As health care costs continue to rise in the United States, many patients are turning to medical tourism. In 2014, over 1.25 million Americans traveled abroad for medical treatment, and that number has continued to grow.
Patients choose medical tourism for a number of reasons, but most commonly it’s because certain treatments aren’t available in their home country or their health insurance does not cover enough of the procedure. These days, global standards of care are rapidly improving, so traveling internationally can be a good way to both save money and receive quality care.
So how does one decide whether medical tourism is the right choice for them? First, let’s break down the main benefits of medical tourism.
This is the top reason people choose medical tourism. Savings can range from 30% to 80% of the cost of a comparable treatment in the US. The main driver of lower prices abroad is the low cost of labor in popular medical tourism destinations. In most cases, surgical procedures are still performed by well-trained experts using up to date technology.
High Quality Care
Most doctors who treat international patients were trained and certified in Western countries like the US or UK. Additionally, many international hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International, which has rigorous standards of excellence. Patients who do their research beforehand can obtain low cost treatment that meets a high standard of quality.
Shorter Wait Times
When it comes to health, waiting is not always an option. This can be an issue especially for patients who live in a country with a public health care system, such as Canada. Long wait times can also be a challenge for patients living in the US. Another advantage of medical tourism is that patients have the chance to be placed on the priority list and be seen almost immediately.
Easy Planning and Communication
Most medical procedures, travel and accommodations can be scheduled online or by phone. The process can be further simplified for the patient by using a medical tourism facilitation service such as MedRepublic. Furthermore, surgeons providing their services speak English, so language barrier is not an issue.
Although the main purpose of overseas travel is to obtain medical care, a side benefit of medical tourism is the chance to visit and enjoy another country. Medical tourism makes it easier and more affordable to combine surgery and a dream vacation.
While medical tourism has many benefits, it’s also important to consider that medical tourism is not right for everyone. Patients should speak with their doctor about pros and cons, in order to make the best decision for them.
Got more questions about traveling abroad for medical treatment? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our world-class doctors today!