n. 1 (context pejorative English) travel across international borders, generally from a rich country to a poor country, to deliver healthcare, often on a temporary basis. Shaywitz, D.A., & Ausiello, D.A. (2002). Global Health: A Chance for Western Physicians to Give - and Receive. ''The American Journal of Medicine'', 113, 354-357.Bezruchka, S. (2000). Medical Tourism as Medical Harm to the Third World: Why? For Whom? ''Wilderness and Environmental Medicine'', 11, 77-78.Roberts, M. (2006). Duffle Bag Medicine. ''Journal of the American Medical Association'', 295, 1491-1492.Pinto, A.D., & Upshur, R.E.G. (2009). Global Health Ethics for Students. ''Developing World Bioethics'', 9, 1-10.James, D. (1999). Going Global. ''The New Physician'', 48, online. Accessed 7 May 2009. [http://www.mendeley.com/research/global-health-ethics-for-students/]Jim Baraldi. "A harm in 'medical tourism.' The poor need lasting efforts to improve global health, not feel-good field trips." [http://articles.philly.com/2009-09-25/news/25269011_1_global-health-medical-tourism-mission-trip] ''The Philadelphia Inquirer''. September 25, 2009.. 2 travel across international borders to obtain health careGahlinger, PM. The Medical Tourism Travel Guide: Your Complete Reference to Top-Quality, Low-Cost Dental, Cosmetic, Medical Care & Surgery Overseas. Sunrise River Press, 2008..
Medical tourism is the travel of people to a place other than where they normally reside for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment in that country. Traditionally, people would travel from less-developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for medical treatment that was unavailable in their own communities; the recent trend is for people to travel from developed countries to third-world countries for medical treatments because of cost consideration, though the traditional pattern still continues. Another reason for travel for medical treatment is that some treatments may not be legal in the home country, such as some fertility procedures.
Some people travel to obtain medical surgeries or other treatments. Some people go abroad for dental tourism or fertility tourism. People with rare genetic disorders may travel to another country where treatment of these conditions is better understood. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services, is available.
Health tourism is a wider term for travels that focus on medical treatments and the utilization of healthcare services. It spans a wide field of health-oriented tourism ranging from preventive and health-conductive to rehabilitational and curative forms of travel; the latter being commonly referred to as Medical tourism. Wellness tourism is another related field. On the occasion of the 9th National Conference on Health Economy held in Rostock/Germany in 2013, it has been defined as (...) the branch of health and tourism economy that contributes to maintaining and restoring health and well-being in particular by using validated medical services.