Recession Undercuts Medical Tourism

USA Today: "Fewer U.S. patients are traveling abroad for non-emergency medical procedures, such as hip replacements or cosmetic surgery, because of the recession. From 2007 to 2009, the number of Americans traveling abroad for elective medical procedures is expected to have fallen as much as 13.6%, according to a report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research center focused on trends in the health care system. Rising transportation costs and decreased consumer incomes and savings probably contributed to the fall in medical tourism, the report says. During the recession, patients also may have opted to forgo non-emergency procedures, the bulk of medical tourism." But the report suggests that "pent-up demand and improvements in international medical care" will boost the number of American medical tourists by 35 percent through the year 2012 (Anderson, 11/29).

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