The idea of Americans flying overseas to get a heart valve replacement before sightseeing at the Taj Mahal is no longer foreign.The idea of Americans flying overseas to get a heart valve replacement before sightseeing at the Taj Mahal is no longer foreign.
In fact, medical tourism is a $40 billion business globally, and the people packing their bags most frequently are Americans. Numerous nations--notably India, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia--are making a lot of money off the American healthcare system's problems, but it isn't all bad news for the U.S. Medical tourism companies are cropping up across the country--approximately 50 so far--and there's no end in sight.
"It's exploding, right now, this year," says Josef Woodman, author of Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody's Guide to Affordable, World-class Medical Tourism. "Medical tourism isn't a gimmick, it's not fun in the sun, like the press used to say. It's become a component of the larger global healthcare landscape, and because of that, there are business opportunities out there."