ 278 million ) was from personal payments ( US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2008 ) . This go oning addition in heath outgo exacts a great toll on wellness attention consumers. A survey by Himmelstein ( 2009 ) reveals that in 2007, over 62.1 % of all bankruptcies in the US were medical, and wellness attention costs have become the fastest turning constituent of Americans ‘ market basket. As a consequence, patients are pushed to go to where their demand can be met with low-cost monetary values to increase public-service corporation.

With the lifting wellness attention costs in industrialised states, high quality services at important lower monetary values in developing states have become the inducement for patients seeking interventions abroad. Harmonizing to Deloitte ( 2008 ) , medical services in India, Thailand, Singapore can be every bit low as 10 % of those in the US, while other surveies reveals that the costs in some medical touristry finishs can be 30 % -70 % cheaper than those that medical tourers have to pay in their states ( Mugomba & A ; Danell, 2007 cited in Paffhausen, 2010 ) . The cost that includes airfare and holiday bundle of a bosom valve replacing surgery, for illustration, is merely $ 10,000 in India, while it costs $ 200,000 in the US ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . Hospitals in Singapore charge $ 18,000 for a knee replacing with a six twenty-four hours in-patient intervention which would be a patient $ 30,000 in the US ( Herrick, 2007 ) . World-class medical interventions with significantly cheaper monetary values in developing states have been drawing the possible wellness attention consumers in developed states to prosecute interventions overseas ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

Insurance coverage, waiting clip, and income

Econometric patterning on heath attention ingestion behavior suggests that insurance coverage, deductibles, and co-payments are among the variables of the demand map for wellness attention with negative correlativity coefficients ( Folland, et al. , 2010 ) . High wellness insurance premiums means people tend to purchase low-budget programs that merely cover a little basket of heath services or people may take non to purchase insurance ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . It is estimated that over 46 million Americans are uninsured, doing nest eggs on medical processs abroad more attractive ( Starr & A ; Fernandopulle, 2005 ; Milstein & A ; Smith, 2006 ) . In add-on, high deductibles and co-payment sometimes make the cost of wellness attention out of range of patients even though they have insurance ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . Given demand for wellness attention is infinite and patient ‘s income is finite, it is non surprising to see people going to seek medical interventions outside their states ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

In states where there is a national health care plan such as Canada and the United Kingdom, waiting clip is the figure one barrier to entree to wellness attention ( Statistics Canada, 2005 ; Horowitz, et al. , 2007 ; Turner, 2007 ) . A recent survey finds that Canadians wait an norm of 8.4 hebdomads for General Practitioner ‘s referral to a specializer and delay another 9.5 hebdomads for intervention ( Asia Pacific Post, 2005 cited in Conrady & A ; Buck, 2008 ) . When a waiting list for a peculiar process is excessively long, the patients, particularly those who have high clip monetary values, may be willing to short-circuit the free services offered at place and travel abroad to hold a timely intervention and accomplish satisfaction Oklahoman ( Hopkins, 2010 ) .

An extra factor that fuels medical touristry demand is income. Harmonizing to microeconomic theory, the more disposable income a individual has, the more it is available for ingestion, including the ingestion of wellness services ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ; Pindyck & A ; Rubinfeld, 2009 ) . Therefore, high income translates into the possibility of purchasing more wellness and preventative medical specialty ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

Medical touristry and public wellness: crowding-in consequence

Medial touristry has become one of the most of import national economic activities thanks to the advantages it provides to hosting states ( UNESCAP, 2009 ) . The advantages such as economic addition, improved medical substructure and external encephalon drain decrease enable medical touristry to better and spread out public wellness, which is known as the crowding-in consequence of medical touristry ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .

Available information reveals that the planetary medical touristry industry generated about $ 60 billion in grosss in 2008 and the figure is projected to be $ 188 billion by the terminal of 2010 ( Deloitte, 2008 ) . Through cross-subsidization, the ensuing grosss can be reinvested in public wellness which consequences in increased entree, greater coverage, and improved quality of wellness attention for the local population ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ; Hopkins, 2010 ) . Cross-subsidization can besides take the signifier of sharing infirmary beds, heath professionals, and medical substructure ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . Thailand, Argentina, and Malaysia, for illustration, have been utilizing telemedicine – a portion of technological invention associated with medical touristry – to supply wellness attention to advance parts ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . Hence, the development of medical touristry, through macroeconomic redistribution policy, can heighten public heath and bring forth positive outwardness.

Medical touristry and public wellness: crowding-out consequence

Bing considered as a major stimulation of socioeconomic development through advancing medical touristry, private infirmaries have been having considerable subsidies from authorities ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ; UNESCAP, 2009 ) . Given scarce resource, such support may take away resources from public wellness attention. Promoting medical touristry besides diverts human resource off from public services to private sector where heath attention staff may have higher income and work in an international criterion environment ( Sen, 2008 ) . In Thailand, for illustration, 6,000 places in public wellness services are still remained unfilled as an addition figure of wellness attention forces is attracted by higher wage and better working environment in private sector ( Saniotis, 2008 ) . Private infirmaries in Malaysia employ 54 % of the state ‘s physicians while accounting for merely 20 % of entire infirmary beds ( Gross, 1999 ) . In India, 80 % of wellness outgo is now in the private sector, while about half of all Indian adult females still present their babes without medical attenders ( WHO Statistical Information System, 2006 ) .

By concentrating national resources for international patients, the hosting state may put on the line denying its ain citizen just entree to care, and make a double market construction for wellness attention in which one section of high quality services is for aliens and the other of lower quality is for local patients ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . The ground underlying this polarisation is the tradeoff between the resources for public wellness and those for medical touristry ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . Health attention for local population is crowded out as most of the resources are enticed off from local patients ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) . This double market construction besides creates a state of affairs in which those who need less care normally acquire overtreatment while excepting the neediest 1s or cut downing their use ( Bookman & A ; Bookman, 2007 ) .


Medical touristry refers to patients going from developed states to less developed or developing states for medical interventions. Medical touristry is market driven in which sky-rocketing wellness attention costs, expensive wellness insurance premiums, long waiting list at place are obliging grounds for patients from western states to seek cross-border interventions.

Theoretical and empirical groundss prove that medical touristry crowds in public wellness thanks to the advantages it brings to destination states such as revenue enhancement grosss, decrease in encephalon drain and improved medical substructure. However, medical touristry besides crowds out public heath of finish states by taking resources off from public wellness services. For-profit private infirmaries could sabotage quality of attention at public wellness installations for local population. With higher wage and better working status at private installations, public wellness establishments may endure internal encephalon drain. Therefore, medical touristry has both positive and negative impacts on hosting states ‘ public wellness, and these effects should have equal attending they deserve.