Phases in International Patient Management

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Ban on Nigerian Outbound Medical Tourism

Nigerian government is planning to ban outbound medical tourism soon.They will promote the better healthcare facilities within the country itself.Last year India earned $220 million through Nigerian Medical Tourist.This ban will affect the business across the world medical tourism. Wat strategy the medical tourism industries across the world will adopt only time will tell.

Kerala Medical Tourism forms a committee

In its efforts to promote healthcare tourism initiatives, leading hospitals in Kerala have formed a consortium to promote the State as a medical value travel destination.

The society, which was formed following the Kerala Health Tourism Summit with 14 NABH hospitals from across the State, has elected its first set of office-bearers.

EM Najeeb, Executive Director, KIMS, has been elected president. Harish Pillai, CEO, Aster Medcity & Cluster Head (Aster DM Healthcare Hospitals, Kerala) is the secretary; and NM Mujeeb Rahman, Medical Superintendent, MES Medical College will be the treasurer.

The hospitals that were elected to form the executive committee through nominees include Baby Memorial Hospital (North Kerala), Rajagiri Hospital (Central Kerala) and Ananthapuri Hospital (South Kerala).

The objective of the society is to place Kerala on the global medical value travel map and also promote the State as the healthcare hub of India by 2020. Kerala at present attracts only 5-7 per cent of medical value travel, which is equivalent to $200 million annually.

A State with many advantages, Kerala has all the potential required to increase the inflow of medical value tourists by 10–15 per cent. The society believes that this can be achieved by 2020 with a strong, focused marketing strategy.

At present Kerala has 2 JCI accredited, 2 Australian accredited and 24 NABH-accredited hospitals. The society will also work towards the vision of NABH accreditation for all private and public hospitals by 2020, ensuring maximum inflow of medical value tourists to Kerala.

Pre Travel Advice for Medical Tourist

Patients who elect to travel for medical reasons should consult a travel health provider for advice tailored to individual health needs, preferably ≥4–6 weeks before travel. In addition to regular considerations for healthy travel related to their destination, medical tourists should consider the additional risks associated with surgery and travel, either while being treated or while recovering from treatment. Flying and surgery both increase the risk of blood clots and pulmonary emboli. Air pressure in an aircraft is equivalent to the pressure at an altitude of approximately 6,000–8,000 ft (1,829–2,438 m). Patients should not travel for 10 days after chest or abdominal surgery to avoid risks associated with this change in pressure.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises people who have had cosmetic procedures of the face, eyelids, or nose, or who have had laser treatments, to wait 7–10 days before flying. Patients are also advised to avoid “vacation” activities such as sunbathing, drinking alcohol, swimming, taking long tours, and engaging in strenuous activities or exercise after surgery. The Aerospace Medical Association has published medical guidelines for airline travel that provide useful information on the risks of travel with certain medical condition

Dental Tourism in Hungary

Thousands of people undergo cosmetic dentistry in Hungary every month: it’s cheap, it’s fast, Hungarian dentists are world-class, their equipment is modern, and you’ll be in the heart of Old Europe during your treatment.

Each year, more than a million “dental tourists” cross Hungary’s borders to get their teeth done, most of them from neighbouring Austria. Many more come from across Europe, especially the United Kingdom, and from as far as the US or Canada.

Dental tourism in Hungary is so popular among foreigners that some European agencies even specialize in full packages including travel, hotels and dental treatment, all handled by a single agency.

Hungary already had a strong reputation as a dental center, and this was reinforced after the fall of the Berlin Wall with the upgrading and modernizing of the country’s dental facilities. Clinics that cater to foreigners are undeniably modern, using such equipment and procedures as computer-controlled dental chairs or plasma or laser tooth whitening. For a dental implant, Hungary will have prices up to half those of Western Europe.

With Hungary’s accession to the European Union in 2004, Hungarian dentists are now also subjected to European legislation, especially for health norms and consumer legislation, so this makes cosmetic dentistry in Hungary as reliable and safe as anywhere else on the continent.

Ancient Medical Tourism

There is a misconception as to when medical tourism has begun; people have been traveling thousands of years ago for very long distances in order to receive medical aid and to seek cure for their illnesses. These ancient people were in fact health pilgrims in what we call today medical tourists.

In our era, medical tourism has been increasing immensely, it is not a phenomenon of the rich and wealthy only but for millions of people who can receive good quality of healthcare with attractive costs; healthcare which they cannot afford at their country of origin.

People have been traveling for health reasons from ancient history to modern times. Evidence shows that people used to travel to spas and thermal springs because they believed that the waters will cure their illnesses. Remote retreats with fresh air and water were popular among the wealthy people who had tuberculosis for example and other illnesses related to the lungs and heart.

Ancient cultures depict a link between healthcare and religion, many temples have been built near hot springs worshiping gods and performing rituals for the health of the individuals.

The Sumerians around 4000 BC established a health complex which has been built around hot springs, they built temples around the thermal springs for the health pilgrims to use.

Ancient Mesopotamians traveled by camels to Tell Brak in Syria around 3000 BC to find a cure for eye disorders. Tell Brak’s Temple was excavated in 1937. The temple is believed to be a home of a healing god or goddess in what was believed to cure illnesses. It is known as the Eye Temple named for the hundreds of small eye idol figurines.

Hilly tribes in what is known to be St. Moritz in Switzerland today saw the advantage of iron-rich mineral springs, many pilgrims used to come to these thermal springs to bath in the waters which were rich with iron.

India also has had medical travelers swarming into the country in ancient times seeking Ayuverdic medicine and types of yoga brought many people who sought the benefits of these alternative healing methods.

In Ancient Greece era, Epidaurus boasts the most famous shrine for the god of medicine Asklepios, around 300BC. The Sanctuary of Epidaurus was in fact a comprehensive medical tourism network and bears exceptional testimony of the healing methods. There were other temple spas scattered in Greece where health pilgrims (medical tourists) came from all over.

The Mansuri Hospital in Cairo has accommodated around 8000 people and became a healthcare destination for foreigners. People were treated in Mansuri hospital with no connection of their ethnic origin. It was established in 1248 AD and served thousands of ill people from all over the region. The treatments consisted of praying to gods but also have practiced medicine.

If you’ve been to England, a good opportunity is to visit the city of Bath which was founded by the Romans. European Aristocrats went to Bath for healing purposes. Bath has become so popular in Roman Times that it was ahead of London in many ways, including a modern sewage system. Roads have been paved and lodges have been built due to flourishing medical tourism of the wealthy Europeans.

Asia in general was also a prominent place for medical travelers in ancient times. When the Roman Empire had begun to decline, Asia became a prime source of medical tourists who came for medical treatment. The temples around the many thermal springs became hospitals and took care of the travelers who sought to be healed.

The desire of people to seek the best medical service hasn’t changed for thousands of years. One can say that medical tourism is as old as medicine itself. Living in modern times is a great advantage for the medical traveler to find the best location for medical treatment with fast access to health destinations with affordable prices.