Medical tourism is growing by leaps and bounds, and countries in Asia, South America, and even Eastern Europe are joining the fray. There are agencies promoting world-class health care at down to earth prices to people from developed nations, where healthcare costs are exorbitant. Procedures that cost six figures in the UK or the US are merely four figures in countries where medical tourism is popular.
What is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism is when people residing in one country travel to another country to get the medical care that is on par or better than the care they receive in their home country but at a much affordable cost.
Since people travel overseas for their treatment, most usually have an opportunity during or after their medical procedure to go out sightseeing and participate in traditional tourism activities.
Today, people can get inexpensive flights and can find information online about the medical services that are provided in different parts of the world. They can even read reviews and comments by other patients who have visited countries for medical, dental, and surgical care. It helps them make a more informed decision as to which country would be the perfect one for their healthcare needs.
What is Driving the Popularity of Medical Tourism?
According to estimates, medical tourism is set to grow as the cost of healthcare in developed nations, like the US, soar. In fact, many employers, who offer health insurance to their employees, and insurance companies feel medical tourism is a great way to lower costs. People can avail premium healthcare at significantly lower prices.
Many countries popular for medical tourism have doctors, specialists, and nurses who have trained and worked abroad. As a result, they can converse fluently in English and work in accordance with established international standards in diagnostics and treatments. It gives peace of mind to international patients, who want clean, hygienic, and high-quality care away from their home nation.
Countries Noted for Medical Tourism
The most common types of treatment that have given impetus to medical tourism include elective cosmetic surgery, orthopedic surgery, cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, and dentistry. Some people also search destinations for assisted reproductive technology, like in vitro fertilization and surrogacy.
- India has a flourishing medical tourism industry that offers cutting-edge technologies and superior healthcare. Compared to the US, patients can save up to 60 to 90% of the cost on their treatment. India is a sought-after destination for organ transplantation, in vitro fertilization, and dentistry. With zero waiting time, efficiently organized hospitals and experienced specialists, India’s medical tourism industry is growing by leaps and bounds. It attracts patients from the UK, who seek dentistry procedures, the Middle East, who are looking for quick diagnosis and surgeries, and many other countries from across the world.
- Brazil is renowned for its gorgeous looking women and hence, it is a popular destination for elective cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery. The cities of Sao Paulo and Florianopolis are renowned for the best cosmetic and plastic surgery hospitals that use the latest medical technologies and innovation. Out of all the surgeries, butt lift is popular among patients from the US.
- Malaysia is counted among the best healthcare providers in Southeast Asia. Patients enjoy five-star rooms that are reminiscent of hotel suites rather than hospital rooms. Patients from England, Canada, and the US come here for hydrotherapy, surgical procedures, and much more.
- Thailand is noted for dermatological, dental, and cosmetic procedures and has the distinction of having the biggest number of hospitals in Southeast Asia with international accreditation. Many also come seeking massage and relaxation therapies that Thailand is renowned for.
While cost is a major factor in medical tourism, patients also want the best quality care and opportunities to sight see and visit attractions. Hence, countries that have a rich heritage and culture are often at the forefront of medical tourism.
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