Medical tourism is big business and is only getting more popular. More and more people are traveling to other countries to get medical procedures done because of the low cost and high standards.
In even some of the developing countries where medical care in general may not be to the same standards as western medicine, top notch facilities are opening that cater to the medical tourist.
What is driving the medical tourism industry? Elective medical treatments can be obtained for lower costs and procedures for other illnesses do not have to go through an exhaustive FDA approval process. In general, costs for labor, hospital construction, government taxes, and malpractice insurance, are lower than in western countries.
In some cases the same procedure, performed by an experienced and qualified physician can cost up to 80 percent less.
Besides having highly qualified medical personnel and state of the art facilities a lot of places are going all out to attract medical tourists.
Personal suite, gourmet cuisine, resort like settings, spa treatments and more are being offered by facilities. Imagine staying in a resort like setting, with private care, in a Tropical location for less than what the same procedure would cost in your home country.
Some of the top countries for medical tourism are:
With some of the highest medical standards in the world, over 90,000 people traveled to Taiwan for various procedures in 2012.
Turkey has more American-accredited hospitals than any other foreign nation and major surgical procedures can be 60 percent cheaper than the US.
Brazil has over 4,500 licensed cosmetic surgeons. The country attracts people from all over North and South America for cosmetic surgery. Common procedures such as facelifts and nose jobs can run between $3,000-$6,500 USD.
One town near the Austrian border has a population of only 30,000 but has over 160 Dental offices. People from all over Europe travel to this country for cosmetic dentistry and oral surgeries.
Close to half a million people traveled to India in 2012 for procedures of all kinds. Cardiac and Orthopedic surgeries can cost tens of thousands less than in Western countries.
Singapore, known as one of the choice assignments for expats working overseas also attracted over 61,000 medical tourists in 2012,
Mexico attracts more than 1 million medical tourists. Long a favorite and close option for those in the US seeking low cost care and low cost prescription medications.
This country draws over a million medical tourists a year. One reason, procedures can be 50 to 70 percent cheaper there than in the U.S. A full physical with complete battery of tests can be done for a couple of hundred dollars.
The Philippines is beginning to get in on the trade. Dental tourism is beginning to take off. Medical procedures as a whole are cheaper.
A favorite destination for North Americans seeking dental procedures and cosmetic surgery. The country has hundreds of board certified surgeons.
China is attracting medical tourists from all over because of the many facilities involved in stem cell research..
Japan is known for its advanced cancer treatment facilities.
Yes that’s right. The U.S has some of the top medical specialists in the world. While certainly nowhere near the cheapest, people from all over the world come to the US to renowned facilities such as the Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Now before you run off someplace to get a nose job, do a little research. There are a lot of certification agencies. That doesn’t always mean anything. Some require the facility to fill out paperwork, send in a fee and the certification agency might ask some questions. This doesn’t mean the facility was ever visited, the credentials of the medical personnel verified or anything else. Some medical tourism companies work with a select number of facilities that they have personally visited and vetted.
Each country has its own standards but a little due diligence and asking the right questions can get some clear answers.