Also beneficial are the Alternative Medicine System in India, providing treatments like Ayurveda, naturopathy and homeopathy that heal without any side effects. With wellness holidays in India fast becoming the norm, you can easily book packages for Ayurveda resorts in India, or the many luxury spas dotting the picturesque beaches of Kerala and the majestic heights of the Himalayas.
In 2011, 2.3 million foreign visitors came to Thailand for medical reasons and the country earned over $3.1 billion in income. The number of medical tourists was slated to rise up to 2.53 million in 2012, according to Thailand's department of health service support. Eighteen institutes in Thailand are accredited by the JCI (Joint Commission International), a leading American accreditation organisation.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently detailed an account of a self-employed carpenter who had an acute mitral-valve prolapse that required surgery. Estimated fees at the nearest hospital approached $200,000, half of which needed to be paid in advance. After some more digging around, this patient was able to find a hospital in Texas that could perform the procedure for $40,000. After some more research, the patient decided to fly to New Delhi, India where he had the procedure performed for less than $7,000. Shortly after returning to North Carolina, the patient went back to work with a healthy heart.
Half the price for procedures in the U.S.
It may still be cheaper for you to pay out-of-pocket and go out of the country for care than to have it done at home.
For many procedures, it's often more expensive to receive treatment at home than it is to purchase a plane ticket, book a hotel, and pay for all medical expenses out of pocket in a foreign country. This is especially true in popular medical tourism destinations such as India, Thailand, and Singapore.
Medical Tourism Statistics More and more countries are becoming medical tourism destinations. Medical tourism statistics revealed an anticipated growth of the industry from about $40 billion in 2004 to $100 billion by the year 2012. The estimate was made by the Confederation of India and the McKinsey Company.
Insurance Companies are considering covering the costs of procedures out of the country because it saves them money.
You’re seeing that trend now in the increase in cross-border plans being marketed by leading insurance companies to employers. Companies and individuals benefit from paying substantially lower monthly rates and virtually no out-of-pocket expense for high quality care by choosing insurance plans that include optional off-shore care.
Seniors are seeking to relocate to retire aboard to areas in the world that offer less expense and more accessible health care options.
"Patients Beyond Borders estimates that more than half a million residents of the United States traveled outside the country for medical care in 2011, spending an average of $3,000 per procedure. The market remains a small aspect of health care but is estimated to grow at an average of 25 percent to 35 percent a year."
Some experts predict a doctor shortage and longer hospital waits in the United States. They also foresee insurance companies extending coverage for Americans’ international medical bills. If all this is true, medical tourism will have a healthy future.
Some countries heavily regulate (or even ban) certain elective procedures or complicated surgeries. Hip resurfacing, for example, was only recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, despite its widespread use and success rate at many popular medical tourism destinations around the world. In other cases, treatments are so prohibitively expensive that they are impossible to afford in your home country. A coronary bypass, for example, might cost almost $80,000 in the United States. That same procedure costs just over $10,000 in India. With medical tourism, you can travel to parts of the world where hospitals specialize in the aforementioned procedures. And you won't necessarily have to break the bank either. Equally important, wait times tend to be considerably less if you plan your medical vacation accordingly. Because popular medical destinations actively recruit patients from abroad, they do everything they can to eliminate wait times, provide patients with options, and ensure optimal care. In 2005, for example, luxury medical facility, Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand, treated 55,000 patients from the United States alone.
What are the top specialties for medical travelers? Cosmetic surgery Dentistry (general, restorative, cosmetic) Cardiovascular (angioplasty, CABG, transplants) Orthopedics (joint and spine; sports medicine) Cancer (often high-acuity or last resort) Reproductive (fertility, women's health) Weight loss (LAP-BAND, gastric bypass) Scans, tests, health screenings and second opinions.
Market size is $20-35 billion, based on approximately seven million patients worldwide spending an average of $3,000-5,000 per surgery (including all medically-related costs; not including patient travel, accompanying companions or accommodations). We estimate some 750,000 Americans will travel outside the US for medical care this year (2013).
The world population is aging and becoming more affluent at rates that surpass the availability of quality healthcare resources. These key drivers are forcing patients to pursue cross-border healthcare options. We estimate the worldwide medical tourism market is growing at a rate of 25-35%.