Bitcoin is increasingly being used for payments in various sectors of the tourism industry. Now, as medical tourism is booming, the cryptocurrency is also becoming popular in this multi-billion dollar sector.
BITCOIN AND THE MEDICAL TOURISM BOOM
For some time, travelers and tourists have been using Bitcoin to pay for flights, accommodations, and car rentals.
Now, medical tourism is growing exponentially. According to economics professor Marc Pilkington, medical tourism is a $100 billion global market industry comprising 11 million medical tourists annually. The yearly growth is around 25% worldwide.
And, many medical tourists are paying with Bitcoin when traveling abroad to receive medical treatments, such as health check-ups, organ transplants, cancer treatments, and orthopedic, dental, and cosmetic procedures.
According to the MedicalTourism Magazine, the medical tourism’s growth drivers include:
- Aging population
- Increase in degenerative diseases
- Lack of access to quality healthcare services
- Rising healthcare costs
- Long wait times
- Ease of travel
Now, a rising number of the institutions that provide treatment and services to medical tourists are using blockchain technology and accepting payments in Bitcoin.
A Fortune article entitled “The Rise of Medical Tourism Accepting Crypto Currencies” estimates that medical tourists will increasingly use cryptocurrencies. According to the article:
All in all, medical tourists are likely to increasingly use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. For a growing percentage of the rich and super-rich and many less wealthy individuals and families, there are distinct advantages of using cryptocurrencies.
MEDICAL PROVIDERS ARE ACCEPTING BITCOIN
Presently, thousands upon thousands of merchants are already accepting Bitcoin. Now, medical and health service providers are also accepting the digital currency.
For example, Dr. Edward Domanskis, who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, specializes in face and body rejuvenation. Dr. Domanskis accepts Bitcoin as payment for cosmetic plastic surgeries. His central office is in Newport Beach, California, and he also manages satellite offices in San Francisco, Miami, Anguilla, and EU. In a press release, Dr. Domankis said,
Bitcoin should work for my plastic surgery practice for it will allow my far-flung patient population to pay for my services easier. I like to be in the forefront of new technology and developments.
The Columbus Medical Center (CPMC), based in Columbus, Georgia, started to accept Bitcoin in September 2017. When making the announcement, Dr. Eric Codner, the lead doctor at CPMC, stated:
Using Bitcoin for your purchases returns power to the consumer by allowing payment through a decentralized currency that cannot be manipulated by any bank or government.
Likewise, hair care clinics in several European capitals accept Bitcoin payments. For example, the London based Vinci Hair Clinic started accepting Bitcoin in December 2016.
Healthcare services based in Canada also accept payments in Bitcoin. For example, Ask the Doctor offers online healthcare services to patients worldwide. This service provider began receiving Bitcoin payments in October 2016.
The use of Bitcoin will most likely continue to expand within the tourism industry. Due to Bitcoin’s borderless nature, it greatly facilitates payments for tourism, medical tourism, and healthcare services throughout the world.
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