Healthcare is growing like a new industry and it will keep evolving due to advances in science and technology. In the past, healthcare was seen as almost a mystery where people went to the hospital as a last result and most times they never made it home. Local physicians cared for any variety of aliments and developed personal relationships with their patients. Many times patients and physicians used the barter system to arrange payment for care.
Nowadays, all that has changed. Healthcare has become specialized. With patients seeking different providers for different treatments. Also, patients are researching and gathering information before seeking out care, and come with questions and are now involved in the decision-making process.
The biggest change that I believe has shown that healthcare has grown like a new industry is the growing global industry of medical tourism. It is a global industry because of all the resources that various countries are investing in (Sandberg, 2017). It has grown so fast, and has now become such a large global industry, the insurance companies have joined the industry offering medical insurance for medical tourism (M.R., & Malini, 2016). Noree, Hanefield, & Smith, (2016) have noted that medical tourism brings about $60 billion to the economy annually, and shows signs that it is still growing at about 20% annually. With travel becoming common-place and people traveling for healthcare more than ever before, I see this trend go medical tourism increasing, with healthcare organizations advertising on a global scale to attract consumers, and countries developing laws and regulations to help control resources while generating revenue through taxes and fees.
M.R., P., & Malini, D. H. (2016). Medical tourism insurance. Journal of the Insurance Institute of India, 3(4), 6-9.
Noree, T., Hanefield, J., & Smith, R. (2016). Medical tourism in Thailand: A Cross-sectional study. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 94(1),
Sandberg, D. S. (2017). Medical tourism: An Emerging global healthcare industry. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 10(4), 281-288.
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