What is the medical tourism?

Millions of people travel abroad for medical treatments including cosmetic treatments, infertility IVF, or major heart surgery. There are two compelling reasons for this trend.

  • The treatments are much cheaper compared to the home country such as the US,
  • The procedure is not available in the homeland

Cost is the primary element in this decision-making process for the patient in particular when it is a critical condition, and the national health system wouldn’t support it. So, what? Should they accept it? Of course not, that’s the reason people travel around the world to get quality health care at a lower price. The medical tourism industry flourishes the hosting country such as Iran, Malaysia, Bankon, UAE or Turkey. Realising the value of this sector governments are competing to allocate strategic resources and plans to make the most of this market in which generates billions of dollars in revenues.

So, to delve into it in more details, let’s check out what medical tourism is?

The cost of healthcare treatments in many developed countries started to rise exponentially in many developed nations and that led to one of the fastest growing sectors in the tourism industry called medical tourism. A good example of it would be the United States where Americans spend the most substantial amount on healthcare. On the other hand, the issue is that the high cost of insurance and economic uncertainty causes lower income to get particularly attracted to other destinations for health treatment abroad at a fraction of charge in the US. There are many popular medical tourism destinations in the world some of them are:

  • Iran
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica
  • Brazil
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam

To give a better illustration, the heap replacement procedure in the US would cost about $50,000 while the same procedure costs $50,000 in Colombia, $8,250 in Vietnam. So, you can simply realise the cost-benefit of medical tourism, what is driving it? This price difference gap would be even more significant for a critical heart bypass procedure costing around $144,000 in the US while it costs a fraction of it in Malaysia at about $11,500.

The quality of care is a significant factor when deciding about a medical centre to undergo a health treatment, many of these Medical Tourism Hubs have their doctors trained in the US, or top universities in Europe.