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Why Are 1.4 Million Patients Choosing Medical Tourism this Year?
Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 7/26/2017 12:39 PM | Last Modified: September 26, 2017
As noted by Patients Beyond Borders, an estimated 1.4 million Americans will take advantage of medical tourism in 2016. And worldwide, the number of cross-border patients is expected to skyrocket past 12 million.
With numbers like these, medical tourism is hardly a “fringe alternative”. In fact, for an increasing number of patients, it’s an undeniably better, smarter and dramatically cheaper way to take care of everything from weight loss surgery to dental implants to cosmetic surgery, and the list goes on.
Below, we highlight why 1.4 million patients are heading to the airport vs. their local hospital this year – and even more are expected to cross the border in the years ahead:
1. Incredible Cost Savings
The cost savings of medical tourism aren’t just compelling – they’re staggering, and at first glance can seem like the “too good to be true” variety. However, the savings of going abroad are real, and the final cost can be anywhere from 30-70% less than in the U.S. For example, as reported by the New York Times, a Colorado native who couldn’t afford the approximately $100,000 price tag for hip replacement surgery opted for a hospital near Brussels, Belgium. His final cost? Under $15,000, including the flight.
2. Higher Quality Healthcare
This advantage strikes some people as unusual, because they’ve been led to believe that healthcare outside the U.S. is inferior or of questionable quality standards. However, while that may be true of some hospitals abroad – just as it’s true of many hospitals in the U.S. – those that cater to medical tourists are typically among a country’s best, and are staffed by licensed, certified and experienced surgeons and doctors. Dental care is the same way, with many foreign practices having the same technology and equipment (and yes, even well-read copies of “People” and “TIME” in the waiting room!) as a practice in any urban center in the U.S.
What’s more – and again, this fact surprises many people – because medical tourism is so much cheaper than equivalent care in the U.S., many patients can afford to spend extra time in rehab, which speeds up recovery and is safer, too. For example, the above-mentioned Colorado native who had hip replacement surgery in Belgium was easily able to afford an extra week in rehab. Such an option would have been totally cost prohibitive in the U.S.
3. No Waiting Lists
As noted by the Washington Post, by the year 2020 the U.S. will have a doctor shortage to the tune of 90,000 – and the effects of this area already being felt across the country, with extended waiting lists for everything from weight loss surgery to tests and scans, and the need for many patients to travel out-of-state to regional health centers.
However, patients who head abroad face virtually no waiting lists at all – not because hospitals and clinics overseas aren’t busy, but because there are simply more options. Patients who can’t book the procedure or treatment they want at a certain hospital during a specific time period, can simply look for another alternative in the same country or perhaps in another one.
4. Free Vacation!
And of course, no discussion of the popularity of medical tourism would be complete without mentioning that patients get to enjoy what essentially amounts to a free vacation. Even while they’re recovering, patients can take in sights, meet new people, or just relax and unwind in a way that would be difficult (or maybe impossible) at home.
To learn more about the advantages of medical tourism – and why 1.4 million Americans will be heading abroad this year – contact the SkyMedicus team today. Your consultation with us is free, and there’s NEVER any obligation to book your trip with us.
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Topics: Medical Tourism