Table of Contents

Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility

Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility

Edited by Neil Lunt, Daniel Horsfall and Johanna Hanefeld

The growth of international travel for purposes of medical treatment has been accompanied by increased academic research and analysis. This Handbook explores the emergence of medical travel and patient mobility and the implications for patients and health systems. Bringing together leading scholars and analysts from across the globe, this unprecedented Handbook examines the regional and national experiences of medical tourism, including coverage of the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The chapters explore topics on issues of risk, law and ethics; and include treatment-focused discussions which highlight patient decision-making, patient experience and treatment outcomes for cosmetic, transplantation, dentil, fertility and bariatric treatment.

Chapter 10: Financing mechanisms

Johanna Hanefeld and Richard Smith

Subjects: economics and finance, health policy and economics, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


Medical tourism is often associated with patients travelling for treatment to an exotic destination where they pay out-of-pocket for their treatment, received mainly in the private sector. Yet the term medical travel or tourism covers a range of different types of travel including where patients travel as part of government schemes purchasing medical services abroad, where patients return to their home country to receive treatment – often called diaspora patients, or cross-border areas which operate schemes allowing patients from different countries to access services. It also extends to where patients travel because they are unable to access a type of treatment at home or when a treatment is not accessible to them. This type of treatment, where there is less patient choice, is sometimes referred to as medical migration. In this chapter, the authors review different types of financing mechanisms used by patients travelling for treatment, and they explore how different types of financing mechanisms link to specific types of travel and industry models.

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