New Medical Tourism Index developed by professor Marc Fetscherin helps consumers find less costly medical treatment alternatives in other countries.
Nearly 1 million Americans travel to other countries to seek medical treatments, and many more will likely try it in the future. Yet few tools have been available to help people compare the best and most economical healthcare outside the U.S.
Marc Fetscherin, associate professor of international business at Rollins College, is the co-developer of the Medical Tourism Index (MTI). It examines what Americans think of different countries as medical tourism destinations and considers criteria such as safety to travel, the cost of treatments, and reputation of hospitals and doctors.
“[MTI] serves as a trusted and evidence-based support mechanism to achieve their goals,” says Fetscherin, co-developer of the new index.
The index, developed through auspices of the International Healthcare Research Center and Medical Tourism Association, is based on an objective analysis that can help guide those seeking healthcare options in parts of the world with which they may not be familiar. It provides ratings for medical, surgical, and dental treatments.
Medical tourism is estimated to be a $100 billion industry and growing. Almost 1 million Americans already take part, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The index assesses 34 criteria in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Middle East, South America, and North America. In addition, it produced some interesting findings.
Costa Rica and Jamaica emerged as winners for “Destination Attractiveness.” Israel and Singapore led in “Medical Facility and Service.” Canada headed the list in “Country Environment” and tied with Costa Rica for “Medical Tourism Costs.”