Medical Capitals: A Brand New Way of Tourism
Our health, our most precious treasure!
We are perfectly designed frames of 37 trillion cells, flesh and blood. Just looking at how we develop immunisation against a virus or how a heart works is enough to be enchanted by our hardwire. However, unfortunately, this magnificent structure of our corporality is vulnerable as much as it is fortissimo. A sudden change in body balance, a trauma, or an injury may turn all upside down in a blink of an eye. Therefore, making provisions against any potential perils before hitting the wall is essential.
Indeed, there is nothing more valuable than a healthy body and mind. Since our health issues are our biggest concerns, all of us are ready to spend a considerable amount for ourselves and our beloved ones. This explains much about the massive global healthcare market worth up to $830 billion. There is an ocean of health services abroad, including fertility treatment, cosmetic surgery, dental care, non-cosmetic surgery, organ and tissue transplantation, psychiatry, cancer treatment, and alternative medicine. Considering millions of health care professionals, the pharmacy industry, and many more, we are discussing an unlimited field with vital cogs.
Although health care was a privilege until the middle of the 1900s, today, many developed and developing countries serve free health services to their fellow citizens. But, these free services are basic, and the system may be jammed easily in the case of accumulation. The latest example of Covid-19 has already proven to us how crucial it is to have borderless health unity while the consequences may be catastrophic in the case of inadequacy. We have learnt a bitter lesson; when the subject is health, globalisation is the key!
What is Medical Tourism?
In a nutshell, we can define Medical Tourism as international travel to receive medical care. Actually, health tourism has always been there. Thousands of years ago, Mediterranean pilgrims travelled hundreds of kilometres to come to the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, a deluxe healing centre back then. In the 18th century, France, Germany, and Austria were the birthplace of modern medicine, and many patients were launching forth these countries to find cures for their health issues. However, it has never been so prevalent as it is now.
Today, the ease and affordability of travelling abroad and the different health standards between some countries lead people to travel overseas to obtain the medical treatment they desire. For instance, the NHS (National Health Service) of England has always been criticised for its long wait times for multiple services and mistaken diagnoses. US health service is known for its pricey treatments when insurance coverage excludes orthopaedic surgeries, dental care or unlimited cancer treatments. What is the solution, then? Why handle your precious life to an untrustworthy system? Even if you do, how can you afford it?
It can be a good idea to compare two countries on liver transplants to clear the clouds. While an American citizen pays $350,000, the same surgery will cost about $95,000 in Taiwan. This is a massive price gap because everyone can not afford almost a half million US dollars to recover. Thus, it is not surprising to see more and more patients travelling internationally for health-oriented tourism, including both preventive and health-conductive treatment.
The Most Popular Destinations for Medical Tourism
In contrast to a decade ago, instead of travelling from less-developed countries to major medical centres in highly developed destinations, today, the motivations are low costs, better treatment opportunities and flexible regulations for a specific treatment. A myriad of countries encourages cheaper, more comprehensive, and smoother health service experiences, whereas the competition in the sector is intense.
However, it can be perplexing and challenging to choose the correct destination when a flood of many options meets with welcoming advertisements, recommendations from doctors, and reviews. In this part of our article, we have listed the most trendy five countries known for certain treatments with affordable costs.
According to the 2020 MTA survey results, health tourism in Canada is rated as the top overall destination for replacements (elbow, knee, shoulder, hip), heart surgeries (coronary angiography, angioplasty), cosmetic surgery, fertility treatment, and diagnostic tests.
This beautiful country also hosts well-equipped fitness centres and drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities. Compared to its northern neighbour, the USA, patients can save up to 30 to 60 per cent on health costs for these services.
Besides being famous for 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture, this colourful island is highly developed in health care. Did you know that Cuba serves more medical personnel to the developing countries than all the G8 countries combined? Hosting more than 80,000 health tourists and generating revenues of around $40 million a year, Cuba’s medical tourism is crucial for the economy.
The most popular subjects are innovative treatments for neurological disorders (Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease), eye surgery, retinitis pigmentosa, cosmetic surgery, and orthopaedics.
This spectacular land greets patients from around the world with its highly experienced medical personnel, technological infrastructure, climate diversity, and historical richness. Due to the current exchange rate of the Turkish Liras, medical treatments in Turkey are pretty budget-friendly compared to many European countries. Besides having deluxe hospitals and facilities, Turkey offers all-inclusive packages in which foreigners will find anything they need, from plane tickets to accommodation and transportation.
Turkey hosts more than 400.000 visitors coming for health purposes yearly. The Turkish Ministry of Health promotes and regulates medical tourism in Turkey through international advertisements worldwide. Although you can find one of the most comprehensive health services, Turkey has become the capital of Europe’s hair transplant surgery nowadays. Other most applied treatments are cosmetic surgeries, cardiovascular operations, eye surgeries, dental care, and total transplants.
Ranked as the sixth-best health facility and services according to the survey of WPP (World Population Review), Singapore serves critical procedures like heart surgeries, cancer treatments, and transplants with JCI accreditation at affordable prices. The costs are 20 to 30% lower than Western European countries and the United States. For instance, the approximate French price of heart bypass surgery starts from €90,000, compared to €27,000 in Singapore.
Medical tourism in Singapore also serves welcome packages for medical tourists. It promotes these offers on international platforms like Turkey, yet we want to remind you that accommodation and transportation can be more expensive than in Turkey or Cuba.
The MTA survey ranks Israel as the third country with the best medical services. This high-developed Middle-East country presents hope to cancer patients through its game-changer and advanced cancer treatment abroad. Booking Health, a kind of booking.com for medical travel services, underlines the importance of Israel on terminal diseases worldwide.
However, many other types of medical care attract medical travellers to Israel. These are neurosurgery, aesthetic surgeries, cardiac surgeries, bone marrow transplantation, ocular surgeries, and comprehensive transplants.
All in all, globalisation provides spectacular opportunities for those looking for an effective and affordable cure for their health problems. The Internet contains customer reviews and footage sharing their medical tourism experiences. We also highly recommend you deeply search about the personnel and services, extra expenses, visa procedures, language barrier, quality of post-operative care, and infectious disease-related epidemiology before choosing your medical tourism country.
Keep in mind that when the subject is your health or your beloved ones, it is downhill to be caught with chaff. Thus, please try to keep your calmness, logic, and catholicity, not eliminate the options that can be the remedy you have been searching for ages!
We wish all our readers a healthy and long life!