Cities Journal

Medical Tourism On The Rise


Traditionally, ‘medical tourists’ were patients who travelled to Mexico or overseas for treatment, usually to save some money.

According to Patients Beyond Borders, the United States is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world, along with Turkey, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Some of the most desired specialties for medical travelers are cosmetic surgery, cardiovascular, dentistry, cancer, weight loss and orthopedics.

However, more Americans are becoming medical tourists within the country, and the Sunshine State is one of the trend’s biggest hot spots. The trend is referred to as domestic medical tourism, and it is booming right now.

Dr. Richard Klein, section chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center at the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health, said that the trend is flourishing.

“I’ve seen the trend firsthand with some of my patients at the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health. In fact, one came all the way from San Diego to undergo a procedure known as vascular lymph node transfer surgery. When this patient first travelled to Florida, she was on vacation and came to enjoy the sun and world-famous theme parks. On her second visit she came for the sun, theme parks and for surgery.”

Florida recently considered spending $5 million to market itself as a medical destination, and large corporations are supporting it. Lowes, Walmart and the supermarket Kroger have all negotiated deals with certain hospitals around the country to offer care to their employees who need it. These companies are also paying travel expenses to send their employees across state lines for treatment.

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