The 5 Ds
According to Lancet, before embarking on medical value added travel look into these criteria
•Domain: are the facilities and infrastructure well maintained and up-to-date?
•Doctors: are they credentialled and board-certified? •Data: what kinds of statistics does the institution collect, and do they make them available to potential patients and certifying agencies?
•Death: are morbidity and mortality data available? How do they compare with the rates at home?
•Due diligence: who exactly are you dealing with? Can you visit the hospital, tour its facilities, and meet the staff?
Medical tourism is already a US$60 billion global business, and it is growing by 20% every year. India alone will welcome about 500000 foreign patients to its hospitals this year, Crone said, and by 2012, medical tourists will pump about $2·2 billion into that country’s economy. Vanity also helped fuel the growth in medical tourism, when thrifty American baby boomers discovered they could save money, even including travel costs, by going to Thai or South American hospitals for some discreet cosmetic surgery. Foreign hospitals seem even more appealing now, as the cost of therapeutic procedures in the USA skyrockets, and the number of Americans without health insurance approaches 50 million