Medical Tourism – Abroad Treatment Trend Growing Rapidly
Medical tourism, by definition, refers to the travel of people to another country for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment in that country.
Generally, individuals would go from less-developed countries to significant medical pocuses in developed countries for medical treatment that was unavailable in their home countries. The late trend is for individuals to head out from developed countries to developing countries for medical treatments for less cost, however the traditional trend still continues. Another explanation behind going for medical treatment aboard is that some of the treatments may not be lawful in the country of origin, for example, such as fertility procedures.
Abroad treatment seekers are venturing out to get medical services for treatments like breast transplant, heart surgeries or genuine dental work like implants. Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Thailand, Costa Rica are some of the nations that patients are visiting to get medical help. This trend is being energized by various reasons in various countries and this has risen questioning of health care and insurance system around the globe. Both the rich and the poor in the society are seeking for treatment abroad, whether they have medical insurance or not.
Some of the reasons that are making people to travel abroad seeking medical treatment are:
Better Quality Health Care
This is because other countries have better facilities, physicians, equipments and post treatment care level than the most patient’s origin country. Mostly in developing countries like Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Thailand, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Mexico and more, have higher standardized centers that are easily accessible and have improved their health care treatment levels with modern technology that provides fast and high quality service.
The only obstacle that prevents patients from countries like the US and UK to get abroad treatment is that they simply don’t trust in other countries health care systems. Lack of experience in having a medical treatment abroad creates a hesitation amongst potential patients. But this misjudgment costs patients thousands of dollars and builds up long waiting lists for treatments that could easily be taking care of abroad with a low cost and in short time. A recent study shows, the third leading cause of death in the US is malpractice in medical treatments. Most developing countries have 95-98 % success rate in all types of treatments. Hospitals and clinics are accredited by organizations like JCI (Joint Commission International) which ensures hospitals around the globe to meet the US standards for its citizen. The International Healthcare Accreditation Organization is also in the process of certifying countries that have high quality health care facilities and physicians.
Countries like USA have expensive health care system. Especially for serious procedures like organ transplants can cost as high as a million dollars, plus waiting time can add more to the cost of a kidney or liver transplant. The cost saving for an US based patient is enormously higher than any other patient in the world.
Milliman, a research center, reports in 2015 that a kidney transplant estimated cost including pre and post surgery is $333,300 in the USA, whereas the same procedure will cost maximum $35,000 in Turkey. Hospital and physicians are highly equipped and accredited by international organizations with over 95% success rate. Read below article for more detailed cost comparison.
Shorter Wait Time
In most developing countries, most procedures have shorter wait period than the US. The reason behind shorter wait time is because of the availability of facilities and physicians in developing countries as well as the amount of available private hospitals.
Some of the facts behind the low wait time are that;
Rapidly growing health care industry in all developing countries brings new advanced hospitals into the system almost every month. Health care policies in most developing countries are in the favor of people where the government would provide free health care and medication through centrally managed systems. Public hospitals are very well equipped and increasing in numbers and are available for locals to have free and one-to-one services with country’s best physicians. For instance; in a country like Turkey, every family has one physician appointed for general health care and medication. Medicines are electronically provided through local pharmacies with a click away by the family doctor. Such kind of system and involving technology in the health care system creates enough resource and time to develop the entire health care system to a higher standard. This system saved Turkey billions of dollars and time to create space for private hospitals to kick in and provide top notch services for both local and international patients.
Another important fact is that the US medical facilities are mostly approaching patients as a research case rather than must heal and recover fast patients. Unlike the US healthcare facilities, all public or private hospitals in developing countries diagnose and execute medical case as fast as they can where researching centers and university hospitals are the only facilities do the research and developing part.
Specializing in Treatments
To specialize in a certain treatment, countries invest many resources like money and time in research and development. Almost all developing countries have a focused treatment type and specialization. Hungary, for instance, very well developed in dentistry, Turkey in eye care and organ transplant, South Asian countries in knee and hip replacement, Greece in IVF. These destinations can absolutely be credit for their highly advanced specializations in certain treatments.
Unique and Professional Services
Waiting time is too little comparing countries like Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Thailand, Costa Rica to the US.
Physicians in these countries are available most of the time to provide up to date knowledge and very professional practice. Hospitals and clinics that are offered are all internationally recognized and modernly designed for its most satisfactory treatment level and comforting environment .
Traditionally, people are tend to travel from a developing country to a already developed country to get a better health care assuming the patient have financial stability to experience it. In past 10 years or so, however, trend has been switched to an opposite direction and increasing. Health care seekers are searching for cheaper and better treatments in different countries. All resources that developed countries had access to, can also be found in developing countries with higher quality in service and with a significant lower rates for medical cost.
Additionally, patients and their accompanying loved ones have the opportunity to explore new destinations for a vacationing purpose while being treated in some exotic city or town.