Tropical Medical Tourism Destinations

Most medical tourists engage in the practice to save thousands of dollars on medical procedures, but the tourism aspect of medical tourism should not be overlooked! Medical tourists should think hard about what kind of atmosphere they’d like to rest and recover in. If that atmosphere involves tropical beaches and sunshine, here are three countries to check out for your medical tourism trip. 

Brazil 

With beautiful beaches and beautiful people, Brazil is a popular tourism destination on its own. It also has a strong medical tourism market, boasting 6,011 licensed cosmetic surgeons! This puts sunny Brazil second in the global cosmetic surgery market – narrowly topped by the US with 6,900 licensed plastic surgeons. Popular procedures for medical tourists are predominately cosmetic: breast augmentation, dental implants, facelifts, liposuction, and more – all at around half the cost the procedure would be in the US or UK. With 2,095 beaches along a 4,650-mile coastline, Brazil certainly has a lot to offer a medical tourist looking for a tropical recovery spot. 

Thailand 

As an incredibly popular medical tourism destination for decades, Thailand had to make this list! The “Land of Smiles” has the highest number of JCI accredited hospitals in Southeast Asia and is number four worldwide, after Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE. If that isn’t impressive enough, the country’s tropical beaches are also renowned worldwide for their beauty. If the beach is not your scene, Thailand’s ancient ruins and many beautiful temples are another beautiful sight to behold. However, you may not ever have to leave the hospital to experience a relaxing recovery in Thailand. The high standard of care in Thai hospitals and medical facilities means that many host recovery services onsite, such as relaxation therapies, recovery gardens, and massages. Popular procedures for medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dental work, and dermatology. 

Costa Rica 

With a healthcare system that’s often ranked above the US and Canada in quality, Costa Rica is a medical tourism destination to watch. The majority of medical tourism procedures occur in San Jose, where all the best hospitals are, but the country has much more to offer in the way of tourism. The rainforested country is well known for its beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, and native biodiversity. Medical tourists who like adventure would do well to choose Costa Rica for their procedures. Like the other destinations on this list, Costa Rica is best known for cosmetic and dental procedures, although it also welcomes patients for weight loss procedures, cancer treatments, and more.

Medical Tourism Insurance 

Whether you’re a medical tourist, a facilitator, employer, or hospital, we have insurance products that can help reduce your risk. Reach out today to learn more.

Medical Tourism Trends for 2021

After a year where traveling became less common, 2021 holds the promise of a surge in medical tourism. Global Market Insights reported that the medical tourism market was valued at USD 10.1 billion in 2020. The market is expected to grow at 12.1% CAGR from 2021-2027. Medical tourism trends for 2021 are as follows.

Higher Travel to Developing Countries 

Global Market Insights also predicted that more medical tourists would choose developing countries as the location to receive their medical care and procedures. With borders in many developed countries remaining closed, the developing countries are expected to rise in the medical tourism market. The boom from the tourism aspect of medical tourism is attractive to developing countries’ governments, and with hospitals seeking to attract foreign patients, quality of care and equipment will match that of past top medical tourism destinations.

Asian Countries Rising to the Top

The Medical Tourism Association predicts that Asian countries will see a rise in popularity for medical tourists. Their ever-updating technology paired with a high standard of care and hospitality is attractive to medical tourists from all over the world. The cost of medical care in Asian countries has long been some of the lowest as well. 

More Skilled and Specialized Practitioners 

Another trend predicted by the Medical Tourism Association is the rise of specially trained practitioners for medical tourism. There are a number of types of procedures that medical tourists commonly travel for, such as cosmetic surgeries like angioplasty, rhinoplasty, and breast augmentation. 2021 and the coming years should see more and more surgeons trained specifically to master these procedures that attract foreign patients. In fact, the MTA suggested that training centers and medical schools may begin programs training doctors and surgeons dedicated to working with medical tourists. 

Take a Medical Tourism Trip in 2021

The future of medical tourism is bright and only getting brighter. With all medical tourism comes risk, so it’s best to enter into it fully prepared. You can help protect yourself and your travel companion from unexpected expenses with medical tourism insurance. Please contact us to get a quote prior to your trip.

The Role of Medical Tourism Facilitators

Medical tourism is on the rise, and it’s not going anywhere! With the rise in medical tourism, there has also been a rise in the number of medical tourism healthcare facilitators and agencies. In fact, the Medical Tourism Association reported that 74% of patients would prefer to use a medical tourism facilitator to organize their trip. These facilitators simplify the process for both patients and hospitals. In addition, they can help provide patients with a sense of trust and calm when beginning their medical tourism journey. If a facility is approved and used by a reputable facilitator, the patient will be more likely to trust it. When a person is traveling to a foreign country to receive medical care, trust is of the utmost importance! Just what is the role of a medical tourism facilitator, and how important are they in the industry?

Why Facilitators Exist

Medical tourism facilitators serve as a gateway into medical tourism for patients who may be cautious of the industry. In some circles, medical tourism still has a reputation for being dangerous, something where operations are completed in questionable facilities by practitioners with little experience. This is as far from the truth as you can get! The medical tourism that so many people across the globe are doing looks almost exactly like visiting a hospital at home would – only in a foreign country! The benefit of going through a medical tourism facilitator is that they have already vetted each hospital, surgery center, and practitioner that they partner with. They are truly on your side, as advocates for your care. 

