Dr. David Vequist is a Professor of International Business at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the founder of the Center for Medical Tourism Research, located at the University.
Dr. Vequist’s experience as an HR Executive in a large US-based healthcare company opened his eyes to the realization that healthcare is an international enterprise. In this interview, he explains his interest in global healthcare and business process outsourcing. He discusses both the positive and negative impacts of the conjunction of technology (internet) and the globalization of healthcare.
With medical tourism covering such a wide range of services and procedures Dr. Vequist sees the need for further harmonization of legal and regulatory issues between and among countries. He emphasizes the need to create more reliable ways to measure the volume and impact of cross border trade of medical services. He shares his thoughts on controversial forms of medical tourism such as “death tourism,” individuals seeking assisted suicide in another country, and “surrogacy tourism,” couples traveling abroad to start a family.
Dr. Vequist estimates that medical tourism is a multibillion-dollar global industry and is continuing to grow each year. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” says Dr. Vequist.
The Center for Medical Tourism Research at The University of the Incarnate Word is active around the globe assisting countries and medical providers to develop a better formula for medical tourism. The center helps to identify the who, what, why, where, and how many medical travelers are accessing services outside their local countries.