If you’re considering traveling abroad, or possibly in need of medical care that you can’t get or afford at home and are considering becoming a medical tourist, then you’re probably wondering which are the best countries for medical tourism.
An interesting fact about medical tourism is that it has been growing annually by 20%, over the past several years. Patients Beyond Borders, a source of consumer information about international medical and health travel has estimates that the worldwide medical tourism market will be reaching approximately $47 Billion by the end of the current year. Different countries around the world are the chosen destinations for medical tourism, from South America to Asia and eastern Europe. Moreover, different medical agencies around the globe have started to promote less expensive health care costs in order to attract more foreign visitors, especially from developed countries where health care costs are very high. In the United States this tendency has been seen for some time and and with the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the influx of traveling patients to foreign destinations for medical procedures is estimated to increase.
The top destinations regarding medical tourism tend to vary depending on the type of intervention in question. Emerging countries have started building pretty impressive healthcare infrastructures, with good medical teams and very competitive prices. A procedure that can cost into the six figures in Europe or the United States might not cost above four figures in some of these countries. About seven million people travel abroad each year looking for every possible sort of medical treatment.
Another fact that influences the increase in medical tourism is the increasing number of job offers medical professionals are receiving around the world. Doctors are considered among the highest paid professionals in the workforce, yet considering the sometimes reduced conditions in which some work, the opportunities in less developed countries are seemingly more attractive. These countries have started to lure professionals from different places of the world with high salaries and amazing job positions. If you are interested in finding out which are the 16 Highest Paying Countries for Doctors, check out this list we’ve made!
Medical tourism is growing and many countries are seeking to offer high-quality health care at a good price as to attract more patients. And it seems to be working as in 2013, around 900,000 Americans traveled overseas for treatment, according to Patients Beyond Borders. But which are the selected destinations for these health-care travels? This time we’ve gathered some information about the 10 best countries for medical tourism.
No. 10 Costa Rica
Medical tourists per year: 50,000
This country has been providing optimal dental care and medical surgery for some time, and is considered one of the top medical tourism destinations, representing 15% of all international tourists who visit Costa Rica every year.
No. 9 Taiwan
Medical tourists per year: 90,000
With a total of 22 JCI accredited health care facilities offering the best health care services, Taiwan is comparable to China, which has 28 JCI accredited health care facilities. The top medical tourism spot in Asia, Taiwan offers medical services with prices that are 50% lower than those in the US.
No. 8 Turkey
Medical tourists per year: 110,000
Most of the medical tourists visiting Turkey are primarily interested in eye surgery and check-ups at JCI accredited hospitals. Interventions in Turkey might cost 60% less than US procedures, and moreover, Turkey is home to lots of western-trained doctors.
No. 7 Brazil
Medical tourists per year: 180,000
Brazil is not only one of the most popular destinations in South America, but also a particularly interesting spot for those seeking to have plastic surgeries. With more than 4,500 licensed plastic surgeons, Brazil is today a top country regarding expertise in that field. On top of that, plastic surgery procedures in Brazil cost 60% less when you compare them to the cost of the same procedures in the US.
No. 6 Malaysia
Medical tourists per year: 250,000
The increasing number of medical tourists heading to Malaysia can be explained by the combination of first class medical facilities and expertise, with considerably low costs. One of the top medical tourism services offered in Malaysia is burn treatments.
No. 5 India
Medical tourists per year: 400,000
Hosting more than 400,000 medical tourists from all over the world, India is among the most popular destinations. Some of the treatments patients seek in this country are orthopedic and cardiac procedures. India has top private hospitals which offer world class services. Nevertheless, the country doesn’t have many internationally accredited hospitals.
No. 4 Singapore
Medical tourists per year: 610,000
A hot spot, Singapore has become rather well-known for its sophisticated cancer diagnosis and treatment services. Apart from these treatment services, Singapore has some of the best medical facilities in the world: 22 JCI accredited facilities, modern healthcare institutions and a $300 million biotechnology research center.
No. 3 United States
Medical tourists per year: 800,000
The country is indeed one of the most expensive regarding health care services. Yet, it receives around 800,000 medical tourists every year, looking for rare treatments on the most complicated health conditions. It indeed holds some of the best health care facilities and professionals, which explains why the country receives this amount of patients from around the globe every year.
No. 2 Mexico
Medical tourists per year: Over 1 million
Many medical tourists going to Mexico are from nearby countries, and especially the US. Statistics show that over 70% of U.S. medical tourists in Mexico come from Arizona, California and Texas. The most common services include dental work and weight loss surgery.
No. 1 Thailand
Medical tourists per year: 1.2 million
Top of the list, Thailand hosts the largest amount of medical tourists. Thailand offers a wide range of health care services, from which the most popular ones are cosmetic surgery and rehabilitation treatment services. This destination has some of the best and cheapest rehab centers in the world. Moreover, Thailand’s rehab centers are considered discrete and private, with exemplary services and low cost.