Medical tourism is exactly what it sounds like: traveling abroad primarily for the purpose of acquiring specialized medical attention, usually with more care and less cost than can be received at home. Medical tourism is nothing new, but it is somewhat new to Americans. In Europe and Asia people have long known that hopping a border has many benefits. Americans are just now catching on, but the numbers are fast catching up. Leading medical tourism consultancy Med Journeys in Montclair, New Jersey, released this month their seven reasons why.
American medical care is exorbitantly expensive. We're told that's because the US has the best medical care in the world, and that may be true, but for as little as one-tenth the price of a procedure at your local hospital you can find a US-trained and accredited doctor at an internationally renowned hospital utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and performing the very same procedure. Sound too good to be true? Ask any of the medical tourists returning from Thailand.
That most precious of commodities is in greater demand in America than anywhere else. Time is money, and you're not going to have forever off work to take a vacation or medical leave. Why sacrifice a foreign vacation just because you need or want a medical procedure? That's when you need a vacation the most! The other side of that coin relates back to cost: lodging and relaxation is so inexpensive in most medical tourism destinations that you can put your feet up and relax far longer than you’d expect. Want to stay in-country and enjoy the sun, the spa and the local culture while you mend? Time is on your side.
Let's face it: no one has seen all they wish to of the world. Most of us have dream destinations, places we rely on films and books to bring to us. The opportunity to stick another pin in the map is not one that should be taken likely. You're getting time off of work and need to spend the money on medicine anyway – save money and see another country? Yes, please!
4. Procedural Availability
Sadly not all medical procedures are covered by health insurance. If your doctor has recommended a procedure and your health insurance company cannot cover the expense, it may be time to explore other options.
No matter how much you love home, many people just do not want to be stuck there before surgery or while recovering. You know there is that one special person you want by your side and the rest of the world can just wait a little while. Well, when you're across an ocean the rest of the world can't get at you. Don't worry, the flowers will keep until you get back, and you can bring some exotic ones home.
Nobody needs to know how you lost thirty pounds in two weeks: tell them you're going to an exercise boot camp and no one need be the wiser.
7. Double up
The lower cost of procedures overseas means you can get all your check-ups, that big procedure. and any others you may have wanted and still come out in the black.
When all is said and done the question really isn't why medical tourism, but why not?