Sustainable Medical Tourism : Conceptual Framework
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Referring to the definition of sustainable tourism and taking into consideration the specifics of medical tourism, it can be assumed that sustainable medical tourism is a conscious and sustainable human activity, in which a medical tourist/mobile patient aims to obtain broadly understood healthcare outside their permanent place of residence (at home or abroad), consisting mainly in maintaining (obtaining better) health, and/or aesthetic appearance of one’s own body, often combined with rest and consumption of tourist packages. This balance should address all three aspects – social, economic, and environmental. Therefore, the provision of sustainable medical tourism services, most often by commercial healthcare entities, should be carried out with rational spatial distribution resulting in the strengthening of local economies and improving the quality of life of the society while respecting natural resources and using innovative solutions in the medical tourism business.