The term “medical tourism” has come to embrace all facets of consumers seeking treatment, improvement or change through medical or wellness practices – provided they cross an international border to do so.
Medical tourism, medical travel, health travel, wellness tourism, global health care – all of these phrases are used more or less to describe this phenomenon.
“Medical tourism” is the go-to keyword phrase for internet searches. For search engines like Google and Bing, “medical tourism” by far exceeds any other phrase when searching to find cross-border health care options.
Finding a common definition of medical tourism
When looking for information about medical treatment abroad, media and consumers alike will continue to search for the term “medical tourism” for the foreseeable future.
Should it matter that there is not a common definition or understanding of “medical tourism?”
Not having a common understanding of the phrase “medical tourism,” for example, affects the quality of data gathering and academic research, how media reports on the industry, what government policies and business plans are made.
Questions such as, How are medical tourists to be counted? or, Should medical travelers be counted instead of – or separate from – medical tourists? illustrate the difficulties presented when there is no common understanding or description of medical tourism.
The answers depend on a common understanding or definition of the phrases that have come to represent travelers accessing health.
Download What is Medical Tourism? the third title in MTQUA Best Practices in Medical Tourism series.