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Medical tourism has more and more people talking recently, running the gamut from medical staff in Illinois to lawyers in the UK, increased awareness on the subject matter is generating an international buzz. Experts report that this is in large part due to the fact that the rest of the world is truly catching up to the health care standards of the U.S., and sometimes exceeding them.
Obviously, Mexico is an ever-popular destination among medical tourists, and frequently draws visitors in need of treatment in fields such as cosmetic surgery, orthopedics, dental implants and fertility treatment amongst others. The cost of treatment is cheaper and Americans and Canadians have a relatively short journey compared to traveling to other countries.
Currently, the UK government is backing a study on medical tourism, and its impact on the National Health Service (NHS), which is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. The University of York is leading the study, with the guidance of Michelmores lawyers. Michelmore partner Lawrence Vick discusses the impact of this study, saying “This is an important study into a fast growing and little understood sector. We need to weigh the benefits of medical tourism for both patients and providers against patient safety while establishing liability if things go wrong and this includes the role of intermediaries.”