If the term ‘medical tourism’ is one you’ve heard of, you probably already know everything we’re going to say. From the best breast enlargement Turkey has to offer, to a hip replacement in the Philippines, medical tourism is the answer to the surgical woes of patients all over the world. But why not stay at home? Why go through the hassle of catching a flight just to have a surgery done? We’ve decided to take a look into some of the most common benefits that make medical tourism as popular as it is today.
The top of most patient’s lists for travelling for their procedures is the simple fact that procedures can actually be cheaper, especially when it comes to private care. Surgeries in the US, for example, can be upwards of $50,000 depending on the procedure and the severity of the issue that is being solved. Plus, more often than not, this price doesn’t actually include the hospital stay after the surgery either. By travelling, Americans can find that they’re saving tens of thousands of dollars, with better facilities and their accommodation all included. Patients save over 90% through medical tourism – and that’s with flights, accommodation and a vacation all included!
Shorter Waiting Time
In the UK and the USA especially, waiting lists for procedures can be as long as 6 months or more. If you think that sounds bad, remember that this is only getting worse, too! People are living in pain for as long as a year before they get their much-needed surgeries! Medical tourism offers shorter waiting times, or sometimes no waiting time at all. Chronic pain is extremely difficult to live with, so can you blame patients for bypassing public healthcare systems in their home country for an immediate solution abroad?
The Quality and Facilities
It’s a cinematic picture; a patient goes abroad for a surgery and is met with a dirty, muddy room with a dusty, stained table and blunt knives. We can thank Hollywood for those images. The reality of the matter is, however, that medical tourism can actually take you to some of the best facilities the world has to offer. High-quality equipment, the newest technologies, luxurious accommodation and access to hospitality services 24/7 are all far more likely than you’d think when travelling abroad! In fact, a lot of medical tourist facilities can give the UK and America a run for their money when it comes to cleanliness!
Access to more procedures
Clinical trials, risky procedures, medicines that are banned… these are all issues that some patients might face when it comes to difficult or complicated illnesses. Travelling for their care can often give a patient access to a whole wealth of alternate procedures without having to compromise on quality. A procedure that might be banned or unavailable in the UK, for example, could be available in India in a high-class facility. Whether a patient is willing to undergo that procedure is ultimately their choice, but sometimes travelling to get a particular surgery can be a life changing or even life-saving trip.
A Personalised Experience
The unfortunate fact about public healthcare in the UK, US or Canada is that the experience just isn’t personalised. Patients can be left feeling cold of care, and are often ushered out of hospital as soon as it is safe to do so. Medical Tourism, however, offers patients access to a more personal, genuine service. Facilities abroad have the resources and time to spend with and on each patient, making sure their stay is comfortable, and can even give them the opportunity to stay for longer. The charges aren’t as hefty as the US, and the bed demand isn’t as high as in the UK, so patients abroad can stay until they feel ready to leave – all with the tentative care of their surgeon and physical therapist where necessary!
In short, Medical tourism can give patients a much better experience as a whole. While the procedure itself will be the same, the cost, facilities and aftercare can all be much better than you’d expect. Gone are the days of Hollywood-esque dangerous surgeries abroad just to save money – you can have a safe and efficient procedure in a top-class facility for a fraction of the usual cost! What’s not to like?