The medical tourism industry is just now starting to catch on, and shows signs that it will become a boon for foreign travel, and may even be a solicited “main attraction” in many far away destinations, in order to get eager US citizens to their country, spending money to get medical care that they otherwise may not be able to afford here in the US. See why this phenomena is catching on as the latest trend.
I remember the first time I read about a new term that was introduced into our lexicon here in the US recently, called “medical tourism”. I didn’t even know there was such a trend occurring, although as I read further about this increasingly popular pursuit, it made perfect sense. You see, here in the US we are facing, and have been facing for several years now, somewhat of a healthcare crisis.
There are scores more US citizens that are not insured than are insured at any given time, and that translates into a lot of people who are paying exorbitant doctors visit, surgery and treatment fees when they need medical attention, and an even bigger number of people who simply don’t seek medical attention when they need it because they know they can’t afford it.
Even if you have insurance, the cost of the premiums is going up higher every year, and even the co-pays are reaching higher numbers than ever seen.
Today, it is more of a rarety to have “a great insurance plan” than it was just ten years ago. Add into that, the fact that here in the US, our physicians, specialists, plastic surgeons, dentists, psychiatrists, and every other licensed and practicing medical professional are exposed to lawsuits that threaten to bankrupt them for malpractice. Add to that their skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums, and you’ve got a full fledged medical crisis on your hands.
This is exactly the reason why more and more US citizens are travelling to get cheaper medical care. Many times, even after the costs of travel, these citizens are savings boatloads of money on their medical treatments and surgeries in other countries with equally well trained doctors, but a much lower cost.
The medical tourism industry is just now starting to catch on, and shows signs that it will become a boon for foreign travel, and may even be a solicited “main attraction” in many far away destinations, in order to get eager US citizens to their country, spending money to get medical and elective care that they otherwise may not be able to afford here in the US.
It ends up being a great win/win that way, but it still doesn’t take away from the disturbing fact that the US is experiencing the worst healthcare system crisis in its history.
The largest industries for medical tourism at the moment seem to be for the fields of plastic surgery and dentistry. Many of the South American countries can offer much cheaper prices for tourists who are coming over to get procedures that would cost thousands of dollars here in the US, and to boot, they would be getting the same caliber of care.
Heck, they even say that some of the best plastic surgeons in the world practice in Brazil and Costa Rica, where plastic surgery is a booming business, doctors there are highly trained and skilled due to experience, and the cost is often times slashed in half or even better, after US money exchange rates and the cheaper rate are added in.
Colombia and the Phillipines are both notorious also for extremely cheap plastic surgery, dentistry, and other types of health care procedures, and are trying to edge into the industry to attract more visitors to their countries, which in turn helps out local economies and opens up a lot of further tourism development. US citizens aren’t the only ones taking advantage of travelling to get cheaper health care and surgeries.
Citizens in Britain are also getting in on the action so they can get access to cheaper dental work, laser eye surgery, and even bariatric surgery. The business of cosmetic surgery probably gets the most publicity when it comes to medical tourism, but there are a lot of other fields in which one can get medically related services for a fraction of the cost in these countries that most people don’t know about – yet.
Travelling for medical and surgical care, whether it’s considered elective or not can result in a dramatic price reduction, you just have to do the research and see if, added with the costs associated with travelling, it will actually save you money in your particular case or not.
Of course it’s not always going to add up to a dramatic savings when it’s all said and done. so make sure you thoroughly research and consider all other potential costs of travelling before you make a final decision.
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