We are currently living in very challenging times. If someone in the future is going to be learning about this particular era, it will almost certainly be noted as a time of change and turmoil. Everything is changing, and the recent global monetary and financial crisis has forced a change that many did not want to think about.
Recent ecological catastrophes have also hastened the need for change, as it turns out that the current economic model is simply unsustainable. Everyone is thus thinking about business differently, and this heavily influences the service industries as well, of which medical tourism is also not an exception.
The Old Model
The original, or conservative model of medical tourism dates itself to just before the crisis. It is characterised by a very rigid understanding of the monetary interactions between dentists and patients. It always emphasises the need for a host country and a destination country, a host country has greater GDP, but more expensive medical services, while the host country will be poorer but with ample medical care at an affordable cost. The main drive behind the industry, in this model, is price; cheaper services get more people, become more successful. The economy of this model is need based, people in the host country simply cannot afford services in the host country, and thus turn to medical tourism.
The New Model
This model is of course, changing, as physical distances become less and less of an issue, and as priorities and lifestyles change. It seems now that instead of there being countries dedicated to hosting or of supplying medical tourists, it is now a more pick and choose sort of thing, and the businesses have more independence. It is now more of a question of a clinic in a certain place, with a certain price, and of patients going to the clinic, regardless of where they are from. The main drive behind this new business model is not price alone, it is quality and price ratios. This is a key difference, perhaps the entire difference between the two. Quality is put first, and price second, and the clinic with the best ratio of the two will have the most patients. This will simply mean that there will be more options and that the structures will be not as rigid, and patients will not necessarily need to travel to a different country, going to a different town may be enough.