With increasing availability of information and supporting infrastructure, the demand for medical tourism is rising. Individuals seeking medical attention outside their home region have grown steadily all over the globe. Medical tourism is now an important sector contributing significantly to a big number of world economies.
A few ways in which medical tourism is helping healthcare globally are discussed below.
There is an increase in the availability of user-friendly softwares and applications for storing, retrieving and operating on data. This allows medical information and other relevant knowledge to be used efficiently, to draw inferences and improve transparency in the healthcare sector.
Systematically stored medical data of each individual helps doctors and diagnosticians to frame a unique course of treatment to minimize recovery period. With the view of enabling efficient document sharing, medical facilities invest in database sharing and maintaining services which help doctors in any country to view patient data to improve decision-making.
Before the limelight on global medical tourism was prominent, detailing of the information technology factor was lacking. With the advent of global tourism, knowledge processing as an asset to healthcare systems has become popular.
Since the demand for healthcare tourism is increasing, existing facilities in prospective destinations prove to be insufficient to accommodate the rising influx of patients. This leads to proposal, planning and execution of newer, better facilities equipped with advanced technology and machinery. At the same time, existing facilities update their technological front owing to increased competition. Thus, global healthcare tourism gives rise to development in infrastructure.
With improvement in infrastructure, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now use special technologies in various fileds of treatment. Source: Walleigh via en.wikipedia.org
Besides technology, another pillar on which the world-class status of the hospitals and clinics rest is its workforce. With the rise in demand for medical attention from foreigners, healthcare facilities take extra precautions to give impetus to further education and training for its employees. This leads to improvement in the quality of healthcare professionals being employed, which further develop the overall standards of the system .
A prospective patient travelling to another country takes into consideration a number of factors before finalizing a destination. Safety and quality of healthcare ranks the highest in terms of weightage in decision-making.
To improve chances of receiving medical tourists, facilities around the world remodel healthcare policies and adopt a number of rules and regulations. These are advised by organizations involved in the drafting of International Standards, like the Joint International Commission (JCI).Applications to receive accreditation from such organizations are on the rise.
In order to qualify for the accreditation, some of the parameters that facilities improve upon, are - hygiene, availability of wide options in treatments and high standards in ethics and legal matters. These immensely contribute to overall improvement in the healthcare system.
There are 841 JCI accredited hospitals across the globe and many more are improving their services to attain this quality sandard. Source: Pfree2014 via en.wikipedia.org
With the aim of attracting more and more foreigners to avail medical attention at their facility, medical institutions are beginning to explore ways to improve and expand the array of treatments they offer. New specialties are setup to cater to patients seeking specific treatments, existing faculty is given impetus to participate in research and discover newer methods to improve the institution’s chances of claiming a unique selling point.
Necessity is the mother of all inventions - this phrase holds true in the case of medical tourism as well. As the medical institutions gather information on the demands of the inbound patients, they strive to come up with innovative measures to meet those needs. With a view to expand business, medical facilities all over the world invest in scientific research, thus enabling global development in science and technology.
It can thus be observed that cross border tourism gives momentum to the development of various facets of healthcare all around the world. It not only boosts the economy, but also leads to advancement in other aspects like facilities, professionals, provision of treatments, etc. of the healthcare sector.