Health Tourism

Health Tourism

Social Welfare through International Trade

David Reisman

In this unique and pathbreaking book, David Reisman examines the relatively new phenomenon of health travel. He presents a multidisciplinary account of the way in which lower costs, shorter waiting times, different services, and the chance to combine recreational tourism with a check-up or an operation all come together to make medical travel a new industry with the potential to create jobs and wealth, while at the same time giving sick people high-quality care at an affordable price.

Chapter 5: Differentiation

David Reisman

Subjects: economics and finance, health policy and economics, welfare economics, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, health policy and economics


The third reason is differentiation. Some patients go abroad for a lower price or a shorter wait. Some patients go abroad because the foreign option means a better standard of care. Patients from rich countries are more likely to be attracted by the cost. Patients from developing areas are more likely to be attracted by the quality. Yet there is a third reason. Patients also go abroad because the foreign alternative is quite unlike anything that they can experience at home. The subject of this chapter is the foreign alternative that is unique enough to warrant a visit. Section 1 describes the clinical characteristics. Section 2 explains the pull of a convenient location. Section 3 assesses the attraction of a common culture. Section 4 relates health tourism to recreational tourism. It argues that tourism is tourism. The differences, real as they are, should not blot out the overlap. 5.1 PROCEDURES AND POSSIBILITIES The Sistine Chapel does not travel. The tourist who wants to see its famous frescoes has no choice but to remove himself to Rome. Its counterpart in the field of health would be the Mövenpick Resort or the Anantara Spa at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar on the Dead Sea in Jordan. They promise rejuvenating solar rays without the danger of ultraviolet radiation. They offer a relaxing Dead Sea Mud Wrap which would not be possible without access to health-giving dry flotation. In Cuba the Clinica Cira Garcia is able to treat night blindness and skin diseases that...

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