What is it? Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global health care) 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 care. Kerala in health tourism Kerala, or God’s Own Country as its corporate slogan goes, has pioneered health and medical tourism in India. They have made a concerted effort to promote health tourism in a big way, which has resulted in a substantial increase of visitor arrivals into the state.
Kerala and Ayurveda have virtually become synonymous with each other. However, though Kerala has strongly focussed on Ayurveda and its wide array of treatments and medications, good facilities are also available in the other traditional forms of medicine as well as in modern medical treatment. The bias towards health tourism in Kerala is so strong that Kerala Ayurveda Centres have been established at multiple locations in various metro cities, thus highlighting the advantages of Ayurveda in health management.
The health tourism focus has seen Kerala participate in various trade shows and expos wherein the advantages of this traditional form of medicine are showcased. Kerala,India has one of the best qualified professionals in each and every field,Allopathi,Dental,Ayurveda etc and this fact has now been realized the world over. Regarding Medical facilities Kerala has the most competent doctors and world class medical facilities. With most competitive charges for treatment, Kerala is a very lucrative destination for people wanting to undergo treatment of certain medical problems who do not need immediate emergency treatment.
Health tourism as a boon The important advantages are: ? Ayurveda becomes popular ? Ayurveda regains it lost name and prestige ? Can attract more touristors ? Employment (1 emp/1000 tourist) (labor intensive, few administrative positions, little upward mobility. ) ? Infrastructure development (roads, water, electricity, telecom and cybercom, but not necessarily local priorities. ) ? Cultural preservation (economic incentives to preserve food, fashion, festivals and physical history, but these tend to be superficial elements of a culture. ? Environmental protection (econ incentives to preserve nature, wildlife and urban cleanliness) ? Foreign exchange (generates resources to import food, pharmaceuticals, technology, consumer goods. ) ? Development of health care services (those these aren’t always available to local people. ) Health tourism as a curse Although there are countless advantages and benefits to medical tourism, there are also a few disadvantages, dangers, and concerns of which you should be aware. Medical tourism is a trade-off, pure and simple.
Although you might receive personalized attention, quality health care, convenience, affordable pricing, and a chance to experience a new culture, you occasionally sacrifice familiarity and certain legal guarantees. The disadvantages are: • Cultural destruction, (modernization (world mono-culture), freezes culture as performers, loss: language, religion, rituals, material culture. ) • Environmental destruction (game drives, resorts: golf, ski, beach, desert, world as play ground,SUV. • Earginal employment (low skill, low wage, menial services, prostitution, drug trade, gambling, hustlers. ) • Low benefits (no job security, no health care, no organizing, no work safety rules or environmentstandards. ) • Development of illegal and/or destructive economic activities (markets for drugs, endangered species, etc. ) • Outside hiring (skilled middle and senior management recruited out of the area and transferred in. ) • Concentration employment (walled resort enclaves. ) • Seasonal employment Outside decision making (decisions made outside of the area, corporate dollars corrupt government . ) • Unrealistic expectations (divert young people from school and brighter futures. ) • Anti-democratic collusion (industry support of repressive governments) • Land controlled by the elite (people relocated, agriculture eliminated, prohibited from N. P. ) • Negative lifestyle’s (STD’s, substance abuse, begging, hustling) • Diverted and concentrated development (airport, roads, water, electricity to tourist destinations,development not accessible to locals), • Little for ex stays in ountry (airplanes, vehicles, booze, hot air balloons, generally have foreign owners) , • Package programs • Cruises (eat and sleep on board so the economic benefits to the ports-of-call is very thin and limited. ) • Unstable market (fickle, affected by local and world events, generally highly elastic) • Health tourism (traveling to get medical procedure at lower cost) has it own set of unique challenges, which include: Determining the credential, skills and quality of the facility and personnel.
Language communication challenges on topics requiring a lot of details, sometimes even when both parties seemingly speak the same language. Different cultural issues and expectations around health care and the body. Post-treatment complications, after the “tourist” has left the facility. Environmental Impact Most people going for medical treatment abroad tend to combine travel and tourism along with the medical procedure. This means that the country where you go for the treatment has to build more hotels to accommodate the ever growing number of patients cum tourists.
The government resorts to deforestation to build more hotels and provide better civil amenities because medical tourism is a way of earning revenue and foreign exchange. In addition, medical tourism is also responsible for contributing to increased air emissions, noise, solid waste and littering, releases of sewage, oil and chemicals, even architectural/visual pollution; all which has negative impact on the environment. Medical tourism creates great pressure on local resources like energy, food and other raw material, which could be already in short supply in that country.
Even natural resources like water, especially fresh water, is affected as medical tourism like any other tourism generally tends to overuse water resources for hotels, swimming pools, and personal use of water by the tourists. This results in shortage of water and degradation of water supplies as well as generating large volumes of waste water. From fiscal aspect, medical tourism is good for a country but the environmental impacts of medical tourism are always negative