Medical tourism is the term used to describe the movement of patients across international borders in pursuit of medical care and treatment. While in the United States the term is usually associated with Americans leaving the country in search of low-cost treatments — particularly cosmetic surgery, dental care, fertility treatments, and heart surgery — the term also refers to international patients who travel to the United States for care. Generally speaking, international patients who travel to the United States seek access to medical procedures that are either not available in their countries of origin or have better patient outcomes in the United States.
In the medical tourism industry, prestigious hospitals (like the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics) are known for their treatment of international patients. Many of these hospitals have specific services catering to international patients, such as airport pick-up and drop-off, hotel shuttles, translators, and traveling planning assistance. These services are intended to facilitate the medical tourism process and combat the difficulties international patients may encounter, including obtaining a visa or overcoming cultural barriers like language differences. Continue Reading