Medical tourism (also called
medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term initially
coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing
practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health
Such services typically include elective procedures
as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement
(knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries.
The provider and customer use informal channels of communication-connection-contract,
with less regulatory or legal oversight to assure quality and less
formal recourse to reimbursement or redress, if needed.
Leisure aspects typically associated with travel
and tourism may be included on such medical travel trips. Prospective
medical tourism patients need to keep in mind the extra cost of travel
and accommodations when deciding on treatment locations.
A specialized subset of medical tourism is reproductive
tourism, which is the practice of traveling abroad to undergo in-vitro
fertilization and other assisted reproductive technology treatments.