Medical Tourism, A New Business Trend

March 25, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. tourism 
[too r-iz-uh m] (n.) – the industry of providing people tours and services when they travel
Example: The current upward trend in tourism helped him decide to start a travel agency.
2. transitory [TRAN-si-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -zi-] (adj.) – temporary or lasting only for a short time
Example: Many travelers spend the night at cheap hotels because their stay is often transitory.

3. project [pruh-JEKT] (v.) – to guess or estimate on a future result based on the available data
Example: The boss asked his employee to project how much profit the new marketing strategy can generate.

4. attribute [uh-TRIB-yoot ] (v.) – to consider as the reason or cause of something
Example: Doctors attributed his dad’s poor health to lack of exercise.

5. immigrant [IM-i-gruh nt] (n.) – a person who comes to another country to live there permanently.
Example: Many immigrants visit their home country because they often miss their relatives.

Read the text below.

While sightseeing may be a popular reason for travel, recent studies show that many Europeans nowadays go to other countries for medical purposes. This new trend is being called medical tourism.

Medical tourism is becoming popular, with more people searching for less expensive medication and treatment in other countries. But aside from getting medical treatments, people also go sightseeing to take advantage of the costly trip.

Professor Helmut Wachowiak of the International University of Applied Sciences in Germany said that although medical tourism is still a transitory industry, it is opening market opportunities for many countries. Wachowiak added that the medical tourism industry earned $40 to $60 billion and is projected to increase by 20% yearly.

Germany is now one of the countries with the largest medical tourism industry. About 77,000 foreign patients received their medical treatment in Germany in 2010.

Studies have attributed the increasing interest for medical tourism to several factors. One factor is the marketing of cheaper and faster medical care to tourists. Tourism agencies, who know of this fact, have been promoting various medical deals through the internet.

Medical companies have also been referring patients to international clinics. One such company is the Medical Tourist Company in Britain, which refers about 100 patients yearly to hospitals in India.

Lastly, many immigrants feel more comfortable seeking treatment in a familiar place where relatives can take care of them and where treatment is cheaper, so these immigrants choose to come back to their home countries for medical care.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Are you satisfied with the current medical services in your country? Why or why not?
·         Do you think medical tourism could be a potential source of income for your country? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think people like to visit your country?
·         Can you name activities or places in your country that are popular with tourists? Please explain your answers.


March 25, 2013