Medical tourism is the process of traveling to another country or place country to receive healthcare services. The term is commonly referred to as the traveling of patients of a country where the required treatment is either unavailable or the treatment is very costly compared to the tourism destination. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development describes medical tourists as those who “travel across international borders to receive some form of medical treatment.”
Medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular around the world. It has become a major industry in the recent past. There are many reasons for this, but some of the most compelling factors include cost savings, shorter waiting times, and quality care. We will review 10 reasons why medical tourism is becoming more popular across the globe.
One of the main reasons medical tourism is becoming popular is the cost of medical services offered by medical tourism destinations. Medical procedures in developed countries can be expensive when compared to the same procedures in developing countries. In some cases, patients can save up to 80% on medical costs by traveling outside their resident country. The higher cost is the number one reason that patients look into medical tourism as a viable option to get medical treatments.
2. Shorter Waiting Times
Patients who seek immediate medical care and treatment often opt for traveling outside of their home country because they are looking for shorter wait times. Medical tourism offers a much faster way to get the necessary care. For example, it provides cardiac patients to get their surgeries done at a more affordable rate with shorter wait times while receiving quality healthcare services. In many other cases, patients can receive treatment within days of arriving in a new country which is significantly faster than the prolonged waiting time in most developed countries.
3. Quality Healthcare
Among major concerns which patients have when considering medical tourism is whether or not they will receive quality healthcare? Many hospitals and clinics that offer services to medical tourists are accredited by international organizations such as the Joint Commission International. The Medical Tourism Association defines medical tourism as “where people who live in one country travel to another country to receive medical, dental and surgical care while at the same time receiving equal to or greater care than they would have in their own country, and because of affordability, better access to care or a higher level of quality of care.”
4. Range of Procedures Available
Patients can receive a wide range of treatments depending on their needs. Whether surgery, dental care, or fertility treatment, they can likely find a destination that offers standardized medical services with top-class doctors.
5. Access to Specialists
If patients are seeking treatment from highly skilled professionals for their treatment, medical tourism can prove to be the best access to some of the best doctors in the world. This means that a health tourist can get the care that he needs without having to wait months or even years for an appointment.
6. Availability of alternate treatments
Patients sometimes need to go abroad in order to get an alternate treatment or procedure because they are not satisfied or it’s not available in their country.
7. Access to Cutting-Edge Technology
Hospitals and clinics offering services to Medical Tourists are often at the forefront of new medical technology. This means that you have access to the latest treatments and procedures available in the world. If you want to receive the best possible care, with world-class healthcare professionals and standardized procedures then medical tourism is can be a great option.
8. Opportunity to Explore New Destinations
Medical tourism also provides the opportunity to explore new destinations around the world. In addition, many medical tourism clinics offer tours and other activities to help you enjoy your time away from home.
9. Freedom of movement from one country to another
Freedom in the movement of goods and services between nations has boosted the international mobility of medical equipment, medical professionals, and the tourists looking for medical services. The ease of visa services has led to the emergence of medical tourism as a significant economic industry. (OECD, 2012)
10. Enjoy a Vacation
Medical tourism is absolutely as much about tourism as about medical treatment. Those patients, who undergo major surgery, can recover at a better place with a nice climate more quickly. Medical tourists also seek their treatment abroad to enjoy a vacation along with treatment.
Medical tourism is becoming an increasingly popular option for patients who are looking for shorter wait times, high-quality care, and a wide range of procedures available at an affordable cost. Some of the leading medical tourism destinations include Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, India, United States, Dubai, Abu Dhabi. Pakistan is also emerging as an affordable healthcare destination. Offering a range of quality medical services that include but are not limited to Organ Transplants, cardiac surgery procedures, cosmetic surgery, fertility treatment, dental surgery, etc. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the net worth of the medical tourism market worldwide is estimated at $61.172 billion as of 2016 and is expected to increase to $165.3 billion by 2023.
Regardless of the destination where you go for medical treatment, you should be very careful to select an accredited hospital with qualified medical specialists and modern equipment. It is necessary to research the options carefully to find the best destination for your treatment.
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