Health tourism is big business. Restrictions on research by the federal government in the United States regarding embryonic stem cells can hamper efforts on putting stem cell therapies to use in the States, but those same restrictions are not always in other countries. Since the 1990s different presidential and congressional administrations have enacted laws that hinder or help stem cell research which means even though research has been ongoing since the 1990s, it has been markedly slow. Other countries don't have these same fluctuation or restrictions, so that's where the top researchers go to get work done and why health tourism exists.
It's estimated that thousands of Americans travel to Mexico or Canada annually to receive stem cell and other cell-based therapies. While there are reputable ways these countries use stem cells, you should use caution. Let's find out how.
Being Careful About Health Tourism
There are plenty of reputable health tourism companies out there, but there are also companies that are more concerned with your money than well-being. If you are considering health tourism for stem cell treatments practice the following tips:
-Only book with a health tourism company that's registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
-Only book with a company that has several positive reviews
-Only book with company that has several
Consider the clinic or hospital you'll be going to. Look for their certifications and registrations. The health tourism trip will only be as good as the doctor or clinic that performs the procedure.
Stem Cell Therapies Available in the U.S.
You don't have to go to Mexico or Canada for your stem cell treatments as research is moving along in the United States at this moment. An example of new developments is found with Dr. Kenneth Pettine and his Colorado-based research team whom recently found a safe and effective use for mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of chronic degenerative musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis. Pettine has led several other FDA-sanctioned studies and was one of the first surgeons to experiment with stem cells in spinal surgeries.
Though health tourism is big business, developments are happening in the United States too. Doctors like Kenneth Pettine and others are working diligently link to ensure stem cells are available for therapies for their fellow Americans and will be safer and more effective than treatments available across the border.