AMA meeting: Guidelines target safety of medical tourists

by Karen Caffarini ,  AM News | 2008-07-07

With patients increasingly considering overseas trips for care, new principles outline how they should be protected.

Acknowledging that lower costs are luring a growing number of patients abroad for medical treatment, the AMA's House of Delegates adopted nine new guiding principles at its Annual Meeting to ensure the safety of those medical tourists.

The principles -- which the AMA said were the first of their kind -- provide steps that the organization said should be considered by patients, employers, insurers and others when coordinating medical travel.

"Medical tourism is in its infancy, although it is growing very fast. It is still too early to determine whether the risks outweigh the advantages. We need to address this issue in its initial stage," said W.J. Terry, MD, a Mobile, Ala., urologist and member of the AMA Council on Medical Service.

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