The act of traveling for healthcare is hardly something new in the medical industry, but the volume at which patients are going abroad for their treatments today is consistently growing. In fact, in the past 10 years, searches on Google alone for ‘medical tourism’ have gone from barely 300,000, to a whopping 8,920,000 in April 2018. This growth is still going as more and more people come to see the benefits of medical tourism. We’ve decided to explore just why people are taking to medical tourism and what the benefits really are.
Why Have We Started Looking Global For Our Healthcare?
From unique holistic treatments in Asia to a Longevita hair transplant Turkey treatment, there is plenty to be sought after abroad. However, there is much more to the industry than that. While the thought of going abroad for treatment can often drum up images of unsanitary clinics and botched surgeries, the reality today is actually much different. In fact, countries across the world are opening their doors to brand new facilities and standards of treatment that rival even that in the UK or USA.
The question is, however, if we have such good healthcare facilities at home, why travel abroad? The simple answer can lie in the benefits that medical tourism brings up. From cost savings of potentially hundreds of pounds on some treatments to shorter waiting lists and the opportunity to enjoy a break abroad before and after your treatment, everyone has their own reasons for embarking on a medical tourism trip. We’re exploring some of the reasons here.
What Benefits Can Travel For Treatment Bring?
The benefits and reasons for traveling are one and the same. Whether you’re looking for a good quality of care before, during and after your treatment, or you’re opting for a treatment that may not be available in your home country, here are just a few benefits that medical tourism provides:
- Cost Savings
This is particularly true for those living in the USA – getting your treatment abroad can often be thousands of dollars cheaper than it would be at home. While the costs may not be all that different overall, the same cost for a treatment in the US could include travel, a holiday, full hospital stay in a private room and the treatment itself and still save you money. Of course, this depends on the treatment your seeking and where you’re looking to go, but savings of anything between 15% – 85% are common.
- Quality Of Care
While you’re likely to get good treatment during the actual procedure in the US or UK, it’s the before and after care where medical tourism truly shines. The patient care factor is a point of pride for many healthcare facilities abroad and you’ll also find that the care is centred on you as a person and as a patient, as opposed to simply getting you in and out as quickly as possible. There’s no rush to shell you out of your hospital bed before you feel you’re ready – you could even find yourself in a recuperation resort for bigger treatments!
- Excluded Treatments
Whether it’s through exclusion on your health insurance policy or your country simply doesn’t offer the procedure on public or private healthcare, travelling abroad will often give you better access to these possibilities. Anything from cosmetic surgery and dental care to fertility treatments and prosthetics, these treatments and procedures could prove to be much more accessible abroad than they are at home.
- Shorter Waiting Times
Waiting times for procedures in the likes of the US or the UK can span for months, if not years. In fact, it’s not unheard of for patients to succumb to their illness or injury and unfortunately die before they ever reach their operation day. It’s for this reason that those in need or urgent medical care will often travel abroad for their treatments. While it’s not always more cost effective to do so, some patients on long waiting lists are opting for paying treatment costs abroad just to have their illness cured or their pain stopped. With a higher quality of care included, we can hardly blame them.
Medical tourism is a hot topic in the healthcare industry as of late and whether or not it’s the ‘way to go’ is up for debate. However, those already opting for it are seeing shorter waiting times, better quality care and much smaller medical bills in some cases. Would you travel for treatment?