Summary: When people travel from their own country or their own city to another for care, it’s called medical tourism. How much is there? Depends on who you talk to, and how you define it. “Mexico is already the world’s second-biggest medical tourism destination (behind Thailand), generating $3 billion in 2014. Mexican agencies expect that with increased investment, the country could grow medical tourism revenues to $10 billion-$12 billion in the next seven to eight years. Oil-rich countries in the Middle East, notably the UAE and Saudi Arabia, view better health care provision – including medical tourism – as a way to diversify their economies,” according to a 2016 Deloitte study. Some U.S. destinations, including Las Vegas, have sought to develop a medical tourism industry. Here’s a look at Central Florida’s attempt to become a destination. Here’s a slightly dated roundup on international medical providers. Also, a number of big-name hospitals — M.D. Anderson and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, for example — actively pursue patients from overseas, but real figures are hard to find.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder