Health tourism (medical tourism or health travel) is a rapidly developing sector that is able to generate new opportunities, above all for patients, who, thanks to the globalization of health and tourism offer, are increasingly able to access specialist care. We will not address here the issues related to the outgoing sanctuary (low cost health tourism, “travel of hope”, and so on …) but rather we will pay attention to the possibilities of development of tourist-health incoming.

Both the demand and the offer of health services included in the sphere of health tourism, regard so-called clinical and surgical performances of election. Health tourists are patients who mainly seek the possibility of using services that are the result of; better technologies, more specialized personnel, more efficient organization, reduced timing compared to the country of origin, all with the additional possibility of combining treatments with a stay in attractive tourist locations.

It is also true, as we have said, that there is great health mobility with mainly economic motivation, especially towards the countries of Eastern Europe and South East Asia that pursue “low cost” policies of attraction, but difficult to replicate in the West, due of aspects linked, for example, to the highest cost of materials, or work (whose quality is however, on average, better).

Health tourism is, not only for numbers, a great opportunity for development for the world’s health service as a whole, and for private hospitals in particular.

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The WHO, in fact, considers some European countries as part of the best in the world for the quality of guaranteed medical services, for the variety of public and private facilities with highly specialized clinical departments and for the numerous internationally recognized excellences. Germany, for example, can therefore become a destination of excellence for international health tourism, because it offers the dual possibility of spending a period of relaxation in renowned tourist attractions and that of treating pathology. Anyone in need of health tourism info in Germany is recommended to click

With regard to the European market, in particular, it must also be recalled, as already enshrined in European jurisprudence that EU citizens can benefit from treatment provided in a Member State even if not previously decided, and if incurred an expense, get a refund of the same.

Combining the health and tourism offer is economically and qualitatively suitable for everyone involved, both for users and for companies involved in the creation of the value chain of the health tourism offer.  In fact, patients are often accompanied by family members or friends; interventions that do not require long hospitalizations allow you to take advantage of a post-operative period of rest in the hotel.

The world-scale effect

The boom in medical tourism has given rise to non-profit organizations in the U.S.A for several years, such as the Medical Tourism Association ( born in Florida, and service companies such as Health Flight Solution.

Kimberly Baker

The author Kimberly Baker