In theory, of course, there's nothing wrong with seeking medical attention in a different country. The article cites a bunch of good reasons for why someone might want to, including coming home from overseas to be close to their family during surgery. Another reason might be that a particular kind of treatment may be flat out unavailable where a patient lives. Cost is of course a third reason, and making vacations medically possibleas with dialysis cruisesis a fourth. All fair enough and, if we were pushed, we'd probably have to concede that there's nothing really wrong about the idea.
Of course, if tourists pair medical travel with actual vacations, all the better. Reuters found an actual medical tourism company (called Dr. Holiday) that builds itineraries around medical appointments. Also fair enough.
But there's still something about the whole label of "medical tourism" that just rubs us the wrong way. Overall tourism grew by just 4% in 2012, but Dr. Holiday reported double-digit growth and they expect to see an 18 percent rise this year. Maybe it's just that we wish the numbers were the other way around. What do you think? Sound off in the comments.
[Photo: thinkpanama / Flickr]