Medical tourism is on the rise, and dozens of countries around the world – from Asia to South America to eastern Europe – are getting in on the act. Agencies are being set up to promote less expensive health care costs to potential foreign visitors from developed countries where health care costs are through the roof. Reasons other than cost to travel overseas for health care include better treatment, as well as avoiding long waiting lists and dodging questions from colleagues and family.
Israel is the leading destination for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures, having the highest number of clinics per capita in the world. Unlike countries where couples can go broke trying to conceive with the assistance of costly medical technology, Israel provides free, unlimited IVF procedures for up to two “take-home babies” until a woman is 45. The booming industry has also provided other advantages to Israeli physicians. The large pool of patients with diverse fertility problems has helped them tailor treatments that end with a successful pregnancy, they say. And because a cost is not an issue, there is less pressure to implant multiple embryos, which can lead to larger than desired multiple births — triplets, quintuplets or even the occasional octuplets.
With a subtropical climate, mountain ranges and extinct volcanoes, South Korea makes for a very appealing healthcare destination. Patients visited from 188 different countries including China, the UK, and Australia in 2012. Many visits for cosmetic surgery, dentistry, cancer treatment, brain surgery, and oriental medicine. The most cosmetically enhanced people on the planet can be found in South Korea, where plastic surgery is regarded as “natural and harmless” and is believed to be the key for better employment prospects and a happier life.
Cancer treatment is a top speciality there. The World Health Organization ranks Singapore the best health care system in Asia, and sixth in the world. And while socialists claim that Singapore’s efficient, rather socialist health care model is a model for the rest of the world, personal responsibility is a key driver that keeps health care costs in here reasonably low. If you’re looking for the most developed country for less expensive surgery, Singapore might be for you.
India is one among the top five medical tourist spots in the world having hosted nearly 166,000 medical tourists from across the globe. The growth of medical tourism in India has led to the enhancement of better and advanced medical facilities in the country. More tourists are coming to India because the cost of treatment here is much less compared to the US and the European countries. Stories of westerners travelling to India and saving 75% over home country costs for large procedures – travel costs included – are not uncommon.
China is fast emerging as a destination for patients seeking treatments that integrate traditional Chinese medicine with Western medical technology and techniques. China is also home to stem cell research and hospitals that offer treatments considered experimental or that have yet to be approved in many Western countries. Other available procedures include cardiology, neurology and orthopedics.
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Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food
Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com