We are so lucky in the United States to have one of the best health care systems in the world. Perhaps it is because we have the best medical schools, best doctors, best pharmaceuticals, best medical diagnostic equipment, and well, you get the picture. It is truly amazing how many people come to the US to get special operations. Recently, the King of Saudi Arabia came to the US to get an operation, and think about it, he has enough money to go anywhere in the world, but he chose the US, for obvious reasons.
Health Care Tourism means being alive and well, and folks will do just about anything to stay alive. Not long ago, a citizen from India went to the UK to have an operation; unfortunately she also had a terrible infection from a superbug and brought that with her also. This is one risk of health tourism, as folks move around the planet. Luckily, that's not all that typical, and there are lots of reasons for the increase in Health Care Tourism these days.
For the most part folks do it to either get the best care that money can buy, to save money, to combine a vacation trip with an operation, or to have an operation that is not covered by their health care program or socialist nation. For whatever reason and individual chooses to take part in heath tourism - be sure it is a growing sector world-wide.
Folks in the US often go to other countries to get risky operations that no doctor in the US will do because their malpractice insurance will not cover them, or because they have pre-existing conditions that are not covered by the patient's health care plan. Many folks go to Mexico to get dental work done due to the high costs and the reality that many are not covered on their healthcare plans for dental work.
In some countries the cost to say in a hospital might be well under $100 per day, thus an operation with hospital stay is now affordable, whereas in the US it could bankrupt a family. Indeed, other nations have fewer regulations on their heath care industry, which helps keep costs low, but then again on the flip side is the reality that it can be a Buyer's Beware risky game. Therefore, there are many online groups which get together and patients can compare notes on those risks/rewards/costs and accommodations.
In the EU there are many procedures and drugs which are approved there, but they are not in the US - often folks will use this as an excuse to see Europe, get their operation and treatment and their cost savings pays for their entire trip. It's an interesting development in this Global World, but as always - do your homework, do your due-diligence, and check the credentials and reviews from others first. Caveat Emptor - please consider all this.