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‘Medical Tourism’ is a branch of health tourism where an individual travels to another country to benefit from healthcare services there. The main reason for health tourism is to receive timely healthcare services at a reasonable price.

Medical tourism is different from conventional medical trips. In conventional trips, the individual travels from a developing country to a developed one to obtain medical treatment, due to lack of such healthcare services in their own country. In medical tourism, similar medical services are offered by home and foreign countries, but the individual prefers those offered in a foreign country [1].

Medical tourism services vary according to the tourist’s choice of destination. The tourist may choose from a wide range of services, from basic dentistry ones to major surgeries such as knee replacement surgery, heart surgery, plastic surgery, etc.

Medical tourism has its roots in ancient times in Greece. At that time, people from different places traveled across the Mediterranean Sea to reach a place called ‘Epidaurus’ on the Saronic Gulf. They believed that ‘Asclepius’, the altar of the Healing God of Greek, was located there. Patients sought healing through fasting and praying. Currently, Epidaurus is known as the oldest attraction for medial tourism in the world.

Procedure

First, an individual goes to a travel agency offering medical tourism services. Travel agents ask the individual of the cause of their disease, opinions of the attending specialist, medical records, and the medication taken by the individual. Afterwards, medical tourism officers offer suggestions on the countries of destination, hospitals, physicians, and costs from which the patient may choose. Finally, the patient is referred to the embassy of the destination country to receive a visa on production of the verification of their medical status. Then, the patient may travel to the country and receive treatment.

Some travel agencies offer administrative services before and after the treatment such as fixing interview appointments. Having Gone through all stages, the patient may stay in the country of destination for a while or return to their home country.