Medical Tourism: A New Role for Nursing?

By Ben-Natan, Merav; Ben-Sefer, Ellen et al. | Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, September 2009 | Go to article overview

Medical Tourism: A New Role for Nursing?


Ben-Natan, Merav, Ben-Sefer, Ellen, Ehrenfeld, Malka, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing


Abstract

Medical tourism is on the rise; however this healthcare trend raises significant issues related to the safety and appropriateness of care. The purpose of this article is to provide healthcare professionals with a better understanding of the phenomenon of medical tourism. The authors will begin by reviewing the history of medical tourism, noting specific medical tourism destinations, and presenting reasons for this increase in medical tourism. Next they will discuss quality and safety issues associated with medical tourism, provide criteria to assess quality of care in other countries, and address ethical and legal consideration inherent in medical tourism. They will conclude with a consideration of the nursing role in medical tourism.

Citation: Ben-Natan, M., Ben-Sefer, E., Ehrenfeld, M., (July 22, 2009) "Medical Tourism: A New Role for Nursing?" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol. 14, No. 3. Available: www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Voll42009/No3Sept09/Articles -Previous-Topics/Medical-Tourism.aspx

Key words: accreditation, criteria for selecting medical tourism sites, international healthcare costs, medical tourism, quality of care in medical tourism, nursing role in medical tourism

Medical tourism is on the rise; however this healthcare trend raises significant issues related to the safety and appropriateness of care. Medical tourists travel to undergo executive health evaluations, ophthalmologic care, cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery, joint resurfacing or replacement, cardiac surgery, organ and stem cell transplantation, gender reassignment surgery, and in-vitro fertilization.

Medical tourism has been defined as travel with the express purpose of obtaining health services abroad. Although medical tourism may also be defined as travel for the purpose of delivering healthcare (Bishop & Litch, 2000; Comarow, 2008), this article will focus on medical tourism that seeks to obtain healthcare in another country.

The purpose of this article is to provide healthcare professionals with a better understanding of the phenomenon of medical tourism. The authors will begin by reviewing the history of medical tourism, noting specific medical tourism destinations, and presenting various reasons for this increase in medical tourism. Next they will discuss quality and safety issues associated with medical tourism, provide criteria to assess quality of care in other countries, and address ethical and legal consideration inherent in medical tourism. They will conclude by considering the nursing role in medical tourism.

History of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is not a new phenomenon. Even in ancient times, people traveled to other countries for health-related purposes (Bookman & Bookman, 2007; Horowitz, Rosensweig, & Jones, 2007). The ancient Greeks and Egyptians went to hot springs and baths to improve their health. The first recorded case of medical tourism describes Greek pilgrims who traveled from the Mediterranean Sea to Epidaurus, a small territory in the Sardonic Gulf. It was said that this small territory was the sanctuary of Asclepius, known as the healing god. Since the 1500s India has enjoyed a rich history of providing yoga instruction as well as Ayurvedic healing to patients from around the world. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Europeans and Americans flocked to health spas and sanitariums, sometimes in remote places, in the hope that they would obtain relief from their disabling conditions, such as tuberculosis, gout, bronchitis, or liver diseases. Especially in Europe, well-to-do people, over the years, have traveled to spas to "take the waters" for various cures. In summary, historical accounts abound with reports of those who have traveled to seek improvement for their health.

However, traveling forthe purpose of receiving treatments, such as dental surgery, cosmetic surgery, and other complex procedures is a relatively new phenomenon, having begun only in the 1980s (Horowitz & Rosensweiq, 2007; Smith & Puczko, 2008). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Medical Tourism: A New Role for Nursing?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.