Medical tourism is a type of tourism in which a person goes to places known for providing natural health care such as hot springs, sulfur water baths, hot sand and mud, for the purpose of treatment, relaxation and recreation.
It spread in many countries of the world, and our Arab region is famous for famous medical tourist destinations such as Jordan and Egypt, and some oases of the Maghreb, which have received the attention of Westerners since the mid-nineteenth century.
It was prescribed for the treatment of mental illnesses and as the twenty-first century turned into an industry, some countries depended mainly on its economy.
What is medical tourism?
Medical tourism depends on providing tourism and treatment services in specialized places, which include spas, hospitals, and clinics, and most of the treatment sessions are in the open air, where the waters are warm and the sun is shining.
It is considered an optional or compulsory procedure according to the advice of the specialist doctor, and some may choose it for the possibility of including all family members, where the patient will be hospitalized while the family is enjoying their vacation.
And is divided into two parts, medical tourism, which is limited to the patient for the purpose of treatment, and hospital tourism, which healthy people can go to relax, rejuvenate or prevent diseases and are usually associated with a tourism program outside the treatment centers.
Most popular destinations
Among the most famous destinations that provide medical tourism service in the world:
South American countries
The medical tourism program includes access to and practice the following activities:
Sulfur and hot eyes: It spreads in many countries and is known for its treatment of bone pain and chronic fatigue.
• Shores of the sea: It is one of the most famous and oldest types of medical tourism, where the patient is hospitalized with salt water and then given sessions of burial of sand to take advantage of natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It is considered useful for treating skin and rheumatic diseases.
• Therapeutic sanatoriums: These are places that provide therapeutic service to patients, and are characterized by its calmness and its view of comfortable landscapes far from the noise of modern cities.
The advantages of medical tourism
Among the most important advantages of medical tourism, which lead some to choose:
• Requesting medical treatment that is not available at home.
• Reduced treatment costs, as Westerners accept hospitalization in Asia and the third world because of the low costs of treatment and transportation from their country.
Benefit from treatment and vacationing in relaxation and recreation, and the possibility of making the family happy at low costs.
• Some mental illnesses require changing the places of living and going to quiet natural places.
• For the countries that provide the service, medical tourism is one of the most recent economic resources, and there are some cities whose economy is based entirely on this resource. Some island and oasis residents work in medical tourism, a profession that is passed on from generation to generation.
Disadvantages of medical tourism
• Not enjoying the patient’s health insurance coverage, and he bears all the expenses from transfers and treatments, which makes medical tourism spread among the rich and upper middle classes.
• Treatment is limited to the period of stay, and after the patient returns to his country, no follow-up is available.
• The emergence of some undisciplined behavior on the part of tourists, and the places of medical tourism are often not subject to regulatory laws, which makes it an unpleasant destination to accompany the family and children.
• Medical tourism can be a major cause of infection and the transmission of diseases carried by tourists from their countries.