Global Health Issues: It has come to your attention that an international hospital aggressively recruits brain cancer patients in your local area. Their innovative treatment is approved in their country; however is considered experimental in your own country.

Global Health Issues

It has come to your attention that an international hospital aggressively recruits brain cancer patients in your local area. Their innovative treatment is approved in their country; however is considered experimental in your own country. Many patients in the late stages of brain cancer travel to their location as a last hope for a treatment that might stop the aggressive progression of their otherwise terminal illness.

Write a persuasive letter to an editor in your local community making a case for or against seeking this international medical care. Consider as many options for domestic and international treatment as possible, including traditional local treatment options as well as holistic or experimental treatments abroad. Be sure your letter addresses both the local- and destination-country’s perspective on this issue. (1–2 pages)

Why Medical Tourism Should Be Encouraged in the US

The Editor

Worcester Times Daily,

Stanton  Hollow  Street,

Birmingham, Alabama 00000,

Dear Sir/Madam


With the advent of globalized medicine, where international travel and access to information on online health are readily available, medical tourism plays a crucial role in national healthcare systems and from a global health perspective. Many patients diagnosed with life-threatening conditions like cancer and specifically of the brain are driven to seek adequate evidence-based treatment not available in their local, state, or national healthcare facilities, thus necessitating international travel. By definition, medical tourism herein interchangeably referred to as health tourism or medical travel refers to the practice of traveling to another country, state, or province in search of better or cheaper healthcare services. According to Hanefeld et al. (2017), new HHS reforms introduce more excellent market elements that necessitate stakeholders in healthcare to consider the challenges and opportunities that medical tourism may present. By extension, the US Department of Health and Human Services must also critically analyze the benefits and drawbacks of medical tourism in the US.

In recent times, our city has had many patients with a brain cancer diagnosis travel to India with the hope of getting treatment that may slow down or even reverse the progression of this and life-limiting illness. As Rugger & Hinrichs-Krapels (2016) note that compared to the US, medical tourism to India helps the patient access brain cancer treatment at a relatively cheaper cost, thus saving on the medical expenditure. Unlike the US or other developed nations, India enjoys lower labor costs, and with reduced operating costs, the benefit is passed on to the patient. Secondly, accessibility to cutting-edge therapies like targeted therapy in India has short or no waiting lists, meaning the patient gets brain cancer treatment at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, the patients can get complementary and alternative therapies like Yoga, Chi, Meditation, aromatherapy, and acupuncture as supplements to the conventional medication administration, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Suffice to say that when these patients look for medical services in other countries, the pressure on the US national healthcare system also decreases. The reduced demand for brain cancer treatments means more people who want novel cancer therapies like non-invasive treatment, gene therapy, and immunotherapy can get it with shorter waiting lists (Béland & Zarzeczny, 2018). However, there is also a need to develop and invest in local facilities to serve and meet the needs of patients with brain cancer, hence reducing the safety and treatment dangers associated with medical tourism. Besides, comprehensive policies should guide health tourism by safeguarding the patient and collaborating to ensure better patient outcomes. Lastly, the significant growth of medical tourism underlines the need to make local treatments options cheaper and broader to compete with other countries adequately.

/Global Health Issues

To sum up, this letter highlights its support for medical tourism and calls for further research that sheds more light on health tourism’s scale, reasons, and consequences. Equally important, health tourism taps into the immense potential of healthcare information technology that makes telemedicine, telecare, and telehealth a living testimony today. However, there is a need for comprehensive policy procedures to guide health tourism.

Yours Sincerely,

Sharon Foster


Béland, D., & Zarzeczny, A. (2018). Medical tourism and national health care systems: an institutionalist research agenda. Globalization and health14(1), 1-7.

Hanefeld, J., Horsfall, D., Lunt, N., & Smith, R. (2013). Medical tourism: a cost or benefit to the NHS?. PLoS One8(10), e70406.

/Global Health Issues

Ruggeri, K., & Hinrichs-Krapels, S. (2016). Global Health and Medical Travel. Frontiers in public health4, 235.

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