Best Places Around the World for Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is quickly become large growing industry, with countries all over the world in different regions such as Europe, Asia, and South America all having tremendous success with providing medical care to citizen and travelers from other countries. These tourists are looking for care outside their domestic home due to not only cost but the quality of care. Some of these p medical tourists are immigrants in new countries returning to their home country for medical care.

Additionally, many of these countries offer more than merely medical care; they bundle the experience with other comforts, including interesting tourism events and spa-like amenities in luxurious facilities.

Patients Beyond Borders states that nearly 900,000 Americans went outside of the U.S. to look for medical and treatment last year, and that figure has continually risen over the last ten year. However medical tourism is not confined primarily to Americans looking for treatment elsewhere. Patients Beyond Borders indicate that approximately 8 million patients from different countries seek overseas medical treatments contributing to a global industry estimated between $30 billion and $50 billion.

The expatriate who are overseas without the support of a large multinational company frequently lack the resources of a large company when it comes to issues of healthcare support, so they tend to be common uses cases of those seeking other healthcare options.

The most common medical procedures that patients undergo on medical tourism trips include corrective & cosmetic surgery, dentistry (general, restorative, cosmetic), as well as heart surgery. Other health care services that have high levels of travel are for orthopedics (spine and joint; sports medicine); eight loss (LAP-BAND, gastric bypass); cancer (often high-acuity or typically last resort); reproductive (fertility, IVF, women’s health); health screenings, scans, tests, and second opinions etc.

Here’s a look at five popular medical tourism destinations:

1. Malaysia

This country has more than half a million medical tourists arriving there each year, Malaysia consistently ranks as one of the most health care-friendly places for people searching to receive medical help outside of their home country. Americans are typically attracted to Malaysia large English-speaking population and secure and strong infrastructure.

Malaysia’s medical tourism industry beefed up as a way to diversify its economy during the Asian financial crisis.

Medical tourism in Malaysia Malaysian hospitals is recognized for being significant players in vitro fertilization at a cost that’s nearly 20 percent less than numerous other western facilities. Physicals and blood work that might cost thousands of dollars in the U.S. are also considerably cheaper. Malaysia’s hospitals are also known for their advanced or complex treatment for burn victims. In fact, Prince Court Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur was ranked as the #1 hospital for “patients without borders” by the Medical Travel Quality Alliance.

2. India

Recent research from Deloitte estimates that India’s medical tourism market will expand to nearly $4 billion, doubling what it within just four years ago. According to Patients Beyond Borders, of the 250,000 international patients, the vast majority go to cities like Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.

Medical tourism in Hyderabad India. One of the reasons for such robust growth is that some patients are coming from nearby countries that offer far less advanced health care, such as, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar. Many patients from other regions such as Middle East Africa, Canada, and the U.S. are finding the cost saving too impressive to pass in India. An example of this cost differential would be the Medical Tourism Resource Guide estimates, which shows a heart valve would cost around $15,000 in India and $150,000 in the U.S.

Popular treatments in India consist of those for orthopedic, fertility, cardiac and oncology issues and organ transplants.

3. Turkey

With the beautiful lands of Turkey, it’s easy to see why people would want to come to visit, but it also serves as a welcoming location for American-trained physicians, who have aided the country in becoming one of the top destinations of patients from the U.S and Europe.
The top procedures here include cancer cardiac and orthopedic care. The nation has also proved itself as one of the leading regions in the world for eye treatments —, particularly laser surgery, which runs approximately $1,100 for both eyes.

Medical tourism in Turkey -Turkey’s Dünyagöz Hospitals Group runs several eye centers in the country, and they generally are a preferred option for foreign patients, with nearly 30,000 medical tourists from 100 countries.

4. Brazil

For individuals looking for a low-cost option for plastic surgery, Brazil is one of the top destinations in the world.

According to Patients Beyond Borders, nearly 200,000 foreign travelers went to Brazil last year for cosmetic procedures and treatment. The cost savings are significant, with cost tend to be about 30-50 percent below what American physicians would charge for treatment.

Medical tourism in Brazil – Brazil has long been known for its Ivo Pitanguy Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, which has probably completed more cosmetic surgery procedures than any other site in the world.

5. Thailand

Another country is distinguished for its cosmetic surgery in Thailand, where for 20 years, Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital has been administering treatment for foreign patients. According to Patients Beyond Borders, up to 1.2 million patients came to the clinic last year alone.

Medical tourism in Bangkok -Bumrungrad International employs more than 900 physicians across 55 specialties and administers care to more than 1,000 international patients every day. More than 30,000 Americans tour the country each year for medical treatments, according to The Medical Tourism Research Guide,

Of course, these are just a few of the countries that are attractive destinations for medical tourism. In addition, Mexico, Jordan, and Colombia are also popular for medical tourism as millions of patients travel overseas in search of medical care.

Finally, be sure wherever you are going is JCI (Joint Commission International) approved, which classifies, measures, and distributes best practices in quality and patient safety with the world. The Joint Commission started its international accreditation program in 1999 in response to heightened interest in accreditation, standardization and quality improvement worldwide. Its standards are based on international consensus and set uniform, processes, obtainable expectations for structures, and outcomes for hospitals.

JCI accreditation can assist public health agencies, international health tourism organizations, health ministries, and others assess, develop and demonstrate the quality of patient care within their countries.

Now, if you do plan to travel to a different country for health care, be sure to visit a travel medicine practitioner at least a month prior to making the trip to examine specific risks related to the procedure and travel before for a consultation and after the procedure for any follow-up.

Make sure to understand the details of your health insurance plan for covering medical tourism. If you are traveling abroad for a brief time, learn what to look for when you choose a short-term travel medical plan.

Should You Try Medical Tourism?