A growing trend in different areas across the world is to travel for healthcare. Reasons for this may be related to costs or better quality care.
Defining “Medical Tourism”:
Medical tourism is a term for those individuals who make a conscious and purposeful decision to travel internationally for healthcare. This could include a regular check-up, routine surgery, testing, diagnostics, or cosmetic surgery. A “medical tourist” plans to travel to a different region in the world based on the quality of care provided by a certain facility or perhaps the reduced procedural costs.
It may come as a surprise that citizens from a developed country like the US are traveling to other nations when there is quality care available within their own country. The reason can come down to costs. Americans spend an average of $8,000 a year per person on medical care. Oftentimes an individual can cover both travel and medical expenses in a country such as Taiwan or Mexico for a fraction of the cost. As healthcare costs increase and more procedures become out-of-pocket expenses, the more appealing medical tourism becomes. Savings can range from 20%-80% depending on the location you choose and the procedure.
Quality of Care:
Depending on your facility and region, the quality of care you receive could parallel or surpass the care available in your home nation. Many doctors in facilities across the world have been trained in highly-recognized facilities in the United States or Europe. As the industry becomes more popular the options will only increase.
Choosing Your Facility:
In an effort to make medical tourism a safe option, Joint Commission International, the US-based organization founded in 1999, offers international accreditation to facilities across the globe. In order to obtain accreditation, the facility must uphold the same standards held by hospitals or clinics in America. The number of participating facilities grows each year.
Becoming a Medical Tourist:
Finding the facility that is right for you is based on your location, your funds, and your condition. If you are struggling to afford the care you need and are looking for alternative options, an international hospital or clinic could be for you. Research your options to find what you need to live a healthier and happier life!