Medical tourism is a new economic force in the global tourism industry. Coined by travel agencies, the term “medical tourism” describes international travel for the purpose of medical treatment or healthcare services. Medical travel, health tourism and global healthcare are other common terms for this global phenomenon.
The medical tourism wave started in the United States. Americans began crossing international borders to escape the rising cost of health insurance, medical services and pharmaceuticals. The practice soon spread to other western countries.
The Asian, European, Latin American and Middle Eastern markets are important niches in the global medical tourism industry. With vision and support from their individual governments, many countries have improved their infrastructures with medical tourism revenue to the tune of billions of dollars a year. Medical tourism is a vital national industry for many countries in the world.
The impact of medical tourism on Americans is equally impressive. Accredited international hospitals are attracting and retaining more United States patients each year. Americans choose medical tourism for various reasons. Cost savings is the major draw but not the only one. Affordable surgeries and hospital costs, shorter waiting periods, modern facilities, cutting-edge technology and world-class surgeons contribute to the attraction of medical tourism.
Progressive treatments are another reason for medical travel. Many international medical centers offer new and experimental treatments that are not available in the United States. Medical tourism has exciting possibilities for many medical conditions, including neurological disorders.
What are Neurological Disorders?
Neurology is the study and treatment of central nervous system disorders and diseases. The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Neurology has several specialty areas including autonomic neurology, behavioral neurology, cerebrovascular disease, child neurology, epilepsy, movement disorders, speech pathology, spine disorders, headache, pain, sleep and more.
Neurological disorders are some of the most challenging conditions in medicine. The neurologists who work in medical tourism diagnose and treat hundreds of disorders and diseases, including many rare and complex conditions. They practice their specialty in globally accredited medical centers, and their peers recognize them for their outstanding skill and expertise.
Neurologists in international hospitals work with other specialists to diagnose and treat foreign patients. They often work with specialists in neurosurgery, pain management, pediatric medicine, psychiatry, psychology, sleep disorders and speech pathology to provide comprehensive medical care.
Medical Developments in Neurology
Medical tourism offers great promise in the fields of neurology and neurosurgery. Medical travelers continue to observe the rise of progressive treatments that are unavailable in the United States and other western countries.
Cutting-edge techniques in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain during neurosurgery is one recent advancement in this medical field. Other medical breakthroughs include new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, pediatric stroke, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Many neurologists and neurosurgeons in medical tourism are members of the American Academy of Neurology. Some are members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, a world leader in neurological education and resources. These highly-skilled and experienced physicians work in world-class hospitals in more than a dozen countries.
Medical travel agencies help American tourists determine the best travel destinations for their particular healthcare needs. Through organized medical tourism databases, medical travelers can search by country, facility or neurological treatment. Travel agencies also provide cost analyses, accommodations and other information pertinent to medical travel.