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Medical Tourism: Going to Asia

People from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom usually aim for Asian countries when getting medical treatment for a variety of reasons. Asians are known to be very kind, accommodating and friendly. Asian nations are also widely popular for their unique and colorful culture, so you get to learn a lot from your trip. Finally, the technologies and practices in these countries are now considered globally competitive and safe.

Going to India

Medical tourism in India experiences a yearly growth rate of about 30%. By 2012, experts estimate the revenues brought in by the industry will reach about $2 billion. Some of the reasons why foreigners go to India include the very low cost of medical treatment, the very rich culture, historical and religious landmarks and the availability of modern medical technologies and equipment.

At present, infrastructures in India is not that many, but the cost of treatment in India is only around 10% of the cost you expect to pay in America or the United Kingdom. Some of the most popular treatments that visitors go for include cardiac bypass surgery, alternative medicine, eye surgery, hip resurfacing, heart surgery, orthopedic surgery and bone marrow transplant.

The health capital of India is Chennai, located at the southern region. The city brings in around 45% of medical tourists from other nations and about 40% from local places. Other medical tourism hotspots in India are Mangalore and New Delhi.

More Asian Countries

Malaysia is one of the newest favorites of medical tourists. Some of the advantages of visiting the country include the availability of top quality hospitals, experienced and well-trained medical staff and English being widely spoken throughout the main cities. Malaysia also has a very active association that aims to develop medical tourism. There is a national accreditation scheme as well. A lot of the hospitals aim to become dually accredited in a few years.

The Philippines is known for having very qualified doctors and dentists. A number of medical institutions are already accredited by JCI. Expect treatment to be only a fraction of the cost you pay for in the States. Some of the popular procedures done in the country include dental work, plastic surgery and heart surgery.

Korea and Singapore

Korea is one of the hottest medical tourism destinations today. Japanese patients usually go to Korea to avail of cheaper prices and the modern medical equipment and facilities. Korean clinics and hospitals are especially popular for procedures like cancer treatment, organ transplant, joint care, dental care, ophthalmology, spinal treatment and infertility treatment. Other popular procedures are mostly included in cosmetic surgery, such as nose jobs, skin lightening, eyelid surgery and facelifts.

Singapore has several health centers and hospitals accredited by JCI. It is preferred by several tourists because English is widely spoken and the equipment, technology and practices are always updated and are among the best in the world. Singapore also has agencies working to ensure that the country becomes one of the best when it comes to providing quality and advanced patient care.


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More Countries to Visit for Your Medical Tour

There are about 50 countries you can choose from to get medical treatment. Some of these countries offer the best hospitals and treatments, while others also have very colorful culture and experiences to add. Whatever your choice may be, it is important that you learn more about the country to blend well with the locals and have the vacation of your life. Here are some more nations that decided to become globally competitive in medical tourism.

Thailand

Thailand is the number one choice of most medical tourists because of its wide range of medical expertise and the several available tourist hotspots all over the country. Medical tourism has significantly grown in Thailand in the past few years. A single hospital in 2005 admitted 150,000 foreign patients. Some of the procedures sought after by patients include cardiac surgery, orthopedic surgery, cosmetic surgery, organ transplant and dental work. Some other procedures include physical therapy, mental treatment and spa.

The cost of health care in Thailand is also very cheap. Expect to pay only 10% to 25% of what you are charged in the United States. Several hospitals also have interpreters so that patients can communicate better with doctors. Most hospitals have English-speaking staff too. Today, several hospitals in the nation are accredited by the International Organization for Standardization and JCI. Traveling to Thailand will expose you to a variety of world class resorts, restaurants and other popular sights and events.

European Choices

Even though Asian and South American countries are the most popular choices, Europe has also grown in medical tourism. There are so many European nations now offering medical tourism packages, such as Germany, Hungary, Malta, Spain, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland and Lithuana. The Czech Republic primarily focuses on spas and health care that competes with the best in the world.

Germany is another top destination because of its state of the art equipment, very high standards and modern facilities. All citizens have health coverage. Waitlists are also considerably shorter in Germany and cost of treatment is 50% cheaper compared to America. Middle Eastern patients now prefer going to Germany instead of the United States because of the very strict regulations since the September 11, 2001 attack.

New Zealand and Mexico

New Zealand is new to the list of medical tourist hotspots. Several of the hospitals in New Zealand are accredited internationally. The cost of surgery is especially cheaper by around 80% compared to the United States. You also get to enjoy tranquil scenes and a very safe environment when vacationing this side of the world.

Mexico is a popular spot for Americans who live very near the border. The specialty treatments of the country are plastic surgery and dental work. The cost of care in Mexico is only 20% the cost you pay for in America. Medical tourists going to Mexico report that treatment and accommodations are very satisfactory. A lot of foreigners also go to Mexico each year to undergo lap band surgery and bariatric surgery to reduce weight.


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Medical Tourism 101

A lot of people still do not fully understand or know what medical tourism is really all about. Before you go on a trip abroad or decide to go for the cheaper health care rates in other countries, you have to be well-informed about your procedure first and the coverage of your treatment and care. This will significantly minimize the risks and the chances of falling prey to dishonest individuals. You should also know more about the right agencies.

What is Medical Tourism?

Medical tourism describes the process of traveling to other countries to avail of medical, cosmetic or dental care. There are several reasons why people choose to move to other countries to get treated, such as the high cost of getting treatment in first world countries, the long waiting lists before you get treatment, the ease and convenience of modern travel, the added benefit of getting a vacation as you recover, the higher standards of care and modern technology availability in developing nations.

Should I Talk to My Doctor?

Yes. It is vital that you consult your local primary physician first and discuss the details and reasons of why you need to seek medical attention elsewhere. Your primary physician can make a diagnosis and have it validated by the one doing the procedure abroad. It might also be possible for your doctor to give you a list of choices regarding the best countries and medical places to go to. Your local doctor may also be sceptical about the idea, but you can help by providing the right documentation and other evidence that you are only seeking help from internationally accredited hospitals and well-experienced doctors.

Why is health care very expensive in first world countries?

Mainly, the fees in the United States and other big countries are influenced greatly by insurance contracts, administrative fees and labor overhead. The WHO or World Health Organization indicates that labor overhead in the United States is significantly greater compared to third world countries. About 70% of the cost is labor related. Patients who travel abroad can expect to pay only 10% to 40% of the cost they are charged in the States.

What kind of treatments can I receive?

Medical tourism now includes virtually any type of treatment, provided that the institution or hospital has adequate facilities, equipment and staff to supervise and conduct the treatment. Some of the most common procedures done to medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dental work, eye surgery, heart surgery and organ transplant. Other procedures done include weight reduction surgery, physical therapy, alternative medicine, herbal medicine, psychotherapy, orthopaedics and cancer treatment.

What are the best countries to visit?

There are now around 50 countries all over the globe offering quality medical treatment and world class accommodations. The most popular include Thailand, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, New Zealand and Germany. These countries are among the best because they boast of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, accreditation with the biggest agencies and English-speaking and well-trained staff. There are also several sights, sounds and attractions that lure medical tourists to add to their vacation.


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