February 16th, 2010 by Formosa Medical Travel
Murli Melwani, guest blogging for the Dallas Morning News, praises Taiwan’s abilities in medical tourism:
Have you wondered why even affluent Americans have become medical tourists? According to the Deloitte Center for Health Care Solutions, 750,000 Americans travelled abroad for medical care in 2007. The Center projects that the figure will cross 1.6 million by 2012. …
An important reason why medical dollars go overseas is the status and the approach of doctors in the U.S. I will explain this in terms of my experience with doctors in Taiwan, where I lived for 25 years.
Most of the doctors in Taiwan are trained in the U.S. When they return to home, they do not open their own clinics. They work for Medical University hospitals, hospitals founded by American missionaries, those set up by philanthropic Taiwanese or in government hospitals. Their status: they are employees and they earn a salary.
What is important is the approach of these doctors, which is clinical rather than analytical. The clinical approach is deductive in nature and the doctor draws on his experience and knowledge of symptoms in arriving at his diagnosis. The analytical approach uses the results of tests to draw conclusions.
By contrast, says Melwani, doctors in the United States often order unnecessary treatments and tests, in order to recover their investment in hospital equipment and technology. Melwani recommends that American doctors return to a style more similar to that of Taiwan, where treatment is dictated by need instead of money.
November 11th, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel
In a new report, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions projects medical tourism to rebound strongly from the effects of the economic recession in coming years.
The report, entitled “Medical Tourism: Update and Implications”, says that while outbound medical travel from the United States fell by nearly 14% between 2007 and 2009 as a result of the recession, it is predicted to show a strong resurgence as economic conditions improve. The number of outbound medical travelers could be as much as 5 million per year by 2017, the report suggests, if the industry continues to grow at the expected rate of 35% per year.
Paul H. Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, expects outbound medical tourism to continue its rapid growth despite the efforts at healthcare reform in the United States. “There is nothing in current health reform bills that decelerates the cost of care,” said Keckley, “so that contributes to the appetite that people have.”
Healthcare costs will continue to rise by six percent per year for the next decade, the report says, making medical tourism an increasingly attractive option for the aging US population. With medical tourism “offering savings of up to 70 percent after travel expenses, we anticipate that the industry will recover from the current economic downturn,” said Heckley. ”Medical tourism represents an important option for patient populations who need care but lack adequate out-of-pocket funds to afford a procedure in the U.S., or those who seek lower prices for purposes of savings.”