WHAT IS MEDICAL TOURISM?
Medical tourism can be defined as the process of traveling outside the country of residence for the purpose of receiving medical care. Growth in the popularity of medical tourism has captured the attention of policy-makers, researchers and the media. Originally, the term referred to the travel of patients from less-developed countries to developed nations in pursuit of the treatments not available in their homeland.
Today we are experiencing both qualitative and quantitative shifts in patient mobility, as people travel from richer to less-developed countries in order to access health services. Such shift is mostly driven by the relative low-cost of treatments in less developed nations, the availability of inexpensive flights and increased marketing and online consumer information about the availability of medical services.
What really puts the word “tourism” in medical tourism concept is that people often stay in the foreign country after the medical procedure. Travelers can thus take advantage of their visit by sightseeing, taking day trips or participating in any other traditional tourism activities.
WHY IS MEDICAL TOURISM SO POPULAR NOW?
Medical tourism represents a worldwide, multibillion-dollar phenomenon that is expected to grow considerably in the next decade. For the individual interested in health services, cost is the key factor involved in the decision to receive medical care abroad.
As healthcare costs in the US and other parts of the world are excessively soaring, many employers and insurance companies started to view medical tourism as a way to lower them. More and more countries around the globe start to see the financial benefits from this emerging market, so they offer premium medical services at notably lower prices.
The primary reason that clinics and hospitals in the developing countries are able to lower their prices is directly related to the nation’s economic status. The direct correlation with per capita gross domestic product of the country is observed, which is a proxy for income levels. As a consequence, surgery prices are from 30% to 70% lower in the countries that are promoting medical tourism when compared to the US.
WHY IS THAILAND THE NUMBER ONE DESTINATION IN THE WORLD FOR MEDICAL TOURISTS?
WHAT ABOUT THE FACILITIES?
There are currently over 40 Joint Commission International (JCI) Accredited Hospitals in Thailand. JCI accreditation is considered the gold standard in global health care. These modern facilities include the most advanced technology and with accommodations to rival 5 Star Hotels. Most are conveniently located near the center of the city, near some of the finest shopping and restaurants that can be found anywhere.
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ARE THE DOCTORS QUALIFIED?
Like doctors in the West, Thai physicians are highly trained and skilled in the science and art of diagnosis and treatment. Specialists have completed advanced training and nearly all speak conversational English. There are hundreds of well-known Thai physicians in the larger cities in Thailand that have received American Board Certification in their specialty.
Global Healthcare Options conducts our own due diligence regarding the facilities and doctors we work with. In that way you can rest assured that we have taken the extra step to make sure you are given the opportunity to see reputable and accredited healthcare professionals.
WHAT KINDS OF TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Nearly every treatment available in the West is available in Thailand, and oftentimes at a fraction of the cost. Although prices vary from facility to facility, you can expect to pay far less for quality healthcare services in Thailand than the price you would pay for healthcare services in your home country.
Categories of different treatments and their availability also represent an important factor in decision to engage in medical tourism. The most common types of procedures that patients pursue during medical tourism trips are elective cosmetic surgery, dentistry, organ transplantation, cardiac surgery and orthopedic surgery.
However, a wide variety of services can be obtained through medical tourism, ranging from various essential treatments to different kinds of traditional and alternative treatments. Reproductive tourism and reproductive outsourcing are growing in popularity, which is the practice of traveling abroad to engage in surrogate pregnancy, in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technology methods.
In addition to cost, other major factor responsible for the increase of medical tourism is access. The lack of it, either due to the unavailability of the technology or the prohibition in the home country, can subsequently lead to medical tourism. The common examples are cytoplasmic transfer or stem cell therapy.
WHAT COUNTRIES DO MEDICAL TOURISTS COME FROM?
Thailand attracts tourists from all over the world. The largest numbers of medical tourists come from Europe, Australia and the Mideast. Americans have coming to Thailand in increasing numbers in the past several years.The fastest growing segment of medical tourists currently are coming from Mainland China.
HOW CAN GLOBAL HEALTHCARE OPTIONS HELP ME?
WHERE DOES INFORMATION IN THE WEBSITE COME FROM?
We take the information from the reliable sources, including those listed below:
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