Monday, November 30, 2009

Medical Tourism Update: Hold the Plane!

Despite the efforts of some carriers to promote so-called "medical tourism," the floundering economy is taking its toll on the nascent industry. Today's McPaper reports on a study "by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research center focused on trends in the health care system":

"From 2007 to 2009, the number of Americans traveling abroad for elective medical procedures is expected to have fallen as much as 13.6%"

That's quite a drop in such a short period. Of course, it's kind of a double-bind: folks look to overseas providers in order to save money on health care costs, but find that any savings is offset by incrweased travel costs and decreased assets.

Of course, this may be just a short-term hit; if and/or when the economy rebounds, one would expect that these folks will once again find that traveling abroad for certain procedures is a net savings. Indeed, the Center expects that "the number of American medical tourists will rise by 35% each year through 2012," due to "[p]ent-up demand and improvements in international medical care."

My Magic 8-Ball (on loan from Bob), though, says "Maybe."
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