Facilitators and agencies provide a sense of professionalism in an industry that is often believed to need more regulations. These companies perform services such as helping patients choose a facility, connecting them with their doctor before their trip, and booking their travel and accommodation. These are certainly tasks that a patient could do on their own, but most prefer to leave it to the professionals! 

In addition to serving as the patients’ advocate, facilitators are also the hospital’s recruiter in a sense. By partnering with reputable medical practitioners and facilities, medical tourism agencies and facilitators increase their business by sending patient after patient the hospital’s way. With greater inflow of international patients, medical facilities and hospitals can only increase their standing in the medical tourism industry. It is in their best interest to get involved with these facilitator businesses! 

Resources 

It’s clear to see how important medical tourism facilitator businesses are within the industry! If you are a patient considering traveling abroad for medical care, consider checking a database such as the IMTJ’s (International Medical Travel Journal) list of facilitators and agencies all over the world.

Medical Tourism Facilitators Need Insurance Too 

We can help provide your medical tourism agency with group plans to benefit your customers. Please reach out to us today for more information!

Medical Tourism Facts: Canada

In part due to the nature of their universal health care, Canadians often face longer wait times for medical procedures. The wait for an elective surgery is one of the longest that a Canadian patient can face. This is why more and more Canadians are turning to medical tourism to get top quality care without waiting months on end for an opening. 

Why Do Canadians Choose Medical Tourism? 

Aside from bypassing long “lines” for procedures, why would a Canadian patient choose to travel abroad for medical care? Similar to patients from other countries, one big draw is the cost savings. In Canada’s universal health care system, not everything is without cost; provincial healthcare plans do not cover dental services, elective surgeries, cosmetic work, or plastic surgery. These are some of the most common types of care that medical tourists choose to travel abroad for! 

On top of these reasons, Canadians also enjoy the added bonus of indulging in a well-deserved vacation as they recover from their medical procedure. The tourism aspect of medical tourism is an attractive pull for patients of all nationalities. By traveling to an exciting, foreign destination to receive medical care, Canadians get to enjoy sights that they cannot find at home. A tropical vacation and reduced-cost medical care? It’s a great deal. 

Many patients are wary to engage in medical tourism because of the associated risks. While risks do exist, medical tourists can put their minds at ease by investing in complications insurance for themselves and their travel partner. We can help. 

Get a quote. 

Medical Tourism and Financial Savings

If you’re interested in medical tourism, you may have heard that you can achieve up to 90% cost savings by traveling abroad for your elective procedures. MedHalt reported that cost savings are the driving factor for 80% of people who choose to engage in medical tourism. However, while you can save money by going to another country for medical care, the amount you save varies greatly depending on the country you go to and the procedure you have done. Here are some financial factors to consider when planning your medical tourism experience.

Choose the Right Country 

Some countries offer greater cost savings to medical tourists. However, you must still factor in the cost of travel and accommodation – lower cost savings in one country may actually prove to be the best deal once you factor in these additional expenses. MedHalt reports that Mexico, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Taiwan, and Turkey offer the highest levels of cost savings, ranging anywhere from 45% at the lowest to 90% at the highest. They rank the countries of South Korea and Singapore as moderate savings, with a range of up to 45%. Depending on where you are traveling from, a country with “moderate” cost savings could prove the best deal for you. Just make sure to do your research and do the math! 

Perform a Comparative Analysis 

Undergoing medical tourism can be very rewarding, both in the satisfaction of having good medical work done and in the cost savings. However before you pack your bags and jet off to a foreign country, make sure that it is actually the right decision for you. You will need to perform thorough research on what your desired procedure would cost you to have it performed at home. Speak to local medical providers and to your insurance company, if you have insurance. Compare your findings against the costs of medical care abroad plus your travel and accommodation costs. In most cases, you will find that engaging in medical tourism is the most cost effective option overall, but you always want to be certain before making the move to go abroad. 

Consider Opportunity Cost 

This can go both ways. As mentioned above, you need to acknowledge the cost comparisons between having your medical procedure performed at home and having it done abroad. However, there is one aspect that was not touched on above. This is opportunity cost. For example, if you have your medical procedure performed near your home, you may miss a few days of work but depending on the procedure, it should not be too extensive. However when you go to a foreign country to have medical work done, and perhaps to convalesce as well, you will likely be missing much more work days than if you had stayed home. Again, do the math and figure up these expenses to see whether engaging in medical tourism is truly the best value for you. In most cases, it likely will be. Another aspect of medical tourism is, of course, the tourism aspect! In regards to opportunity cost, you could weigh the costs of missing work and traveling abroad against the projected costs against the anniversary vacation with your spouse that you’ve been wanting to take. If you wrap your medical treatment and a wonderful vacation together in one, you’ve created opportunity cost savings. 

Medical Tourism Insurance 

If you find yourself needing medical tourism complications insurance, we are your premier resource. Please reach out to us today to receive a quote