The words Medical and Tourism are often used in different contexts. One is not so pleasant, while the other is brings a lot of happiness. But put the two together and you have a new industry altogether.
In simple words, Medical Tourism refers to the process of travelling to another country other than the country of residence to obtain medical care.
You must have heard many people opting for Medical Tourism but you’re not quite sure about it. You must think who on earth would go to another country for something you can get in your neighborhood, right? Well, well, well, there are many reason to prove your logic wrong.
Let us put light on some of the benefits of Medical Tourism that made people opt for it:
Affordability & Cost Effectiveness
Costs of medical procedures in developed countries such as U.S., U.K., etc. are very high as compared to India & other Medical Tourism spots. A person coming to India for his/her medical treatment can save anywhere between 30 to 70 per cent, including the cost of ticket expenses & accommodation.
Some medical insurance policies do not cover full cost of medical treatment & the patient is made to pay a fraction of the cost. Sometimes even this fraction of the cost becomes unaffordable & Medical Tourism becomes the most feasible option. People with no medical insurance are the ones who are highly involved in medical tourism.
High Quality Healthcare
Patients from countries where healthcare expertise is not as much developed get highly involved in Medical Tourism as they have no other option left.
Countries like India, Thailand, Singapore & Malaysia have top doctors & surgeons who are trained and certified in Western countries like U.S, U.K. etc.
Medical institutes in these countries have also acquired accreditation from well-known international organizations like JCI (Joint Commission International) & JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare) and hence offer excellent healthcare services just like developed western countries.
Many developed countries do not have immediate access to medical procedures & have long waiting lists. In Canada, more than 50% people say it took longer than 4 weeks to see a specialist. Access to immediate medical procedures is what attracts patients from developed countries travel to top Medical Tourism destinations.
Privacy or Anonymity
Individuals go on a vacation for their medical treatment, and avoid questions from friends and relatives about the required surgeries. People opting for cosmetic surgeries like breast enlargement do not wish to share with others about it.
While the primary motivation for patients might be access to better quality of healthcare and timely medical aid, the opportunity to visit a new destination is an additional draw for some. Especially for patients seeking dental care, cosmetic care, etc., as they can enjoy exploring the destination while recovering.
No or Less Insurance Coverage
As mentioned in the first benefit, people with no or less insurance coverage who cannot afford to pay the healthcare expenses in their own country choose to go to other countries for affordable medical treatment.
Availability of Medical Experts
Underdeveloped or developing countries that do not have highly trained medical experts to perform complex surgeries, people from such countries are obliged to travel for medical treatment.
Availability of Advance Equipments
Just like unavailability of medical experts, some underdeveloped or developing countries may not have the advanced medical equipments needed to perform complex treatments or surgeries.