Medical tourism gains Olympic notoriety, links

American speedster Tyson Gay is expected to be in the hunt for a gold medal in the 100-meter dash in Beijing on Saturday.  But he almost didn’t make the trip.

Gay took a scary spill at the Olympic trials five weeks ago that brought his appearance in the 100 meters into question.  From ESPN:

One week after setting the American record in the 100 meters and also running that distance faster than anyone else ever has, Gay’s quest to double up at the Olympics in the 200 ended prematurely and painfully during a quarterfinal heat when he collapsed due to what was described as a “severe cramp” in his left hamstring.

Gay pulled up about a dozen strides into the race, after perhaps 40 meters. He collapsed to the ground and lay there as his competitors raced ahead and a stunned Hayward Field crowd went silent. Officials quickly brought a modified stretcher onto the track and wheeled him to the medical tent for examination.

In order to be sure the injury wasn’t anything more than cramps, Gay was treated by a physician…in Germany:

“The hamstring is 100 per cent,” he said after being treated by specialist Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, the doctor of German football giants Bayern Munich and the German national team.

Olympic Medical Tourism—it has a ring to it, no?

Niko Karvounis’ recent in-depth look at medical tourism is worth your read at Health Beat.

Also, The Economist takes a free market look at medical tourism.

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