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Medical tourism is on the rise. According to a comprehensive new study by Grail Research in Cambridge, Mass., people are traveling internationally in search of more affordable health-care, better quality care, and better access to care. The result is a global market for medical tourism expected to grow at nine percent through 2012.

Compared to the cost of U.S. healthcare procedures, some destination countries reportedly can provide the same health-care services at much lower cost. Compound this with almost 46 million U.S. citizens without health insurance and the multitude of under-insured people, and it is clear to see the primary driver of this trend — dollars. Also adding to the wider acceptance is the rise of state-of-the art facilities and high standards of treatment in destination countries.

Of special appeal to Florida residents are the facilities in expanding medical-care hubs in Mexico and Costa Rica. The Sunshine State’s senior population also appears to be taking advantage of some of the procedures driving medical tourism, such as angioplasty, heart valve replacement, and hip and knee replacement.

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