The Advantages of Medical Tourism: Why Aren’t You Hopping on a Plane Yet?
In this day and age when overseas travel is a lot cheaper and more convenient compared to a decade ago, and technological advancements have helped improve the quality of global healthcare, medical tourism has become more of a necessity because of its practicality than a luxury only those with the financial means can afford.
It’s no surprise then, that every year, more and more people leave their cities and comfort zones to seek medical treatment elsewhere. Obviously, this is a boon to the healthcare and travel industries, but if you take a deeper look at the overall picture, medical tourism is advantageous to the public in general.
So what are the advantages of medical tourism?
The relatively low cost of medical procedures in countries not named USA and Great Britain is the main reason why people go overseas for medical treatments. But it’s a double-edged sword: The low rates of medical procedures abroad make people think that medical tourism might be a scam. But look at it this way: if your latest iPhone and LeBron shoes are assembled and manufactured in China, it’s because labor cost is a lot lower there than in the US. In the same manner, medical treatments abroad are cheaper because of the low cost of labor in developing countries.
For perspective, hip replacement surgery in the US costs upwards of $20,000. In Singapore, it’s only $15,000; in Thailand, it’s $10,000, while in India, it’s just a little more than $6,000. With that kind of savings, you can even take your family with you and bask in one of the beaches in Phuket. But that’s after you’ve thoroughly recuperated, of course. Another misconception about getting medical treatment abroad is that, insurance companies do not honor them. Wrong. In truth, most insurance companies are not just willing to pay for your medical expenses abroad, they’re more than happy help you without paying local medical rates. Besides, many hospitals have solid partnerships with insurance companies and trumpet them as their competitive advantage.
But beyond the lower rates, foreign hospitals are far more willing to quote you of their rates than hospitals here or in the UK, and that’s one thing I don’t understand.