A major hurdle that the medical tourism industry faces through its expansion is the hesitation of many American doctors to condone travel outside of the United States for treatment. There are several reasons that doctors are slow to embrace medical travel, as expounded on by global healthcare company MedVoy:
1. Because there is a shortage of practicing physicians in the US, doctors are busy enough. The are eager to shift from low reimbursement to higher paying patients, but , with the exception of doctors starting practice, they don’t need more patients that might be a headache (i.e. patients that would require an at-home doctor to coordinate with their overseas doctor as well as the facilitator).
2. Doctors are used to a doctor-to-doctor referral model, not a patient-to- facilitator to institution model. They will continue to push back until there is a comfortable global healthcare referral platform.
3. Doctors often question the value offered by facilitators. Unless they see a tangible return on investment, they are unlikely to engage middle-men who they see as non-medical professional trying to skim revenue from an industry that is overhyped.
Although these points of skepticism are understandable from the perspective of physicians, as strides continue to be made toward a comfortable global healthcare referral program, hopefully doctors will continue to become more at ease with the process.