Thailand tops the list of medical tourism destinations.
In 2017, an estimated 2.4 million international patients visited Thai hospitals for medical care. BBC Travel reported that the Thai medical tourism industry is growing at a rate of 16% each year. The Asian country has dominated the market due to three key factors: low cost of medical treatments, high quality of treatments, and high level of hospitality.
The most obvious reason many international patients choose Thailand as their medical tourism destination is because they are able to save on average 50% to 70% on the cost of treatments. For example, a knee replacement that would cost $30,000 in the U.S. will cost around $11,500 in Thailand. An MRI scan that would be $2,611 in the U.S. costs roughly $190 if performed in Thailand.
Most international patients travel to Thailand seeking elective treatments such as cosmetic surgery or dental work, which are the top two markets. Other specialties in Thailand include orthopedics, cardiology, IVF/reproductive medicine, and spine surgery. International patients are also attracted to medical care in Thailand because of the relatively short wait lists for procedures, something that can be difficult to find in countries like the U.S. or the U.K.
The second reason that patients traveling to receive medical care choose Thailand is the country’s strong healthcare system, with a strong presence of private hospitals. These private hospitals know that Thailand is a popular medical tourism destination, and they do all that they can to cater to international visitors. The hospitals’ physicians are highly trained, and over 500 Thai doctors are American Board Certified. There are 64 facilities that have received a JCI accreditation. The JCI, or Joint Commission International, is an organization that encourages medical excellence in countries outside the U.S.
Finally, Thailand is an attractive medical tourism destination because it is also an attractive tourism destination. The country is known for its hospitality, and its medical centers are no exception. Patients will receive excellent bedside service in Thailand, and it is a beautiful place in which to rest and recover from operations. The most popular cities for medical tourism that have the best medical facilities are Bangkok and Phuket.
If a patient does experience unforeseen complications while recovering from a medical procedure in Thailand or any foreign country – or even after returning home – international travel medical insurance and complications coverage can assist in providing relief from additional expenses that were not planned for.
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