Tibet is unlike anywhere else in the world, medically speaking. The diseases that plague Tibet are relative to its unique location on the globe: in the mountains at an average height of 3,500 meters. The most widespread diseases are of a pulmonary nature because the altitude is hard on the lungs. Most of Tibet is also very remote, with limited access to medical facilities. There are many political, social and economical factors that dictate the availability of healthcare in Tibet, but the bottom line is that Tibet currently does not have enough medical facilities or special medical knowledge to adequately treat the whole of the Tibetan population.
Many Tibetans are below the poverty line, particularly in remote villages, and cannot afford healthcare in their country. This would tend to indicate that they are unable to travel abroad as well, but Tibetan residents who do have the means to travel would be well advised to consider medical tourism. Medical tourism is the act of traveling abroad for the purpose of using foreign healthcare. Medical tourism is a recent trend, but a quickly expanding one. When a resident of a particular country does not have access to the specialty medical services they require, they either purchase a foreign health insurance policy or pay out of pocket for services in another country.
In the case of Tibetans, while there are medical facilities in Tibet that have pulmonary disease specialists, traveling to a country like Canada would create instant access to a number of pulmonary specialists who could give first, second and third opinions on a person’s condition. Pulmonary procedures and treatments can be performed by experienced physicians in state of the art medical facilities. Healthcare provisions also include general examinations, surgeries, x-rays, lab testing, specialty areas, naturopathy, mental health and substance abuse treatment in Canada. As a Tibetan citizen, it is understandably challenging to travel to Canada for any reason, but for those who have the means and are seeking more advanced healthcare provision than what is currently available to them, Canadian healthcare is a viable option.