Medical Tourism on the Rise

medical tourism south korea
Medical tourism South Korea

Medical Tourism on the Rise | A heart bypass for $5,200? Not in the United States, but elsewhere! Although numbers are hard to get by, several indicators suggest that medical tourism is going thru the roof recently. Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel include the high cost of health care, long wait times for medical treatment or procedures, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many developing countries. But one factor stands out: trusted international accreditation has become one of the biggest drivers in the growth of the medical tourism market.

Medical tourists from the United States lead the way, followed by UK and Canada. Continental Europeans don’t do much medical travel. But the main reason is obvious: it’s cheaper abroad. Example: a liver transplant costs approx. $300,000 in the United States, while it only costs about $91,000 in Taiwan. An estimated 750,000 US-Americans went abroad for health care in 2007. Just one year later is was already 1.5 million seeking health care outside the US. And 2009: 6 million.

Medical Tourism Rise – What are the top destinations?

Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand.

What are the top reasons for medical tourism?
Cosmetic surgery
Dentistry
Cardiovascular (angioplasty, CABG, transplants)
Orthopedics
Cancer
Reproductive (fertility, women’s health)
Weight loss
Health screenings
Sex-change surgery

Medical tourism rise. One major reason to travel: sex change surgery.
Medical tourism rise. One major reason: sex change surgery.

How much do US-American medical tourists save when getting treatment abroad? Using US medical costs as a benchmark, average range of savings can be:
Brazil: 25%
Singapore: 32%
South Korea: 38%
Taiwan: 47%
Mexico: 53%
Costa Rica: 55%
Turkey: 57%
Thailand: 63%
Malaysia: 72%
India: 80%

When you consider the affordability of international travel, and rising high-quality care at a fraction of the cost, it’s easy to understand why medical tourism is booming. Such surging demand for healthcare in the developing world is exposing the flaws in health care systems in the U.S., Canada and UK.

In the UK, patients who wish to receive treatment under the government’s socialized healthcare plan are required to wait several YEARS to receive the treatment they need TODAY. And the U.S. medical system is a massive paper-pushing bureaucracy, plagued by fraud, corruption, inefficiency, and waste. Combine this with outrageous malpractice insurance fees, and the cost of healthcare has risen to the point of being ridiculous.

Medical Tourism a Backbone for South Korea

Let’s go for spinal surgery to South Korea! Over the last 25 years, a growing number of travelers have been visiting the country primarily for medical treatment. South Korea is a preferred destination for cosmetic surgery, spinal problems, dental issues and organ transplants. An important factor for choosing South Korea: JCI Accreditations. Currently 23 hospitals are playing by these rules. The JCI (Joint Commission International) is a global organization that sets standards in international medical care. In order to get this accreditation, a hospital has to pass through some vigorous testing. Reviews of those accreditations are done regularly.

In South Korea, getting lumber spine surgery costs about $20,000. In the US, patients would need to pay about $100,000. A wisdom tooth removal can be quite expensive in the US: $800. In South Korea, that same procedure will cost you about $30.

south korea booking com
South Korea medical tourism. Book a hotel here.

Medical Tourism Rise. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | Visit our Travel Alphabet.