Ecotourism is defined as travel to undisturbed destinations where the tourist is educated about the area and physical landscape; cultural heritage and characteristics are the main attractions and provides opportunities to help support local communities or fund economic development and conservation of sites or cultural traditions.
It is telling that even with this belief, the deductible for many insured patients is so high that they still travel overseas for treatment. The reality is that most insurers are not only willing to reimburse your medical expenses overseas, they will often be thrilled to solve your problem without paying domestic medical rates.
The issue then becomes getting your records and receipts to the appropriate insurance official. Many hospitals boast strong ties with insurance companies and service with regards to clearing claims as their key advantage over competitors.
If insurance reimbursement is an important part of your medical tourism deliberations, it is important to learn up front if your prospective hospital offers this service and it will be worthwhile to go to a more expensive center if they do not.
This is particularly important when looking at Indian hospitals, which often are very poor in this regard. Tourists from countries with state-run medical systems like Canada and the UK can also often get their treatments reimbursed, though they will need to locate the appropriate offices and forms ahead of time.
Newsweek magazine's special feature on Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand Beyond simple costs, many people appreciate the superior service found in foreign hospitals.
Whereas in the US and EU many tasks are performed by orderlies, in the medical tourism hubs there is a plentiful supply of registered nurses. Where in the west a patient might be told where to go to collect medications or see another doctor, a medical tourist can expect to be escorted.
US doctors are often harried with too many appointments and rush in and out, whereas doctors in major tourist hospitals have much easier work schedules and emphasis is placed on spending time on each patient, both as a matter of patient care and to stress a point of superiority over western hospitals.
Upon checkout, medical tourists are treated courteously, sometimes reverentially to the point of embarrassment depending on the country, and billing is often performed with less hassle and bureaucracy than in the US.
If staying overnight in the hospital, the benefits of medical tourism are overwhelming. When staying multiple nights with a family member, the value of having the extra room and complimentary roll-in beds cannot be understated.
Rooms get cheaper, including singles and even shared rooms, but also get even grander. For the price of a basic single in the United States, a medical tourist could rent an Imperial or Royal Suite at these Thai hospitals, including guest bedrooms, a living room and a dining room. These are especially popular with wealthy Arabs and are often booked weeks or months in advance.
The Phuket hospital is located at the tourist destination of Thailand on the Andaman Sea. Quality One of the major issues that prospective medical tourists grapple with is accepting a reduction in quality, not just in facilities but also in the physicians themselves.
It is natural to assume that if something is cheaper then it must be of lower quality, but for a well-planned medical tour the situation is the opposite. Many people assume that if a doctor is any good he will immediately leave a developing country for a promising career of wealth and prestige in a western country, and many do this with considerable ease in terms of finding a job or getting a visa.
The majority of foreign doctors trained in the US or Western Europe are under various foreign government programs that require they return at the completion of their education and serve the public for a period of several years; approximately years in Thailand, for example.
Most stay after their indentured labor expires, however, both for the desire to stay in their home country and because apart from the monetary incentive, being a physician in the United States is not a particularly enticing position. By staying in their home country, these physicians will receive far more respect for their position than they would in the United States, work fewer hours with less stress, and not have to worry about the frivolous litigation that plagues US doctors.
Further, while by US standards they are paid scraps, by local standards they are very well to do and their lifestyles are as comfortable in their native countries as they would be in the US.
With that in mind, a properly selected doctor for your medical tour will have been trained in the US or Western Europe and, after years of college, med school and residency abroad, they will speak flawless English many patients prefer a charming English accent, finding it comforting, luxurious or both.Keywords: medical travel, medical tourism, Thailand, marketing strategies INTRODUCTION Medical tourism is a new form of niche market in the tourism industry which has grown rapidly in recent years.
The term "medical tourism" describes tourists traveling overseas to obtain health care services such as medical, dental and surgical care. This book chapter was originally published as Dolnicar, S, Market segmentation in tourism, in Woodside, AG and Martin, D (eds), Tourism Management: Analysis, Behaviour and Strategy, CAB International, Cambridge, , Medical tourism describes a new pattern of movement of people for medical care, particularly from wealthier to poorer countries.
Using the example of Thailand, where annually a million non-Thai patients seek medical treatment, this article provides a critical analysis of the political economic contexts for this medical migration.
3. What are the ways to improve medical tourism in India through better marketing strategies? – an assessment of the lacunae in the existing marketing strategies. 4. Is the government doing enough to support the medical tourism industry? – an assessment of the governmental leaning towards the industry.
Research objectives. 1. Tourism, Culture & Communication will consist of main articles, major thematic reviews, position papers on theory and practice, and substantive case studies.
A Reports section will provide coverage of specific initiatives and projects, of work in progress, and of major conferences and seminars. In approaching our marketing strategy, we first looked at how destination marketing has evolved over the years and where our various initiatives and activities are within the consumer journey.