Treatment in China or medical tourism in China

Treatment in China or medical tourism in China

In recent years, the flow of tourists with medical purposes from Russia to the states of Northeast and Southeast Asia has significantly increased. The paper analyzes the main incentives for world medical tourism. Medical tourism is associated with various types of risks. When choosing a country, the international image of medical care in the country is of great importance. The state plays a decisive role in the development of medical tourism in the country. The paper examines some of the features of tourism development in the countries of North-East and South-East Asia. The high interest of Russians in medical tourism is due to the unsatisfactory state of medicine in the country. Russia is inferior to the countries of North-East and South-East Asia in the price-quality ratio of medical services. The wealthy citizens of Russia are now choosing countries that guarantee a high level of reliability of medical services, while the less wealthy are forced to take risks, choosing countries with the lowest cost of medical services.

Keywords: medical tourism, health tourism, paid medical services, medical services market.

Introduction. The growth rate of the global medical tourism sector is currently considered one of the highest compared to other tourism segments. More than 50 countries declare the development of medical tourism at the level of public policy [28]. This sector makes full use of the entire global marketing toolkit [34]. A large number of scientific conferences dedicated to the topic of medical tourism are held in the world. Medical tourism has given birth to a new concept of modern healthcare. Unable to solve a medical problem in his country, the patient chooses a country, a doctor and a clinic, where he can be offered the most modern and timely examination and treatment. In the context of global economic competition, the phenomenon of medical tourism forces medicine to develop at a faster pace [17].

Global trends in the development of medical tourism

According to the latest data announced at the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC), the medical tourism market is showing high growth rates. From $ 40 billion in 2004, its revenues increased to $ 0.5 trillion, accounting for 14% of the total tourism revenues ($ 3.2 trillion) as a whole. In 2012, medical tourism accounted for 1.8 percent of global GDP. According to the submitted report, this tourism sector will grow at an average of 9.9% percent per annum over the next five years, which is almost double that of the tourism industry as a whole, and will reach $ 678.5 billion by 2017, or 16 percent of total tourism income. [31]

Currently, the centers of world medical tourism are shifting to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. According to the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), by 2017, 50% of the medical tourism market will be in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East [31]. In recent years, the flow of medical tourists from Russia to the border states of Northeast and Southeast Asia has significantly increased. Therefore, the analysis of this tourism sector is very relevant today.

In a large number of foreign publications, one can also find conflicting data on the rates of development of medical tourism by country, especially if these data relate to some national systems of medical tourism (in this work, the author tried to use the most authoritative sources). Some discrepancies in the published statistics can be explained by a certain vagueness of the definition and the lack of clear boundaries in the definition of medical tourism.

Medical tourism can pursue different goals: prevention, recovery, treatment (including surgery). Each segment is served by its own specialized medical centers. Depending on the types and services provided and the country, prices for medical tourism can vary greatly. The medical tourism sector is dominated by health tourism or spa tourism (41% of the market). On average, the cost of medical tourism is 1.3 times higher than the average cost in the industry [33].

Medical tourism in the world is usually understood as leaving the country of permanent residence in order to receive medical services. Although, in principle, people can move from one locality to another within the country. But this part of the segment is less interesting for tourism management, often taking on the duties of mediating a patient with a clinic abroad.

There are four main drivers of medical tourism:

- low cost; - modern medical technologies; - highly qualified medical care; - the time factor (with a long wait for medical treatment in your country).

World medical tourism is shifting to the Asia-Pacific countries

Foreigners traveling abroad in search of quality and affordable treatment are the backbone of a new, thriving economic sector for several developed Asian countries, and China is among them.

China has occupied a prominent place in world medical tourism in recent years.

Worldwide medical tourism is estimated at $ 40 billion a year, and China is looking to attract a significant proportion of tourists to its clinics.

China pleases thousands of foreign patients with affordable prices for treatment, high-quality training of doctors, modern technologies and multilingual medical personnel.

Medical tourists travel to China for cancer treatments, cardiac surgery, orthopedics, stem cell therapy and, of course, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), an alternative system based on acupuncture and ancient phytotherapeutic formulations.

Despite the popularity of ancient methods, the Chinese health care system is one of the most progressive on the planet, and local scientists have made great strides in cardiology, neurosurgery, traumatology, oncology, as well as in the study of stem cells.

China's potential as a destination for medical tourism can hardly be overestimated, because in addition to advanced medical infrastructure, this country has many unique places and historical sites.

It is not surprising that Western tourists go to the Middle Kingdom on a kind of "medical vacation" - to heal, relax, and at the same time enjoy the local beauty.

Why treatment in China?

It is also a rapidly developing country, with one of its most prosperous areas being health care, which, along with an open policy in recent years, has led to a significant increase in the flow of medical tourists. Patients from the West, as well as from other Asian countries, flock to China to combine a wonderful vacation with quality and inexpensive treatment.

Why consider China as a good place for treatment and relaxation?

This country has six important advantages at once:

Treatment in China is a harmonious combination of traditional medicine, pharmacology and ancient Chinese philosophy. The success and effectiveness of the methods used is ensured, among other things, by the perception of a person as a unique organism - a small universe that requires an individual integrated approach, taking into account not only internal processes, but also interaction with the outside world. What, where and how is treated in China, let's figure it out in detail.

Chinese Medicine Concepts and Approaches

All the methods of treatment in China stem from the ideas of Chinese doctors about the existence of two principles - Yin (female) and Yang (male), which are in constant interaction. In their opinion, one part of the organs belongs to the feminine principle (liver, heart, kidneys, spleen, lungs), the other to the masculine (gallbladder, stomach, large intestine, bladder, small intestine). The state of human health will depend on how successfully the balance between the two is maintained.

Alternative medicine in China, in fact, like the traditional approach to treatment, is built on the concept of the existence of the "five elements": fire, wood, earth, metal and water. It is believed that these 5 elements, interacting in nature, balance each other.

In addition, each of the elements is responsible for a specific group of organs:

  • fire - heart and small intestine;
  • earth - spleen and stomach;
  • metal - lungs and colon;
  • wood - liver and gallbladder;
  • water - kidneys and bladder.

When violations occur in these 5 groups of organs, the development of diseases begins. Doctors in China are also guided by the following postulates:

  • A person's life and the activity of his body is in close connection with daily, seasonal and other natural cycles.
  • All organs are connected by channels, and on the body there are certain points responsible for them. Chi energy flows through these channels, and the points are used in treatments such as acupuncture, moxibustion and massage.
  • Illness is just a symptom of an imbalance in the human body. Based on this, the emphasis in the course of treatment is on what caused its occurrence.
  • Negative emotions can provoke illness, but positive ones, on the contrary, contribute to recovery.

The effectiveness of this approach can be judged by the fact that the population of China is considered to be long-livers. The average life expectancy for men is 74 years, for women - 77.6 years.

Diagnostic methods

Before choosing where to go for treatment in China, you need to figure out what and how are treated in this country, what prices are offered by sanatoriums and resorts, which includes rest in Chinese health resorts. The choice of treatment methods is preceded by a diagnosis, which includes 4 stages:

  • Visual - involves examining the eyes, mouth, tongue, ears and nose of the patient, the condition of his skin. In China, these organs are called "windows of the body."
  • Auditory - listening to sounds made by the patient's lungs, heart, intestines and stomach.
  • Oral - includes a questioning of the patient regarding his condition, nutrition, lifestyle, habits. In this case, not only the story of a person is assessed, but also his voice, the smells that the body emits.
  • Tactile - body palpation, pulse measurement. This stage takes quite a long time, since Chinese doctors pay special attention to it.

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