Medical Tourism Will Help Solve U.S. Healthcare Woes, Futurist Claims

Medical tourism is set to become a big part of the solution to U.S. healthcare woes. Or so stated noted speaker and futurist Dr. Michael G. Zey, author of Ageless Nation, in his recent speech at the World Future Society conference in Washington DC.

In his DC speech he emphasized the key role medical tourism will play in the global healthcare system. According to Dr. Zey, it has been estimated that over 1 million Americans have sought some form of treatment in countries such as India, Mexico, and Thailand, for valve replacements, hip replacements, liver transplant, dental work, surgical oncology.

As early as 2010 medical travel could become a $40-billion business attracting as many as 780 million patients. Driving this new industry are factors such as lower medical costs overseas, superior service overseas, lack of adequate health insurance at home, and in many cases the attraction of exotic tourism packages that are bundled with the medical travel.

From his offices in Morristown NJ, Dr. Zey expressed surprise that the candidates Barak Obama and John McCain seem unaware of how medical travel could lower healthcare costs, especially since each has expressed concern over the issue of healthcare in the U.S.

“Medical travel could be just the answer that the U.S. healthcare system has been looking for, “ Zey said. A hip replacement procedure costing $43,000 in the U.S. goes for $9,000 in India. “Insurers and employers should encourage Americans to shop around for the best price and service, both globally and locally,” he added.

According to Michael Zey, the industry must be wary of some pitfalls. For instance, the price of fuel and travel could start to wear away at overseas treatment’s price advantage. Also, he said, telemedicine, robotics, and other cyber-based diagnostic and surgical procedures might make medical travel aboard unnecessary in some cases.

But Dr. Zey informed his WFS conference audience that all things considered, this burgeoning industry has a very “healthy” future.


About Michael G. Zey

Dr. Michael G Zey is the author of the just published Ageless Nation (New Horizons/Kensington), “The Future Factor: Forces Transforming Human Destiny” (Transaction Publishers; McGraw-Hill hard cover), as well as “Seizing the Future: The Dawn of the Macroindustrial Era” (Simon and Schuster, hardcover; Transaction Publishers/ Paperback) and several other books.

Dr. Michael Zey’s controversial and original views on social and techno-trends have appeared in the LA Times, Providence (RI) Journal, Boston Globe, Worth, the Christian Science Monitor, Entrepreneur, the Sacramento Bee, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), La Liberation (Paris), Prosper, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Philadelphia Inquirer,, Radio Free Europe, La Monde, and XMSatellite’’s USAToday/Newstalk station, NJ Business, as well as on WABC’s “Batchelor and Alexander Show” and “The Bill Cunningham Show”, as well as many NPR programs. He has been interviewed for The Wall Street Journal Report, CNBC, CNN, The Turning Point, and the Brazilian Globotv network program “Jornal Nacional”. He has been an invited guest on FoxNews, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, and ABC’s 20/20. His views on human enhancement technologies will soon appear on the website of the Discovery Channel,

Michael Zey serves as Executive Director of the Expansionary Institute (, is a Professor at Montclair State University, NJ. and consults to corporations and government agencies.

(Source: Expansionary News Service, Morristown, NJ.)

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