Medical Tourism, the newest craze in town.

What would you do to get good healthcare? Would you travel the globe for better cheaper alternatives, possibly making a vacation out of it? If yes then you are a part of one of the newest trends that has seemed to have caught a good amount of traction in the last few years. So much that people have been adjusting their family vacations to suit their medical needs.

Medical tourism refers to the act of traveling, usually to a foreign country, for the purpose of finding more affordable healthcare. This is not a new industry however. For years people who were seeking cosmetic surgery or dental work that their insurance companies would not pay for (was simply too expensive to have done in their home country) would go overseas to get the procedures done. Inversely, wealthy people from the Middle East would visit the United States and Europe to take advantage of their state of the art medical facilities.

What is happening now is that people without insurance or with high deductible health plans are going overseas to get all kinds of procedures. Medical travel is not limited to just those seeking cosmetic surgery or elective surgery anymore. People are traveling to get virtually every kind of procedure done whether it is organ transplantations, open-heart surgery, cancer therapy, bone marrow transplants, hip and knee replacements, or fertility treatments, among many others, in addition to dental and cosmetic surgery. These procedures are done at a fraction of the cost to what they would cost in the United States. Even with combining the airfare, hotel accommodations, meals, and all other travel expenses, the cost is still significantly less than what it would cost having the procedure done here. In other countries, such as Canada or the UK with their universal healthcare, people participate in medical tourism because of the long wait time it takes to receive certain procedures in their home countries.

Upon hearing the incredibly low costs of their procedures in these medical tourism destination facilities, some folks may draw the conclusion that the major drawback of medical tourism would be a sacrifice in the quality of care. This is not true. With state of the art facilities and excellent physicians, the care is comparable, and in some cases, superior to the care one would receive stateside. Medical tourism destination hospitals offer a “patient driven” environment, where patient satisfaction is a high priority. Word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals…

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