Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility
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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.
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Chapter 28: The national context of medical travel within Japan

Hiroyoshi Endo, Serina Okamura and Masafumi Toya


This chapter provides a commentary on the present state and challenges regarding the acceptance of international patients in Japan. Despite some heightened expectations that medical tourism could be an engine of growth for Japan, various challenges have emerged to stymie such aspirations. However, it is necessary to open up Japanese medical institutions so that people are more willing to visit Japan and undergo examination and treatment in environments that are accredited as secure and safe. In addition to Japan’s advanced medical devices and technology, international patients also have high expectations of ordinary medical services available to everyone under Japan’s universal health insurance system. Treating international patients within Japan’s medical institutions will also pave the way for objective evaluations of healthcare in Japan according to global criteria. Appropriate development of medical tourism is expected to help strengthen Japan’s global presence in the field of medical services and at the same time to improve the quality of medical services offered domestically, thereby gaining greater support and understanding of the Japanese people and those in the medical profession for such an outward-looking initiative.

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