Medical travel is the new airbnb.
As medical tourists flock to the West Coast for medical emergencies, hospitals and other providers have begun to open up their offices to accommodate the growing number of medical travelers.
However, while medical tourism has seen a spike in recent years, it is still very much a nascent market.
The National Medical Association (NMAA) reports that as of the end of 2017, only a fraction of physicians practicing in the U.S. actually used the services of medical-visa services.
That means the demand for medical services is still fairly low, and many doctors are hesitant to take advantage of the services that are available.
In fact, according to a recent report from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, only 4 percent of the approximately 1.6 million physicians practicing the emergency medicine specialty in the United States were registered with a medical-travel provider.
“This is the first time in our association’s history that the number of physicians who use a medical travel service has fallen to a level where it would not have been possible for the industry to survive,” says Dr. John O’Brien, president of the NMAA.
The number of doctors who use the medical-transportation service in the USA rose to an estimated 4.5 million in 2016, according the NAEMT.
And while some of those are doctors with specialized training, most of them are working in other professions that require a higher level of knowledge and skill, like dentists, pharmacists, and nursing assistants.
But in 2018, the number fell to 4.2 million, the lowest since the mid-1990s, according a recent survey by the National Hospital Association.
So while medical-tourism services have increased in popularity, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
And that is where some states, such as New York and California, have taken steps to make it easier for medical tourists to get a medical license.
New York, which recently became the first state to require a license to carry a concealed weapon in a public place, recently passed legislation to allow medical tourists with a valid ID card to receive medical licenses in those states.
The bill was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The governor also announced that he is sending a delegation of his New York State Ambulance Corps to Las Vegas to offer medical-disability services, and that medical-marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to open in the state.
“While there is no doubt that the demand and demand for this service has increased dramatically, we are also aware that many of the states that have enacted this legislation are not able to provide sufficient resources to provide the necessary infrastructure to support the medical tourism industry,” says O’Connell.
That infrastructure has already begun to emerge in California, where there are now more than 200 dispensaries and medical-cannabis dispensaries that are permitted to operate in the Golden State.
But even the state’s medical-expedition service providers are skeptical about the benefits of the medical tourists’ growing popularity.
“It’s not going to be sustainable,” says Michael Hoch, CEO of the California Medical Marijuana Commission, which has been working to expand the medical marijuana industry in the State.
“The industry will have to grow at a rate that allows them to survive, and if that doesn’t happen, we will have a significant problem.”
The state is currently trying to find the funds to fund its medical-trafficking operation, which is expected to cost at least $50 million over the next five years, according its website.
And medical-vehicle licensees are also hesitant to open their doors to medical-enthusiasts, even though they are generally allowed to carry weapons.
“There is a certain amount of concern that some medical-services providers will be willing to accept patients who may have some criminal history, and some medical providers will not,” says Hoch.
“I can understand that because some of them have to make money, and they might have to take some people in for a ride.”
The same is true for medical-injection-site operators, who are also unsure about the financial viability of operating in a state where there is little to no regulation.
“We don’t want to be a burden to anyone else,” says Chris Pinto, CEO and president of California’s Medical Cannabis Industry Association.
“You need to be able to operate legally and legally regulate yourself.”
While medical-insurance companies such as Medi-Cal are seeing a surge in business as medical tourists seek coverage for their medical expenses, the issue remains a big one for those in the medical industry.
In California, for example, there are approximately 1,500 medical-residue dispensaries, but only approximately 150 of them operate in a legal manner, according Pinto.
He says that the medical business is not in the best shape, and the industry is struggling to survive.
“If there is an outbreak of an infection, or a pandemic, that comes in and wipes