Are Americans Afraid of Traveling for Medical Care?

A medical tourism facilitator recently asked, “Are Americans afraid of medical tourism?”  Unfortunately, the term “medical tourism” is a vexing part of the problem, as are companies who promote luxury travel over the quality of medical care.  Soter Healthcare believes the quality of care and its outcome is much more important.

According to Wikipedia, “medical tourism” was coined by travel agents and the media to describe the practice of crossing international borders to seek medical care.  Frankly, the term is part of the problem for many, and it’s complicated by the fact that many involved in the industry focus more on the place and leisure opportunities than the quality of medical care.

medical tourismPersonally, it sounds too much like going on vacation to have a medical procedure.  If there are scalpels involved, this is not a vacation, and I will have more on my mind than not getting sand in my incision as it heals.  I want to start my recovery in a medical center of excellence and complete it at home, just as I would without travel.  It’s hard to take a medical tourism provider seriously when the focus is on beaches, luxury resorts or cultural sites.

Using the “medical tourism” logic, a business person traveling for a meeting becomes a corporate tourist, and agencies involved in international aid are relief tourists.  If one is a patient at home, why is that same person not still a patient while traveling for medical care?

According to a Deloitte & Touche report, an estimated 90% of Americans are willing to travel outside their communities for higher quality medical care.  These are people with important medical needs, not just vacationers going to a doctor.

At Soter Healthcare, one of our founders has more than 20 years in destination medical care, much of it in support of America’s Olympic athletes.  Ours is the serious business of medical care, using the resources of affordable, accessible, world-class medical providers to meet the needs of American patients.  We’ve opened a world of medical opportunities, including access to the latest in medical technology and technique.  It’s not tourism.  It’s your health.

To learn more about the world of medical opportunities available for you and your family, contact us today.

3 Responses to “Are Americans Afraid of Traveling for Medical Care?”
  • Toni Walker says:

    I didn’t even know this existed, but now that I do, wow! I just found out there is a possibility my daughter can get treatment we thought was impossible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • Jamie Pampas says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Too many people are afraid of what they don’t know anything about. There are awesome hospitals and terrible ones in any country. I don’t understand why Americans think every hospital abroad has dirt floors and unskilled doctors. I know two of the hospitals in your network, and they are WAY better than any hospital in Little Rock, where I live.

  • Dennis Dobrecki says:

    Interesting article and I agree with the premise a patient should want to recover in a medical center of excellence, not a beach.

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