Virtual hitchhiker's guide to the medical universe

Armchair exploration of foreign health care systems can be almost as enlightening as an actual visit.

Medical tourism, the practice of combining medical treatment with vacationing, is growing at a staggering rate. Of course, like much international travel, medical tourism is for the adventuresome. If you're among the more cautious, there's a safe way to sample the health wisdom of other nations from the comfort of your armchair: the Internet. For our tour, we chose English-language Web sites from 12 countries. All are produced or vetted by the central health agencies of the countries featured.

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