With the continuous rise in health care costs, especially in the US, many of its citizens and residents are seeking medical treatment around the globe to find quality health services at a much lower rate. Hence, medical tourism has been one of the latest trends in the health industry.
According to CDC, medical tourism refers to travelling to another country for medical care. In fact, approximately 750,000 US residents travel abroad for care each year. However, medical tourism entails certain risks which include communication barrier, unsafe medical practices, presence of counterfeit or poor quality medicines and the possibility of acquiring diseases that are resistant to antibiotics currently available in the market. Below are the top 10 destinations for medical tourism with the average percentage of savings compared to the US, according to Patient Beyond Borders.
India (65 – 90 %)
Aside from medical treatment, India is also known for wellness and rejuvenation, Ayurveda and alternative medicine. Several hospitals in India are accredited by JCI and NABH. Moreover, it also boasts its zero waiting time, which means that after the initial diagnosis and the team has decided on what medical procedure is best for the patient, the surgery or intervention will then be scheduled quickly. The list of accredited hospitals and the steps on how to plan your trip to India can be found at http://www.indiahealthcaretourism.com/. This site also provides the average price range of treatment offered by various hospitals in the country.
Malaysia (65 – 80 %)
For two consecutive years, Malaysia bagged “Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year” in the prestigious Medical Travel Awards 2016 held in Madrid, Spain. Furthermore, Malaysia also won several international awards and received various accreditations both in the national and international levels which proved its credibility and reputation in medical tourism.
Thailand (50 – 75 %)
Thailand is well-known for its expertise in sex reassignment and breast augmentation surgery. There are 44 JCI accredited hospitals in the country, and recently, it has granted visa exemption to the nationals of the countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
Turkey (50 – 65 %)
Aside from zero wait time, Turkey has 10 JCI-accredited hospitals, which offer low cost treatment such as CyberKnife for cancer treatment, cardiac surgery and orthopedic surgery. On the other hand, with its reliable supply of blood provided by Kizilay (the Turkish Red Crescent), the risk for acquiring blood-borne diseases related to unsafe and improperly screened blood donation will be minimized.
Costa Rica (45 -65 %)
Due to its close proximity to the US, Costa Rica has been one of the top destinations for medical tourism, especially in the field of dentistry. The country’s best clinics and hospitals such as CIMA, Catolica and Biblica are located in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital.
Mexico (40 – 65 %)
Mexico has 7 JCI-accredited hospitals and 98 hospitals accredited by the country’s Federal Ministry of Health, which is equivalent to international standards.
Taiwan (40 – 55 %)
Taiwan has 9 hospitals accredited by JCI and 5 of them are located in Taipei. The country boasts its outstanding performances. One of these is the first ever child liver transplant done at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Now this team has accumulated more than 400 cases. In addition, National Taiwan University Hospital recorded the first kidney transplant in Asia. Aside from surgery, Taiwan also possesses a special earth crust structure. Hence, it promotes the benefits of hotspring to our health, including pain relief and improvement in blood circulation.
South Korea (30 – 45 %)
South Korea offers medical tour packages ranging from cosmetic surgery to severe disease cure. On the other hand, Korea Tourism Organization gives free insurance to medical tourists going to the Republic of Korea, which covers Injury/ death / stress disorder, liabilities for damage during stay in Korea, interpretation service and financial support to cover extended stay related to medical dispute.
Singapore (25 – 40%)
Being considered as one of the most developed countries, the health care delivery in Singapore offers a wide range of quality medical services, cutting-edge facilities and competent health practitioners. In fact, Singapore garnered the first spot out of 51 countries with the most efficient health care system in the year 2014, according to Bloomberg. Furthermore, in the same year, Singapore ranked second in the world for health care outcomes, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Lastly, Singapore also boasts its highly developed biotechnology sector, which means that it offers hard-to find extensive treatment for rare or severe diseases.
Brazil (20 – 30%)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil has the best health care system in Latin America and one of the top countries in the world. With 43 JCI accredited hospitals and institutions as well as with its reputable surgeons, Brazil is considered as the second largest marketplace for cosmetic and plastic surgery. In terms of medical facilities and health infrastructure, Sao Paulo and Florianopolis are the two cities in Brazil that embrace sophisticated health technology.