Edited by Neil Lunt, Daniel Horsfall and Johanna Hanefeld
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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