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The search for medical technologies abroad
Date:7/20/2012

or citizenship but, said Vindrola-Padros, as a universal human right.

"In 2009 Argentina received between 6,000 and 8,000 foreign patients," said Vindrola-Padros. "The government is aiming to raise that number to 100,000."

Vindrola-Padros, who collected and reviewed narrative accounts of family members who left home to seek medical technologies in Argentina, found that medical travel can be a strategy to overcome barriers to access to both health care and the advanced technologies that might not be available at home.

She uses the term 'medical travel' rather than 'medical tourism' for a good reason.

"Medical travel is often a strategy used by economically challenged patients who see travel as the only way to save their lives," concluded Vindrola-Padros. "The term 'medical tourism' suggests stereotyped images of wealthy patients traveling abroad for elective procedures rather than for life-or-death treatments."

Yet, the medical travel strategy carries with it drawbacks and challenges, reported Vindrola-Padros and Whiteford. Medical traveling families must disrupt a child's schooling, there is uncertainty involved with relocation, and the children often worry about the effect their disease has on their family. Parents often need to seek employment and children need to continue their schooling.

"Medical technological innovations change and save lives, but they are not always accessible to everyone," concluded Vindrola-Padros. "Medical travel aimed at seeking medical technologies and treatment is a complex experience with complex and diverse causes. We can only imagine the full consequences of medical travel and how they may play out in the lives and futures of surviving medically traveling children."


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Contact: Judy Lowry
jhlowry@usf.edu
813-974-3181
University of South Florida (USF Innovation)
Source:Eurekalert

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