Medical Tourism an African Phenomenon?

By Febby Madzudzo

With medical tourism traditionally, people were travelling from third world or underdeveloped countries to developed countries however the trend has changed as most people/countries are going to countries in Asia in search of better medical treatment.

The major pull factors in medical tourism is cheap and quality healthcare in destination countries, and the unavailability or lack of some important medical procedures in the home country.

Poor health infrastructures in terms of hospitals and the shortage of doctors in different specialties, which is a common site in African countries has resulted in people looking medical treatment elsewhere. Africa has become the main source for patients that re seeking health care in other countries.

This practice of traveling abroad to get medical treatment is a result of either too delayed, unavailable or unaffordable at own home countries.Medical tourism has challenged the present system of government and state-bound healthcare delivery systems.

In Zimbabwe most people travelling abroad for medical treatment it’s because of the unavailability of some medical experts for example in cases that involve transplantations and cardiac surgeries, some have sought for medical expertise in countries which are developed.

The local hospitals are able to cater for other parts and process of a medical journey for patients but the lack of technology and a vast number of specialist has led to the rise of this global phenomenon of medical tourism.

The cheap and quality health conditions of countries that are the main destinations has led to a large influx of people to travel to these countries.The world being a global village or globalization has made it easier for people to travel abroad for medical treatment.

This has resulted in the rise of medical tourism in Africa which maybe a new phenomenon.

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