Intrabound tourism refers to the travel of people within a specific country. Intrabound tourism is a niche sector. There is a difference between domestic and intrabound tourism – as intrabound tourism is more concerned with the implementation of national tourism policies with regards to the tourism ecosystem. Intrabound medical tourism is where people of a country travel to different regions within that country for medical purposes. The reason for travel could be better medical facilities, affordability and better care. For example, the patients from villages can travel to cities to undertake medical treatments that are comparatively superior to those available in villages. It also could be a reverse case where a person might travel to a village for medical treatment owing to low pricing. Intrabound medical tourism is mostly undertaken for surgeries; for example, cosmetic surgery, heart surgery, and so on. However, people also undertake fertility tourism and dental tourism within the country.
Intrabound Medical Tourism: Growth Drivers
Intrabound medical tourism is impacted by globalisation of healthcare. Factors that drive the growth of the intrabound medical tourism sector depend upon aspects such as affordability, technology, need and change. Medical treatments come at a higher price and those patients who cannot afford such high prices opt to travel to regions within the country where the medication is affordable. There are government hospitals that provide improved medication to poor people for free. Also, people who can afford to spend on high medication, travel to big cities where medication costs are high but results are quicker. Patients also travel to other cities in case of unavailability of space and technology. In case of urgency it is easier for people to travel outside their current city and get the medication in case of non-availability.
Developments in technology have furthered the speed and quality of medications. The emergency needs of patients can trigger finding different options for medication in case of unavailability in their region. This facilitates travel from one place to another within the country. Change in environment and better medication can help patients mentally as well as physically and they can recover at a faster rate. Also, there is high competition for inbound tourism and hence intrabound tourism is promoted on a larger scale.
Intrabound Medical Tourism: Challenges
Intrabound medical tourism is associated with certain risks pertaining to local medical care. The quality of post-operative care could be disastrous and vary dramatically depending on the medical facility and the region within the country and may have different standards with respect to medical care, diagnosis and treatment. Climatic change from region to region might affect patients even more by increasing the intensity of sickness. Familiarity of medical faculty and their association with the patients makes it convenient for the faculty to treat the patients as they have knowledge about the patient. But patients travelling to different regions and meeting different medical faculty find it difficult to explain the type of problem and it is difficult for the new medical faculty to treat patients as they do not have any background knowledge about the patient such as existing ailments, allergies, etc. In case of complications, patients might have to stay longer than expected in a different city, which might be inconvenient to the person with regards to finance. Moreover, once they have returned to their respective hometown, it is difficult to efficiently maintain follow-ups with the physician from another city where they have undergone the treatment. Other ethical issues relating to the intrabound medical tourism sector include the illegal purchase of organs and illegal transplantation of tissues; the patient might not be aware of the situation and this could lead to adverse effects resulting in the patient suffering.
Intrabound Medical Tourism: Key Regions
The United States intrabound medical tourism sector is larger than the intrabound medical tourism sector in Europe. The developing regions are promoting intrabound medical tourism on a large scale. Regions such as India, China and Japan are experiencing a rising level of travel of patients within the countries. Europe is a steady growth region.
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Intrabound Medical Tourism Sector Outlook And Analysis
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