The Growth of International Trade in Health Services

“Keynote Speech”

A service export is any service provided by a resident in one country to people or companies from another. International trade in health services has been expanding rapidly since the late 1990s. Although the subject of health services exports by developing countries has been much discussed, the phenomenon is still in its early stage, and its real implications are not yet clear. Given the rapid development in this area, little empirical data are available. Export services are emerging trends. Did you know that the fastest-growing types of export are services? Globally, trade in health services is growing. This is being facilitated by several factors such as advances in information and communication technology (ICT), liberalization of foreign investment and easier visas for the mobility of patients.

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The globalization of health services has given rise to new patterns of consumption and production of health services in recent decades. While a major part of international trade in health services involves the physical movement of patients across borders to receive treatment, other aspects such as healthcare services delivered remotely, diagnostic services provided by a doctor in one country to a patient in another also need to be taken to get a full measure of imports and exports. The magnitude of such trade remains small, but advances in technology mean that this area has the potential to grow rapidly. Trade-in goods are easy. It’s shipping around the world. Services it difficult to understand its intangible you may find that communicating a service offer is more difficult than communicating a product. In spite of growing trade in this sector, there is a dearth of data on the global size of the health services sector and most of the data on trade concentrates on specific sub-segments such as medical tourism.

Hüseyin Kandulu, Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, Istanbul Turkey Email: huseyin@kandulu.com

Source: The 4 th InTraders International Conference on International Trade Abstract Book


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