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Document Abstract
Published: 2007

Medical tourism: subsidising health care for developed countries

Impact of medical tourism on access to health care in rural areas
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This article, produced by the Third World Network, looks at the impact of medical tourism in India. In this instance, medical tourism refers to the practice where people from rich nations travel to poorer countries to obtain medical care. The article focuses on the impact of medical tourism on local people’s access to health care. It argues that due to the medical tourism boom, private hospitals are expanding and demand more human resources. Qualified medical professionals from the public sector and small towns or hospitals are attracted to urban health centres, and this means that there are fewer available to care for local populations living in rural areas.

The paper also highlights other problems that are exacerbated by medical tourism. For instance a lack of proper medical waste management systems and accountability of private hospitals has resulted in medical waste being dumped into rivers or seas. The article concludes that India should not promote medical tourism and the government should focus its efforts on ensuring that the basic health care needs of all of its citizens are met.
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N. M. Vijay

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