Top Five Countries of Medical Tourism
Medical tourism is becoming a burgeoning industry, with countries in Europe, Asia, and South America all finding large success with offering medical care to people from other countries. Some look for care outside their native home because of cost, while other medical tourists are immigrants who return to their home country for care.
Additionally, many of these countries offer more than simply medical care; they bundle the experience with other comforts, including interesting tourism opportunities and spa-like amenities.
According to Patients Beyond Borders, approximately 900,000 Americans went outside the U.S. to find medical treatment last year and the number has been rising consistently over the last decade. But medical tourism is not limited to America. Patients Beyond Borders details that nearly 8 million patients from around the world seek overseas treatment contributing to a global industry valued at somewhere between $20 billion and $40 billion.
The most common procedures that people undergo on medical tourism trips include cosmetic surgery, dentistry and heart surgery. Other health care services that register large include orthopedics, cancer, reproductive (fertility, IVF, women’s health), weight loss, scans, tests, health screenings and second opinions.
Here’s a look at five popular medical tourism destinations:
With more than half a million medical tourists coming to the country each year, Malaysia ranks as one of the most health care-friendly spots for those looking to find help outside of their home country. Americans are attracted to the country’s large English-speaking population and strong infrastructure.
A recent report from Deloitte forecasts that India’s medical tourism market will grow to nearly $4 billion. Of the 250,000 international patients, the majority head to cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.
One of the reasons for such a strong growth is that a number of patients are coming from surrounding countries that offer far less developed health care, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Another reason is reasonable prices. For example, surgery for heart valve costs about $15,000 in India, versus $150,000 in the U.S.
Popular treatments in India consist of those for fertility, orthopedic, cardiac and oncology problems and organ transplants.
The beautiful lands of Turkey and equipped and qualified doctors are a welcoming spot for American-trained doctors, who have helped the country become one of the favorite destinations of patients from Europe and the U.S.
The top procedures here include cardiac, cancer and orthopedic care. The country has also established itself as one of the leading places in the world for eye treatments — especially the country has proved its success on laser surgery.
Turkey is a popular choice for foreign patients, with nearly 30,000 medical tourists from 100 countries coming by.
For people looking for a cheap option for cosmetic surgery, Brazil is one of the top destinations in the world.
Approximately 200,000 foreign travelers went to Brazil last year for cosmetic procedures. The cost savings is extreme, with prices about 30-50 percent below what American doctors would charge for treatment.
Another country known for its cosmetic surgery is Thailand, it is famous for giving services of cosmetic surgery for 20 years. Up to 1.2 million patients came to this country last year. With more than 30,000 Americans visiting the country each year for medical treatments, it is indispensable for them.
Finally, be sure wherever you are going is JCI (Joint Commission International) approved, which identifies, measures, and shares best practices in quality and patient safety with the world.