Health Care: The Most Popular Countries
for Medical Tourism
By Mila Jones
If treatment cost scares you more than the ailment, you should begin exploring your options in medical tourism. Here are some of the countries you can start off with...
Tourism has always been an interesting industry. This is where people get to explore newer cities and push forth their monotony and do what they seldom do – explore. With changing times, and increasing costs of medical treatments, tourism seems to have taken a modern twist.
Medical tourism basically is travelling to another country to get treated at a much more reasonable price. Any medical treatment should not rip the patient of all the fortunes they have gathered throughout their lives. In 2013, over 900,000 Americans traveled overseas for treatment.
People wanting to get treated for a lower price, are willing to travel to places that rids them off their ailment at a very reasonable price. It is estimated that roughly over 8 million people travel to other countries wanting to find more reasonable healthcare.
In order to stay ahead of the curve, many more countries are now joining the bandwagon, wanting to host travelling patients. Medical tourism is on an all-time-rise and countries across the world are setting up agencies that facilitate the growth of this industry in their own backyards.
To give you an estimate, the medical tourism global industry is now worth $24-40 billion, as per Patients beyond Borders.
If you too are suffering from an ailment but your healthcare plan is what’s scaring you more, here are some of the probable countries you can aim to go for.
1 - Mexico
Mexico is one of the leading choices for patients from the American continent, simply due to its proximity. If it is a quick dental or cosmetic treatment you are looking for, and not willing to spend too much time in air travel, Mexico would be the ideal location. Mexico’s low cost healthcare and updated facilities have set patients right and about in no time. To add to its popularity, the city of Monterrey is known to house four first-class American-accredited hospitals. According to estimates, Mexico welcomes roughly 50,000 touring patients every year.
2 - Turkey
The country that borders Greece, Turkey falls in every medical tourist’s radar in the European continent. It is also a popular site among the Europeans as a great general location to be vacationing at.
The country realised its potential as a rising centre of medical tourism, and hence stationed a good bunch of American-trained doctors in the country who now provide state-of-the-art medical care at really affordable prices.
The country is renowned to offer exceptional eye treatment and inexpensive laser surgeries. For example, the Dünyagöz Hospitals Group runs eye-care centres across Turkey and has grown to be so popular that they now have centres in Holland, Germany and England as well. Catering to over 30,000 medical tourists a year, Turkey really is turning out to be a prime spot in the medical tourism bracket. Much to one’s surprise, laser treatments in Turkey start at 750 Euros which also includes a three-night’s stay in the hospital.
3 - Costa Rica
Known to be popular in the medical tourism circuit due to its expat-friendly environment, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to be treated too. The country is known to be the safest and the most popular destinations for those seeking retirement, as this country uses the US dollar.
Another reason why Costa Rica is popular for medical tourism is that it has a territorial tax system in place. It has been noticed that roughly 40,000 people visited Costa Rica only for medical treatments, out of which 1500 were only for dental care. In terms of medical speciality, Costa Rica is gaining quite a name for dental tourism. What would cost you 10,000 USD in US or Canada would cost you merely 4,000 USD in Costa Rica, and that would surmount to huge savings, including your travelling and staying expenses.
4 - Singapore
Counted among one of the best medical destinations in the world, Singapore is known for its sophisticated systems and state-of-the-art cancer treatment facilities. It is estimated that in 2012, over 610,000 tourists marked their routes to Singapore for medical treatments.
Singapore offers 22 healthcare facilities which are certified by the Joint Commission International, making it the world’s highest quality medical tourism destination which offers a wide range of healthcare needs.
5 - Malaysia
A popular medical tourism destination for Indonesians, Malaysia gets almost 80 per cent of all medical tourists from nearby countries. The conditions are suitable for patients to feel at home, and the facilities cost just as much as they would in the cost-effective location like India.
It is said that roughly 670,000 people travel to Malaysia each year for healthcare screenings in cities of Kuala Lumpur or Penang. Patients beyond Borders estimate that a complete screening, including vision, dental, hearing and MRI-PET scans would ideally cost $1,500.
6 - Brazil
Apart from the beaches and the football, Brazil is now making its name as a renowned medical tourism location. It is gaining popularity for cosmetic treatments, and is taking the world rather by surprise.
Rio de Janeiro is where Ivo Pitanguy, the “King of Plastic Surgery” seems to operate at the Ivo Pitanguy clinic. Brazil is also a leading country offering psychotherapist treatment to patients helping them to adjust to their new post-surgery looks. It is estimated that patients from America end up saving 20-30 per cent on their treatments by opting for treatment in Brazil.
7 - India
What was once considered to merely be a land of “snake charmers” is now commanding the medical tourism trend. According to a 2014 report from Deloitte, India’s medical tourism market was estimated to touch $3.9 billion from just $1.9 billion in 2011.
The medical tourism industry in India relies on metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi which experience a massive influx of patients all throughout the year. There are countries surrounding India that do not have healthcare systems as upgraded as that of India. The country welcomes visitors from immediate proximity, like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and also from afar like Africa and the Middle East. Lately, India is growing to be a popular medical tourism spot in America, Canada, and most of Europe too.
There are many countries worldwide now acknowledging medical tourism. However, those mentioned above managed to read the terrain much before others and have now made provisions to encourage medical tourism into their country. That being said, you now know that if your healthcare plan does not affordably cover your treatment, you always have an option to forego boundaries and get treated reasonably. Healthcare is that dominion that ends up costing you a fortune. But with medical tourism making rapid inroads globally, getting quality healthcare by stretching every dollar to the maximum no longer remains a distant dream.
Mila Jones is a Senior Business Consultant, with rich experience in the domains of technology consulting and strategy, she works with both established technology brands and market entrants to offer research inputs and insights on leveraging technology as a source of strategic competitive advantage. She is a prolific author and shares her expertise with tech enthusiasts on popular digital publishing platforms. She loves not only to write about several topics but also loves to explore new ideas about Lifestyle, Travel blogs and many more. Follow Mila on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.