Medical tourism encompasses the notion of Medical travel: people who travel for medical treatment, necessary or not. Otherwise, it also refers to the activity of health care providers for persons resident abroad. Medical tourism has become a practice increasingly popular among those who wish to have options when it comes to their health. The services offered within a framework of medical tourism are almost limitless: cardiac surgery, replacement surgery, cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, and even in vitro fertilization. In addition, medical tourism could involve alternative treatments such as psychiatry and convalescent care.

Interestingly, medical tourism is not as new as many people believe.

While it has certainly seen an increase in popularity in recent years, the concept of travel for health care goes back centuries. In ancient times, the Greeks were known to visit a territory called Epidauria in the Saronic Gulf in the Mediterranean, to seek healing god Asclepius. Even the first spas can, in retrospect, be called medical tourism. In 1700 years, people from all over England visited the small village of Bath known for its healing mineral water from natural sources. Many Americans, as well as citizens of other countries of the first world, such as Europe, Japan, Canada and the Middle East are opting for medical treatment outside their own borders. In 2007, 750.000 it is estimated that Americans have sought medical treatment abroad and that number has doubled in 2008.