Increasingly, people from the industrialized countries of the world are seeking out places where they can both enjoy a vacation and obtain medical treatment at a lower price, than in their country of residence.
Medical tourists are increasing in numbers, but which country is best for medical tourism?
Medical Tours to India
For medical tourism, India is a relative newcomer, but recent estimates indicate that the number of foreign patients is increasing by 30 percent each year.
India has world-class medical facilities, with excellent staff in all areas of medical care.
All Indian hospitals are equipped with the latest electronic and medical diagnostic equipment.
India also has the technological sophistication and infrastructure to maintain its market lead. Indian pharmaceuticals for example, meet the stringent requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
India’s quality of care is world class, competing with any other industrialized country.
Indian medical centres provide services that are in fact uncommon elsewhere. For example, hip surgery patients in India can have a hip-resurfacing procedure, in which damaged bone is taken away and replaced with chrome alloy, an operation that costs less and causes fewer traumas than the traditional replacement operations carried out in western countries.
Medical Tours to South East Asia
South East Asia offers some great advantages for medical tourism with Thailand being the main destination and the main rival to India.
The Thai medical profession is probably the most advanced in the region and successive governments have invested in ensuring the necessary education and training.
Many doctors undertake specialist training abroad, particularly in the United States and Europe and are at least as well qualified as physicians in these countries.
Singapore and Malaysia also have well developed medical facilities.
Medical Tours to the East Indies
For North American patients, the East Indies and Costa Rica in particular, are the chosen destinations for medical tourism.
Costa Rica provides close, inexpensive, high-quality medical care without a trans-Pacific flight. Cost wise though, it is more expensive for medical tourists generally, particularly from destinations outside of the USA.
Medical Tourism in South America
Medical tourism in South America is mainly cantered on Brazil, which has been a centre for plastic surgery for many years.
With a large influx of medical tourists particularly from the USA, Brazil has built a well-developed healthcare industry in all areas.
Although slightly more pricey than many other destinations, you are assured of good quality healthcare in Brazil – one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
Argentina also has a flourishing medical tourism industry, but its geographical position is a problem for many.
Medical tourism is growing in other countries with Eastern Europe, Africa, and Dubai entering the industry.
Dubai will be providing the Dubai Healthcare City by 2010 and this clinic will be the largest international medical centre between Europe and South East Asia. Including a new branch of the Harvard Medical School, it will be prestigious, but aimed at the medical tourist with more money.
Eastern Europe and Africa are emerging markets, but probably have some way to go to match the healthcare services available in countries such as India.
India for Medical Tourism
There are many choices for medical tourists seeking overseas healthcare and many destinations have reasons to recommend them, but overall for medical tourists, it will be India that will be the most attractive. Why? Simply, India has wide variety of treatments, world-class hospitals, and medical staff, is inexpensive, and offers a beautiful holiday destination.