What is Medical Tourism?
Simply put, medical tourism is the practice of going abroad in order to receive high-quality and low-cost medical care.
Today, more than 150,000 Americans travel abroad to avoid the long waiting list of surgical procedures in their home country, and to get high standards of healthcare services. Countries like the Philippines, India, Thailand, Mexico, Dubai, South Korea and Costa Rica have become popular medical tourism spots in the world.
This is because apart from the cheap but effective treatments, several hospitals and clinics in these offshore destinations offer top-notch surgical specialties. And with medical tourism becoming a big business, surgery and vacation is now an ordinary pair.
Surgical Holidays Abroad
According to Josef E. Fisher, professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston, some 60,000 to 750,000 US patients – especially those who lack health insurance travel abroad for cheaper medical and cosmetic surgeries.
In addition, a handful of major health facilities like Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand or NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute in Mumbai, India offer complete pre and post-treatment packages. The “package” prices include operating room expenses, medications, cost of surgical implants (if any), professional fee of the surgeon and anesthesiologist.
Furthermore, in many high-end medical facilities, foreign patients are often pampered like VIP guests. Instead of offering standard hospital recovery services, some hospitals and surgical outpatient clinics offer their patients resort-like accommodations, catered meals, concierge services, or a personal nurse. But much of the allure is the destination itself.
Therefore making it indispensable for many American patients to take advantage of surgical vacations abroad. At most times, healthcare facilities use specialized medical facilitators or travel agencies to package their patient’s surgical procedures. A standard offer includes tour itineraries, complimentary resort stays, or recuperating at exotic destinations during recovery.