Are Healthcare Tourism and Medical Tourism the Same Thing?

On a daily basis healthcare and medical care are often used interchangeably but there is a big difference between the two. Healthcare is a holistic practice that covers exercise and mental well-being while the term medical often focuses on the existing ailments or injuries. In order to achieve improved overall health and well-being it is important to consider both of these on a regular basis. If you find yourself asking whether or not you are in the market for healthcare or medical tourism, the experts at Venture Surgical have offered up a quick guide into the main differences between the two.

Healthcare Tourism

Healthcare & Medical Care: What is the Difference?

Keeping healthy is a top priority for all Canadians but this is easier said than done. In order to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape it is important to focus on not only treating existing medical issues but taking preventative measures, as well. Preventative measures fall under the healthcare banner while medications and surgical procedures are a part of medical care. The four main differences in healthcare and medical care are:

Main Focus: In the simplest terms, medical care focuses on treating illness and injuries while healthcare is designed to prevent these from happening by living a healthy lifestyle. By promoting health over multiple spheres healthcare is able to encourage mobility, reduce the risk of illnesses associated with poor nutrition by working with an expert and improve mental health conditions through relaxation techniques. Medical procedures can include surgical and non-surgical procedures that are used to treat existing illness or injury.

Who Is Involved: Medical care is just that, medical. This means only highly trained medical professionals can provide treatments that fall under this umbrella, including doctors, surgeons and field specialists. Healthcare covers a wide range of industries and can be done by many experts including fitness instructors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists and more.

Insurance Coverage: Medical procedures and care are often covered by health insurance companies but depending on the treatments, healthcare is not. Many insurance companies might offer incentives for promoting proper exercise and nutrition so it is always important to review your coverage before beginning any health care treatment.

When is it Done: Receiving medical care only happens when there is a medical issue to address. This often means that treatments begin when they are diagnosed and end when the issue is resolved. Consider a broken bone, when the bone breaks the treatment begins and it is only resolved after a cast comes off. Healthcare on the other hand, is an ongoing process with no end.

Travelling to Another Country: Improving Health Outside Your Home Country

It is common for Canadians to leave the country for medical care. Even with quality medical care available in your home country, it is beneficial for patients to take a quick trip in order to avoid long waiting lists.

Health Tourism: When it comes to overall health, care comes in many forms — some of which you have to travel for! Something as simple as a quick trip to a spa or a yoga retreat can do wonders for your mental health, while visiting a well-known nutrition specialist can help to address dietary issues. This type of travel often doesn’t involve having to stay in medical facilities or working alongside doctors but can translate to all sorts of offices and industry experts.

Medical Tourism: Being a medical tourist is as simple as seeking medical care in a province or country that you don’t live in. For British Columbians this can mean travelling to Ontario for shorter wait times or can mean travelling to the United States or another nearby country for reliable medical care from an industry expert. These procedures can include everything from cosmetic treatments like plastic surgery and dental procedures, all the way to necessary surgical treatments such as lumbar spine surgery and cervical spine surgery.

In the past, medical travel was most commonly carried out with patients travelling to developed countries in order to access new equipment, facilities and care that wasn’t available in their home country. In recent years, it is more common for Canadian patients to travel in order to skip prolonged wait times, access care from a leading specialist or seek out more affordable procedures. Working with an agency like Venture Surgical can help to alleviate the stress of planning, booking appointments, finding the right clinics and choosing physicians.

Are Healthcare Tourism and Medical Tourism the Same Thing?