Medical Tourism: Sick Rx for Global Energy Consumption
SAN FRANCISCO---) Two social forces—the increase in medical tourism and the imperative to decrease fossil fuel consumption—are at loggerheads. For a privileged group of health-seekers considering a wellness holiday or face lift at a destination spa or hip replacements, it's easy to hop on an international flight to Rio or Mumbai or Singapore. For over a decade, that has been the prerogative of the elite traveler, who figures their contribution to the global economy offsets any bump in greenhouse gas emissions.
That logic might be hard to argue since new job markets have sprung up in formerly impoverished areas. But what if the masses—the thousands of millions below the super-affluent—decided that distant lands were the places to see doctors, get health care, buy elective surgeries, and enjoy wellness tune-ups? What does that do for efforts to curb fossil fuel production and excessive energy consumption?