Watch part two

Medical tourists flock to Thailand for a risky stem cell therapy not sanctioned in the US, Europe nor Australia. Thai doctors say it is safe and they are prolonging life and making money at the same time.

Medical tourism in Asia is booming, attracting an estimated 1.6 million overseas patients annually.

Most of the tourists are from Asia and the Middle East but the numbers from the United States, Australia and Europe are on the rise, attracted by the lower healthcare costs.

In such a competitive market, several Asian hospitals are offering these new procedures in a bid to keep their leading edge.

In Thailand four hospitals are offering a stem cell therapy for chronic heart sufferers – a procedure that's still in the experimental stage.

Is it a scam or a breakthrough and what are the ethical questions this procedure raises?

This episode of 101 East aired on Thursday, January 31, 2008.

Source: Al Jazeera