If you would like a career as a traveling healthcare professional, in addition to working at hospitals and medical facilities across the U.S., consider opportunities within the field of medical tourism.
How Big is Travel Healthcare?
Patients Beyond Borders reported in 2012 that it believes the market size of medical tourism to be $15 billion. (The organization based its findings on the approximate number of five million people worldwide spending on average $3K per surgery.)
More than half a million Americans (550,000) traveled outside the U.S. for medical care in 2011, according to the organization. Patients Beyond Borders also estimated that, worldwide, medical tourism grows each year at a rate of 25-35 percent.
The organization reports that the countries most popular when it comes to medical tourism are Costa Rica, India, Korea, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, Singapore, and Thailand.
Healthcare Tourism Spells Good News for Professionals
The increase of individuals traveling for healthcare benefits doctors, PAs and RNs particularly. However, the fastest growing position in this new healthcare sector is that of medical tourism facilitator.
This position isn’t a travel one, per se. The facilitator instead plans the medical trip for the patient, working with him or her to find the best place to have the operation as well as helping to coordinate any vacation or traveling the patient may do in the destination country before or after the surgery. The medical travel facilitator also coordinates with doctors regarding patient medical and health records and sets up calls for patients and doctors to speak with each other. In addition, the facilitator arranges for a translator or ensures that someone at the foreign hospital speaks the patient’s language. The facilitator also may see if there’s a local hotel that will take care of the patient around-the-clock after the surgery and/or sees to it that a nurse or other qualified caregiver is on hand to tend to the patient post-surgery.
One of the best places to find work as a medical tourism facilitator is in a U.S. or foreign-based hospital that has an international patient department. Any foreign hospital that takes medical tourism seriously often has such a department (or at least one facilitator on staff).
If you’re looking to satisfy your wanderlust (for U.S.-based assignments; we don’t have any international assignments at this time), contact the recruiters at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We look forward to hearing from you.