Medical Tourism, often simply described as cross-border healthcare, attracts patients from all over the world to other global destinations for quality medical care abroad.
Previously, in the industry’s beginning, patients most often looked to travel for medical and dental treatments that were primarily elective. Whether it was plastic surgery abroad or dental surgery, the benefits of a health trip included affordable costs, excellent services, and a “vacation” in an exciting or relaxing spot.
Today patients head to a destination for medical treatments, procedures and surgeries that have gone beyond purposes of cosmetic enhancements. Patients now turn to medical tourism to include services that are essential like those related to organ transplantation tourism to those that are life changing like procedures related to infertility tourism or surrogacy abroad.
The International Medical Travel Journal forecasts that in 2012 patients will continue to decide for abroad services cosmetic in nature but also seek further services like infertility treatments, stem cell treatments, and life saving surgeries.
The IMTJ reveals statistics that lend a description to today’s patients who are travelling to different countries for health care services. Although reliable medical tourism statistics are difficult to assess, very safe estimates reveal 60,000 to 85,000 inpatient medical tourists to the United States a year.
Yet, countries in Europe, the Middle East, and those in Asia such as India, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia boast numerous international patients and services such as cosmetic and obesity surgery, stem cell treatment, surrogacy, IVF treatment and cosmetic dentistry driving patients to get healthcare abroad.
Whether patients have difficulties getting proper assessments in their principal country of residence, want to travel elsewhere to undergo fertility treatments subject to the laws of a different country, seek experienced doctors and treatments at a price considerably reduced than typical of their own country, or need an operation that their insurance plan won’t cover, medical tourism offers solutions to patients in need.
For those newly considering travelling abroad, the International Medical Tourism Journal offers a patient guide to help patients make informed decisions about planning a health trip. First and foremost is to answer preliminary questions regarding current health status as being well enough to travel, available companions/caretakers to accompany the patient, financial plans to pay for the treatments, etc.
Further things to consider include checking medical qualifications for the hospitals and physicians abroad, tips regarding how to search for the right clinic, how to choose the right destination, and the importance of allowing for plenty of recuperation days in an aftercare schedule.
For more information on medical tourism and how to plan for successful overseas treatments find a doctor here.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.