News Updates

The Growth of Medical Tourism in the World

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A report issued by VISA and Oxford Economics, the Medical Tourism industry was valued at a staggering USD 100 billion, with a projected growth rate of up to 25% year-over-year for the next 10 years as an estimated three to four percent of the world’s population will travel internationally for healthcare and health-related treatment.

For years the medical travel industry seemed undervalued, yet VISA’s report accounts for growth factors – like some 340 new international airports over the next decade – and the medical travel market could soar to an astronomical USD 3 trillion by 2025.

In its just-released 2016 report, industry-leading journal, Medical Tourism Index™ (MTI), listed the top 41 destinations for those seeking value-added services and high quality of healthcare across the globe. In it, the similar pattern of global growth emerges: that the United States leads in terms of market share of healthcare travel spending, but Asia’s Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea continue to thrive. Both VISA’s and MTI’s™ findings expect China to overtake the US spot within the next 10 years due to the population’s demand for higher quality of care.

The findings don’t just span the global spectrum but also the age spectrum as well; VISA expects 13 percent of all international travel by 2025 to be older travelers. Meanwhile, a recent survey of 31,000 18-34 year olds from 134 countries by popular booking site TopDeck Travel found that some 88% of them travel internationally between 1 to 3 times annually and that the number only continues to grow.

“The borders to quality healthcare access have begun to disintegrate.” MTI™ Co-Authors, Renée-Marie Stephano, JD President of the Medical Tourism Association and Marc Fetscherin, Associate Professor of International Business and Marketing at Rollins College, said a joint statement. “Speculation about the medical tourism industry as a ‘phenomenon’ is over. This report and the rankings of the Medical Tourism Index™ provide a unique opportunity for investors seeking new ventures to make smart choices in destinations driving patient travel.”

The entire medical tourism and health tourism industry will descend upon Washington, D.C., September 25-28, 2016 for the 9thWorld Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress. Over 3,000 attendees from 50+ countries brought USD 1 billion in new deals last year paving the way for leaders this year to catch the next wave in partnerships and medical tourism investment.

In a conclusion, VISA said, “We believe that medical tourism is primed for accelerated growth as more of these travelers seek new treatments, as well as lower cost or higher-quality care not available in their home country.”

Source: Medical Tourism Mag

The Latino LGBTQ Population

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Latino/as* (a.k.a, "Latinxs" or "Latin@s") have a long and rich history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) activism. Early movement pioneers include José Julio Sarria, the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States; Sylvia Rivera, a bisexual and transgender rights activist often credited with starting the Stonewall Riots; and Gloria Anzaldúa, a noted scholar of Chicano history and lesbian rights advocate. That activist spirit continues today in the work of people such as Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, the first openly transgender person to work in the White House.

According to the Pew Research Center, Latino/as made up 17.4 percent of the total U.S. population in 2014. Data analysis by the Williams Institute reveals there are approximately 1.4 million LGBT Latino/a adults currently living in the United States. Of the 146,000 Latino/a same-sex households in the U.S., 29.1 percent are raising children.

LGBTQ Latino/as tend to live in areas where there are already high concentrations of Latino/a people. One-third of same-sex Latino/a couples live in New Mexico, California and Texas. Other states with high LGBTQ Latino/a populations include Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, New Jersey, Kansas, Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. Notably, many of these states lack statewide non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Source: Human Rights Campaign

Hispanics and Diabetes Type 2

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50% of Hispanic adults in the United States are expected to develop the chronic disease type 2 diabetes — a rate that is higher than for the average adult, who has a 40% likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. The CDC also estimates that Hispanic people are 50% more likely to die from the disease than white people are.

While Hispanic people overall are estimated to be at a higher risk for diabetes, they’re not the only group: The prevalence of diabetes is also higher among Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and black people, according to the American Diabetes Association. Research suggests various factors, including those related to genetics, lifestyle, and metabolism, likely play a role in these individuals’ greater risk.

An article published in August 2014 in Diabetes Care described research that found the combination of a lack of awareness, health insurance disparities, and low household income may also play a role in the higher rates among Hispanic individuals in particular. And specific subgroups within the Hispanic community seem to be at various risks of developing type 2 diabetes, the article explains: For instance, while the prevalence of diabetes was highest in Mexicans, at 18.3%, it was lowest in South Americans, at 10.2%. 

Source: Everyday Health

Latinas and Birth Control Services

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Experiences of everyday discrimination, inside or outside medical settings, can take a significant toll on Latina women’s comfort with reproductive health services, according to a new study published in the journal Women’s Health Issues.

The findings show that young Latina women who have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination are less satisfied overall with their contraceptive care, which could affect their access to more effective contraceptives.

The aim of the study was to better understand the factors that may impact Latinas’ satisfaction with contraceptive services.  A total of 211 women, ages 18-25, participated in the study, which included surveys and interviews.

About 40 percent of the participants were born in the U.S. and about 60 percent were born outside the U.S. Among the foreign-born, the average length of U.S. residency was 8.4 years, with a range of less than six months to 24 years.

Initially, the researchers found that experiences of discrimination, medical mistrust and structural barriers to care, such as trouble with childcare or getting time off work to see a doctor, were tied to low satisfaction. But when considering all of these influences together, they found that everyday instances of discrimination had the biggest impact on women’s satisfaction.

It is important for young women of reproductive age to have access to effective contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies, according to researchers. The most effective methods of birth control, including hormonal pills or implantable devices, can only be obtained through a medical provider.

Source: Phych Central

Latinos and the mental health care barrier

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Ethnic and racial minority groups tend to face greater exposure to racism, discrimination, violence, and poverty, which can influence their mental health. These challenges are often coupled with poor access to mental health care and a culturally-based stigma around mental health.

A similar percentage of non-Hispanic whites (7.7 percent) and Hispanics (7.1) report that there was a time in the 12 months before the survey when they didn’t get needed mental health care or counseling services But nearly 12 percent of non-Hispanic minorities, a group that includes blacks, Asians and American Indians, report an unmet mental health need – a significant difference from Hispanics.

Those who reported having an unmet mental health need were then asked why they hadn’t seen a mental health care professional. Significant differences between race/ethnic groups are shown for the response that they did not feel comfortable talking with a health professional about personal problems.

About four of 10 Hispanics (40.3 percent) and non-Hispanic minorities (45.7 percent) reported this lack of comfort as a barrier, nearly twice the percentage of non-Hispanic whites (25 percent).

This finding suggests that Hispanic and minority communities face a heightened barrier to receiving mental health care, which may be related to stigma, or a lack of culturally and linguistically competent services. As Colorado becomes increasingly diverse, the CHAS will help bring awareness to minority mental health issues by tracking any disparities between race/ethnic groups. 

Source: Colorado Health Institute