Medical tourism refers to traveling to another country for a medical procedure. This procedure can be a lifesaving surgical procedure such as an emergency organ transplant, or it can be elective cosmetic surgery such as receiving breast implants.
Depending on where a patient wishes to go and what he or she wishes to have done, a medical treatment done in another country can save as much as 50 percent on the cost of the procedure. Even with airfare and other expenses being factored into the cost, a medical vacation is still often cheaper than having a procedure performed in one's home.
The reason why medical tourism is often so cheap is because of labor costs in other countries. For example, heart valve surgery might cost as much as $100,000 in the United States, but in India when labor costs are significantly lower, the price of the procedure might be closer to $10,000. Similarly cheaper procedures can be found in Singapore, Hungary, Thailand and Argentina, all of which are popular medical tourism destinations.
Ten years ago, medical tourism was usually reserved for plastic surgery and other elective procedures. That has changed in recent years thanks to the increased popularity of the Internet and the lower cost of travel to other nations. The Internet has allowed convenient instant long-distance communication in ways that have never been possible before. With a simple Google search, people can bring up information about surgeons and the costs of the procedures they perform from the other side of the world. For the cost of an inexpensive plane ticket, one could fly around the world and still save plenty of money on a complex medical procedure. These days, life-saving surgical procedures such as heart surgery and cancer treatments are commonly performed on medical tourists, as are fertility treatments and dental procedures. Some treatments that may not be available in certain countries may be routinely performed in other parts of the world, making medical tourism even more useful and popular.
Although medical tourism has been seen as a novelty to be used by the rich for cosmetic surgical procedures, the practice has become increasingly popular for other reasons. The United States is the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, and they have no shortage of qualified doctors and surgeons available, but that status quo may soon come to an end. Thanks to advances in medical technology, decreased labor costs and increasingly affordable methods of travel, medical tourism may very well represent the future of healthcare.
If you are interested in medical tourism, you should consider working in the healthcare field first. Consider a healthcare degree from Sacred Heart online and get started today.