These days, a growing number of people are discovering the benefits of medical tourism. In the USA and throughout the Western world, it is becoming common knowledge that medical tourism offers a cheaper option for receiving medical treatment without compromising on quality.
This article will outline the benefits and advantages of medical tourism, the reasons why people go abroad for treatment and basically, what medical tourism is all about.
Medical Tourism at a Glance
In general, medical tourism is the act of going overseas to obtain medical, cosmetic or dental treatment in another country. Medical tourism is also regarded as Health Tourism, Medical Travel or Global Healthcare. Over the past five years, many travel agencies specializing in medical tourism have been offering packages to people who want to receive medical treatments abroad.
More people are opting to receive medical treatment abroad rather than in their own countries because:
- Certain medical services are not available in their country of residence.
- Their health insurance does not cover the full cost of a procedure.
- Most people are unwilling to compromise their health just because the treatment costs are too high.
Why People Go Abroad for Treatment
The popularity of obtaining medical treatment overseas is influenced by several factors. People seek medical treatment abroad because:
- The costs of healthcare in developed nations have increased exceedingly.
- Nowadays, international travel is trouble-free and reasonably priced.
- Global standards of care and technological advancements in healthcare are rapidly improving all over the world.
- Improved communication opportunities make it easier to find and contact medical centers overseas.
Another factor to consider is health insurance. People without health insurance, or with a limited insurance policy, are more likely to seek other options such as medical tourism. As the price of healthcare services increase, the range of treatments and procedures that the health insurance policies cover decreases. The deductibles from a person's health insurance may turn out to be more expensive than the price of going overseas for treatment. This is why people who simply cannot afford health insurance, choose traveling abroad as a legitimate alternative.
The Benefits of Medical Tourism
Affordability and Cost-effectiveness
The low cost of medical procedures, is the number one reason why people go offshore for medical treatments. The savings range between 30% and 80% of the cost that you would normally pay in the USA.
Due to the low prices of medical procedures and surgery abroad, some people worry that medical tourism might be fraud or a scam. The main reason behind the low prices of medical treatments abroad is the low cost of labor in the popular medical tourism destinations.
Although the treatments are cheap, in most cases surgical procedures are performed by well trained experts who are using top notch technology. In addition, the lower costs of malpractice, insurance and administration also contribute to the low prices of overseas medical procedures.
Many of the doctors and surgeons that offer healthcare services to international patients are trained and certified in Western countries, such as United States and Great Britain.
Medical centers all over the world have acquired accreditation from well known international organizations such as JCI, JCAHO and ISO to express their dedication to excellence.
Some institutes and medical centers are members of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), which is a federal agency that gives leadership and financial support to researchers in the field of medicine and health.
Another advantage of medical tourism is the immediate access to health care services. For those who have come from countries with public health care systems, medical tourism offers them the chance to be placed on the priority list. When dealing with matters of health, waiting is not always an option.
Improved Flight and Communication Services
Most procedures performed abroad can be scheduled via the internet or by phone. People have the flexibility to book flights and schedule surgery procedures from the comfort of their own home. This eliminates the inconvenience of going to the hospital or clinic for evaluations and assessments. The only time a person has to leave their house is on the day or week of the surgery, or procedure.
Even though medical tourism is about obtaining medical care, a side benefit of medical tourism is having the opportunity to travel to another country. For some medical tourists, especially those seeking dental care, cosmetic care or wellness treatments, these can enjoy the opportunity to travel overseas in addition to receiving less expensive healthcare.
The concept of medical tourism is appealing to anyone who is interested in high quality and affordable healthcare. The medical tourism phenomenon is gaining popularity and the number of people going abroad for treatment increases rapidly every year.
With many medical tourism benefits, advancements in technology and improvements in healthcare standards within developing countries, it is likely that the advantages of medical tourism will provide a striking economical solution to many healthcare problems.