Medical Tourism - An Overview

 

What is Medical Tourism?

 

Were you handed a heavy $5000 bill for your last cosmetic dental procedure? Are you shocked to know that the expenses for your impending heart valve surgery will run into thousands of dollars?

 

Well, if you are willing to travel to low-cost countries like Brazil, Malaysia and India for medical treatments, you might be pleasantly surprised at the low cost medical options available to seniors like you today.

 

Due to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in the United States, today, medical tourism has become an emerging trend among most seniors and retirees in the US. Nearly 500,000 Americans are estimated to have traveled out of the country to seek medical and dental treatments in 2005. And with every single day, more and more Americans are choosing to take their elective medical care abroad. In this way, they're not only getting their treatments done at a mere fraction of the cost but also beating the long and erratic wait lists in the US!

 

Especially for those Americans who are either early retirees, workers, have lost employer benefits or are self-employed but denied adequate insurance because of their age or preexisting conditions, getting medical procedures done internationally is proving to be extremely cost effective.

 

For example, a nose job (rhinoplasty) would cost approx $6500 in the U.S, but the same surgery would cost about $1,600 in Costa Rica. Being able to save approx. $4900 is not only enough to cover your travel expenses, but you also get to explore a new destination!

 

According to a book by Josef Woodman, titled ''Patients Without Borders: Everybody's Guide to Affordable, World-Class Medical Tourism,'', getting health procedures done overseas can trim 60 to 80 percent, or more, off the price of major surgeries. For example, a heart bypass in India costs one-thirteenth the price in America, and many overseas hospitals also offer post-operative care that includes personalized attention from the staff members.

 

The "cost-effective" factor has resulted in the growth of a multibillion-dollar global medical tourism industry. Global medical tourism involves medical tourists traveling to other countries to receive medical, dental and surgical treatments at a significantly low cost and at the same time receiving almost equal or greater care than they would have received as part of healthcare in the United States.

 

With professional experts, state-of-the-art technological aids and health care services matching the best in the world, the prominent medical tourism destinations are receiving more and more American retirees going abroad for medical care. In fact, senior healthcare in the US has become so expensive that baby boomers have little option today but to travel internationally to seek medical services.

 

 

What are the popular medical tourism procedures available?

 

If you're wondering whether you can travel abroad for a specialized treatment or a surgery-the answer is yes. Most of these world-class medical tourism destinations offer specialized medical consultations, treatments and surgeries pertaining to all branches of medicine including Cardiology, Orthopedics, Nephrology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Dentistry, Oncology, Infertility, Gynecology, Homeopathy, Ayurveda and Naturopathy to name a few. The following procedures include some of the most sought after cheap medical treatments for retirees in the US:

 

  • CABG (Heart Bypass)
  • Heart Pacemaker/ Defilibrator
  • Heart Valve Replacement
  • PTCA (Angioplasty) with stent
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Hip Replacement
  • Hip Resurfacing
  • Knee Replacement
  • Lap Bands/Gastric Bypass
  • Gall Bladder, Hysterectomy, etc
  • Laparoscopic Surgeries
  • Neuro Surgery
  • Transplants
  • Cancer Procedures
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Dental Surgery