Health Tourism Introduction With the development of society, more and more people take more care of their health. Health tour is a good way for people to cure their disease or maintain their health. It is becoming more and more popular and playing an important role in tourism industry As it known to all, Asia has many resource for health tour, such as the nature environment and the experience of health care. India and China are famous places for health care. But Health tourism is more booming in Europe than in Asia. Why? Asian health tourism also should be promoted.
The purpose of this essay is to analysis the definition of health tourism and the advantages and obstacles of promoting health tourism across Asia. Definition of “health tourism” Health tourism is also called Medical tourism ? medical travel and global health care. It is a term to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling to get health care. And, It is an commercial action that some sellers deliberately promoting its health-care services and facilities to attract tourists. Such as Most of the natural therapeutic resorts, as well as the spa resorts, offer the possibility of combining your visit with a range of holistic treatments.
This kind of treatment includes water therapy, Ayurvedic medicine, and conventional massages. And most of the therapeutic resorts are hotels offering special vacation packages that include treatments and pampering, as well as board and lodging. The advantages and obstacles of promoting health tourism across Asia Advantages: Firstly, from the angle of the economy, it includes price dominance? physical infrastructures and market economics. Asian countries have many resources for health tourism and adequate labor that can provide comparable medical tourist services at lower prices.
For example, China is becoming a destination for Westerners who want to take advantage of stem cell treatments . Hong Kong offered A wide range of health care services. It has 12 private hospitals and 39 public hospitals in 2006, providing 3124 and 27755 beds respectively. India is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine. The government and private hospital groups are committed to the goal of making India a leader in the industry. The industry’s main appeal is low-cost treatment.
Singapore has a dozen hospitals and health centers with JCI accreditation. In 2000, The World Health Organization ranked Singapore’s health care system sixth best in the world, the highest ranked system in Asia . Patients from developed countries such as the United States and the UK are also beginning to choose Singapore as their medical travel destination for relatively affordable health care services in a clean cosmopolitan city. Water, Waste management, Telecommunications, Power Transport, Money and Banking are all the physical infrastructures.
Thailand, one of the countries in Asia, for 5 years, staring in 2005, the Thailand government plants to invest US$41 billion, or 26 percent of GDP in infrastructure such as electricity, transportation, housing, irrigation, health and education. Market economy is very important to the development of health tourism. Health tourism as a commercial transaction must be develop in a free market. Economic globalization is a trends in modern society. It is the same in Asia. The Asian Financial Crisis in July 1997 is enough to prove it. Medical tourism is a growing segment of Thailand’s tourism and health-care sectors.
In 2005, one Bangkok hospital took in 150,000 treatment seekers from abroad. In 2006, medical tourism was projected to earn the country 36. 4 billion baht. Secondly, from the angle of the policy, health tourism needs developed political and legal institutions. It consists of political environment? legal system ? low, order and the provision of a safe environment. China is country who pay more attention to the social health system especially to the poor. So the legal system to protect the health care agency. It is good for health tourism. Thirdly, from the angle of the society, it includes Domestic research and development ? he influence of high-tech medicine and traditional healing? Tourist appeal? Human capital. It is known to all that Asia has many resources of health-care, like the Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. So it can be used to the domestic research and development. We are in a technology society now, technology is the impetus of health industry. New products should be produce with technology. By developing the technology to promote the health tourism is an important strategy. The most important thing is that some Asian countries combine the high-tech medicine and traditional healing , so that traditional experience and technology can be combine.
The reputation of Asian medicine is high, tourists appeal to travelling to Asian to get health care. Because some methods is close to nature and its side-effect is least. So it is attractive. Finally, human capital is also a important thing to develop health tourism. Westerners go overseas to countries such as China and India not because it is cheap, but because it is highly educated. The skill and educated is the productivity to health industry. Countries that have more human capital, especially human capital appropriate for the medical tourism industry are at an advantage over those who that do not.
And it is one of the advantages in Asia. Obstacles: Firstly, there are many international regulations in the world. Patent is very important to economy. And it also very important for a company , it can be looked as productivity. If new products created by a company can not be protect, there will be many fake products and the competition of this company will be reduced. Western countries pay much attention to the patent, even some of them will look it as the life of the economy. You know that patent is not be much accounted in many Asian countries. Some health-care products can not be protected well.
It lead to some sellers can not make much money. So the passion of them will be reduced. It will affect the development of the health tourism. Secondly, international standard and accreditation or credentialing is also a obstacle for health tourism to develop. Although it is globalization nowadays, there are still many problems about accreditation or credentialing. If someone want to go aboard, maybe it is not easy for some countries. The process may be vey confused. The standard of international is not in a high level since the developing standard is different for many countries.
Maybe it is very convenient between European countries, but not the same in other countries like in Asia. So sometimes travel to other countries for health travel is not an easy thing to many people. Thirdly, public and private health insurance in source countries increase the portability of health tourism. I think health traveling is an kind of consumption, if it need more people to consume it, it must have some policy to ensure it. So that people will not be afraid of fear. Most of the Asian countries are not very poor, farmers occupy most in the total population. The heath insurance of health-care has been less developed.
These countries always pay more attention to their economy and policy. Many Asian countries have been the colony in the history. At that time, they have no economic sovereignty. So the standard of their economy is not in a high level. Absolutely, it is worse than western countries. So both public and pravite health insurance in sourse countries in Asia is in shortage. This may obstruct the development of health tourism. Fourthly, legal resourse and protection of patients is also very important. All the patients must be respected by the whole society. Be respected by others and every one be look as equal is also one of the human rights.
If someone who travel for health to an Asian country, he or she shouldn’t be discriminated. I have heard a news said that a man who has a strange disease and he travel to Thailand to cure this disease. Few days later he was known by many people. He got exposure by the journalists in Thailand. I think it is not good for him and his wellness. And it is not the humanism. The value system is different in different countries. But all we should do is protect the patients as much as we can. Since the standard of legalization is not high, the government must lay down some laws to protect the health tourism in Asia.
In European, the regulation system is very strong. Fifthly, entry requirements and transportation is a problem in Asia. Because the economy is not strong in Asia, the infrastructure is not enough and without high quality. Without transportation, the communication will be less. Tourists from other countries can not get Asia for health tourism and the resource from different areas and not be exchange. So, to promote the health travel, traffic system must be improve and perfect. Or else, it will obstruct the promoting of the health tourism. Conclusion In this essay, I talk about something about health tourism.
It include the definition and the advantages and obstacles it promoting in Asia. If we want to develop the health tourism in Asia, we must make the most of it and change the obstacles to advantages, so that it can be well-developed. Reference: http://www. jointcommissioninternational. org/23218/iortiz/ JointCommission International (JCI) Accredited Organizations . Health system attainment and performance in all Member States, ranked by eight measures, estimates for 1997 Medical Tourism: Hidden dimensions by Rabindra Seth, Express Hospitality, June, 2006, retrieved September 12, 2006