A Brief Timeline of Medical Tourism History
The concept of medical tourism is almost as old as medicine itself. Long before the first American cardiac patient stepped onto Indian soil, the country enjoyed a rich history of providing Yoga instruction, spiritual enlightenment, and Ayurvedic healing to seekers from around the world. And centuries before that, the sick and the ailing came from all across the Mediterranean to the Asclepia Temples in search of cures for every malady imaginable; from headaches to gonorrhea. From the aristocratic patrons of Bath to the pilgrims of Japanese onsen (hot springs), history is full of travelers who made therapeutic trips for improved health. Whenever and wherever health care is in short supply, the sick and injured of the world must travel. Mass media, technology, and more affordable travel have merely brought greater cohesion to what was already a global phenomenon.