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Regionalization is Draining the Local Economies
Medical tourism has been made a necessity by the globalization concept, which has facilitated easier access to quality health care services from different parts of the world. Regionalization has also been influenced by the availability of more affordable services in different parts of the world, which makes it reasonable for people to access health care services in the emerging markets, rather than the expensive services in their local markets.
However, the process of regionalization has been associated with the development of a pure form of capitalism in different economies where the private sector has taken charge of the health care system (Connell 1094). For instance, the private health care entities in the United States has the best healthcare services, but the associated entities charge very high, making it impossible for the middle and lower class people to access the quality services (Bookman and Bookman 23).
Additionally, when similar services are offered in the developing economies at a significantly lower price, most people and companies are opting to pay for medical tourism that meeting the high costs in the local markets (Horowitz, Rosenweig, and Jones 33).
This has ultimately led to a reduction in profits for the local health care facilities and revenue for the government. As more private entities enhance the quality and affordability of healthcare services across the region the local health care entities will face an exponential decline in health care consumers (Han and Hyun 23). It is apparent that as more consumers move to different nations to access health care services, there is a fiscal draining effect because the consumers are directing their savings to the regional markets instead of the local markets.
Benefits and Limitations
One of the main benefits of regionalization is the fact that local health care consumers can now access quality health care services at relatively lower prices. The fact that most of the health care providers with the best packages are private entities ensures that the quality of the services is exemplary. The regionalization process in health care services also implies that the health insurance companies will have to compete on the lines of prices with the regional companies, which will ultimately be beneficial for the consumers (Dimon par. 4).
This implies that the cost of health care services and coverage will continue reducing simultaneously, which will have a positive effect on the health outcomes of the community. One of the limitations of the regionalization process is that it will result in stiff competition among the associated private entities in the business (Boucher par. 5). This will ultimately force the companies to apply the concept of economies of scale to realize higher profits.
Further Potential for Medical Tourism
Medical tourism is a concept that will continue making headlines in the future, and there is a need for the authorities, especially in the destination states to look into the development of policies that apply standards on the quality of health care, as well as the ethical considerations to apply (Hall 12). The destination states should particularly look into endorsing the relevant moral guidelines in health care provision and the standardization of prices to ensure there is equity in the access to health care services (Pocock and Phua 1). It is apparent that the increase in demand for health care services will increase their cost as evidenced by the situation in the United States, and this may jeopardize the ability of some of the local members of the community to access quality health care services.
Bookman, Milica Zarkovic, and Karla R. Bookman. Medical Tourism in Developing Countries. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Print.
Boucher, David. Medical Travel: Bright Signs for Agents. Web.
Connell, John. “Medical Tourism: Sea, Sun, Sand, and Surgery.” Tourism Management 27.6 (2006): 1093-1100. Print.
Dimon, Annie. Medical Tourism Poised for Continued Growth. Web.
Hall, Colin Michael. Medical tourism: The Ethics, Regulation, And Marketing of Health Mobility. London: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Han, Heesup, and Sunghyup Sean Hyun. “Customer Retention in the Medical Tourism Industry: Impact of Quality, Satisfaction, Trust, and Price Reasonableness.” Tourism Management 46 (2015): 20-29. Print.
Horowitz, Michael D., Jeffrey A. Rosensweig, and Christopher A. Jones. “Medical Tourism: Globalization of the Healthcare Marketplace.” MedGenMed9.4 (2007): 33. Print.
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Pocock, Nicola S., and Kai Hong Phua. “Medical Tourism and Policy Implications for Health Systems: A Conceptual Framework from a Comparative Study of Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.” Globalization and health 7.1 (2011): 1. Print.