Should You Be a Medical Tourist? Here’s What to Know

doctors discussing

When you need medical treatment, the last thing in your mind is travel. And yet, many Americans are growing increasingly dependent on medical tourism. They go to Asia and Latin America for medical issues such as dental care, breast enlargement or reduction, and cosmetic surgery. The rising health care costs in the country are pushing these people away from their comfort zone and into countries where they don’t even speak the language. They are completely at the mercy of these doctors.

The July 2020 edition of the Healthcare Global said that the top five countries for medical tourism are India, Singapore, South Korea, Bulgaria, and Panama. Some find it disconcerting to seek medical treatment in other countries, but medical tourism is thriving because it is working. Many other countries outside your own can provide quality care and upgraded equipment/techniques for a portion of what the United States currently charges.

Improving Your Looks

Cosmetics and aesthetics are probably the two fields of medicine that are most popular in medical tourism. Although South Korea has exceptional medical facilities, its aesthetics and cosmetic surgery programs make the mark in this field. Thankfully, the US has the Biofiller kit available for purchase. It’s one of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures that improve the volume and texture of the clients’ skin.

Accessing Affordable Health Care

People go overseas to seek treatment because the cost of getting it locally is exorbitant. Prices are way cheaper abroad, especially if you choose places like India and Panama. For example, the latter has the same currency as the United States, and board-certified doctors are required to be bilingual, eliminating the language barrier that comes with medical tourism.

Dental care is one of the most expensive procedures in the US. You can get your teeth aligned in the Philippines, for example, for a tenth of the cost of doing it in the US. Thailand and India promise almost 90% in savings in dental work.

person wearing an IV

Receiving Exceptional Service

In the US, there’s a shortage of medical staff, including nurses. This is why orderlies usually take care of the non-medical needs of the patients. But in other countries, there are plenty of registered nurses. They are the ones who take care of the patients. Doctors are more present, too, as they make it a point to personally attend to their patients regardless of how busy they are with their other appointments.

It is also more possible for medical tourists to choose the doctors they want to deal with. In many Western countries, patients can only choose a doctor who belongs to the network of the insurance company. In many developing countries, such a practice is unheard of. You can go to whichever doctor you feel can help you with your condition. You are free to deal with a specialist if you think you need one.

Availability of Procedures

Restrictive government policies stop treatments like stem cell therapy from gaining ground. In Singapore, for example, its government backs stem cell therapy for spinal injuries and cancer. Thailand has the same policies. Going abroad for treatments gives you access to these new developments in the field of science and medicine. Cancer therapies in Singapore and Thailand have government funding and support, as well as strong track records. It’s worth looking into.

Know what you are dealing with when you want to become a medical tourist. You have to work with your local doctor to find a program that fits your medical needs. Do your research because this isn’t like booking a flight to your favorite destination. When seeking medical treatments abroad, you have to stay there for an extended period.