Medical tourism refers to people traveling to a country other than their own to obtain medical treatment. In the past this usually referred to those who traveled from less-developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for treatment unavailable at home.However, in recent years it may equally refer to those from developed countries who travel to developing countries for lower priced medical treatments. The motivation may be for medical services unavailable or illegal in the home country.
Medical tourism most often is for surgeries (cosmetic or otherwise) or similar treatments, though people also travel for dental tourism or fertility tourism.People with rare conditions may travel to countries where the treatment is better understood. However, almost all types of health care are available, including psychiatry, alternative medicine, convalescent care, and even burial services.
Medical tourists are subject to a number of risks, such as deep vein thrombosis from air travel or poor post-operative care.
Health tourism is a wider term for travel that focus on medical treatments and the use of healthcare services. It covers a wide field of health-oriented, tourism ranging from preventive and health-conductive treatment to rehabilitational and curative forms of travel. Wellness tourism is a related field.a