Medical tourism is a relatively recent concept of traveling to another country to get or give health care treatment or surgery. When you cross international borders to get medical treatments it’s considered medical or health tourism because often there is a vacation planned in the trip. Medical tourism is also used to describe health care providers who travel internationally to treat patients.
The major reasons patients opt for medical tourism are better and/or faster medical services and cost savings. Also, they are added advantages of enjoying a holiday vacation. Medical services that most travelers are interested in are surgeries such as knee replacement, hip replacement, cardiac (heart) surgery, cosmetic surgery, and dental surgery. Other healthcare services like psychiatry and alternative treatments not available in the U.S. are also sought after. Burial services are also made available to medical tourists if needed.
Globally, more than 50 countries have made medical tourism their national industry. Some of the countries known for medical tourism are Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, and India. It is important to know there is a wide range of services provided as well as a wide range in the quality and accreditation requirements.
Healthcare services provided
The health care services including surgeries available for medical tourists range from a simple checkup to a major heart surgery. Surgery for the heart, eye, dental, orthopedic, spine, gynecology, fertility, urology, and cancer are all available. You can also get affordable cosmetic surgery that is not normally covered by health care insurance in the U.S. Services for weight loss or stem cell therapy are also available. Some even offer alternative treatments, ayurvedic treatment, oriental medicines, spas, etc. Major organ transplants (kidney etc.) can also be availed in medical tourism.
In the US, UK or Europe, treatment can be delayed due to long waiting lists and they prefer to travel to other countries like Singapore, Thailand, India to get faster treatment along with quality service and a low cost. These countries offer treatment with cutting-edge technology at a fraction of the cost you would have to pay in your own country. For example, a patient pays approximately $57,000 for an angioplasty in the U.S. whereas in India or Thailand the cost would be $9,000 – $10,000. Similarly, a knee replacement cost about $50,000 in the US compared to $9,000 – $14,000 in other countries. Cosmetic surgeries, like a face lift or breast implants, cost $10,000 – $15,000 in the U.S. whereas it cost $5,000 – $8,000 in Asian countries like Thailand or India. (Prices vary from hospital to hospital). There are more and more patients in good physical condition traveling to save money through medical tourism.
Finding a Doctor
Most countries that provide medical tourism have well qualified health care providers and doctors. Many of them are trained internationally. Some providers who offer medical tourism also partner with leading institutions in the U.S. or UK, keeping the standard of treatment high with state of the art facilities. They also provide high quality hospitality to their health care guests. It is important to do your research thoroughly of the the doctor and hospital you are considering before selecting the desired country/hospital/service provider for medical tourism.
Medical Tourism in India
Among the many Asian countries, India offers medical tourism, and in fact, India is often preferred over the other Asian countries. Patients from both the U.S. and UK travel to India for various types of health care treatment and surgery. One of the major reasons for choosing India is the cost factor. India provides some of the most affordable treatment options for surgery like heart surgery, knee or hip replacement or various orthopedic treatments and surgery.
Language is usually not a barrier, and medical tourists do not face problems with communication in India as most people speak English.
The medical facilities in India are quite good and suited for medical tourists. Some of the facilities are comparable to those in the U.S. Most corporate hospitals are well equipped with sophisticated instruments and laboratories which deliver a quick and accurate diagnosis and treatment.
The doctors in India are highly qualified; many of them have work experience and training in western countries. Indian doctors are well known globally for their research and medical skills. They nderstand well the requirements of international patients and treat them appropriately.
Compared to facilities in Canada or UK, where you may have to wait for months to get surgery, in India tourists don’t need to wait and get their treatment right away. In addition to the cost and care advantages touring the beautiful country of India would make a wonderful vacation for anyone. Medical tourism companies offer great tour packages, affordable hotel and food, arrange car rentals and tour guides.
Medical tourism is a growing industry as more and more people become comfortable with the care from other countries. India is among the leading medical tourism providers. So if you’re looking for a vacation and have a need for affordable health care or surgery, India is the perfect destination for both.