Broadly speaking, medical tourism is the practice of going abroad for medical care.Â As a general way of life, medical tourism dates back to the earliest days of civilization when patients would travel far and wide in search of medical expertise and counseling.Â As an industry, however, it is only a few decades old.Â Globalization and mass communication have helped many developing countries compete in the wider world of health care.Â Due to lower labor costs, more reasonable malpractice insurance, and heavy investing, certain medical tourism destinations have emerged as leaders in affordable health and medicine.Â
Cost is obviously the most conspicuous advantage of medical tourism, but itâ€™s not the only one:Â Â
Going abroad is a very personal choice that obviously varies from individual to individual.Â Some people don'tt like airplanes, travel, exotic foods, new experiences, and anything else that removes them from their comfort zone.Â Â
The same can be said about medicine.Â Receiving treatment is a very personal choice that varies from individual to individual.Â Some people don't like doctors, hospitals, dentists, and anything else related to health care.Â Â
So it is very difficult for us (or anyone) to say that you are an ideal candidate for medical tourism.Â However, if you meet some of the following criteria, medical tourism might actually be a good option for you:Â
There are several very serious concerns you need to research before going on a medical tourism trip.Â Vacations abroad (medical or not) bring certain risks like food poisoning, injury, culture shock, and countless other potential â€śthreats.â€ťÂ But with medical tourism, thereâ€™s also the added pressure of putting your health and life in the hands of a potential stranger.Â
Itâ€™s important to understand that there are inherent dangers in any medical treatment, no matter where you receive it.Â It is estimated that close to 100,000 people die every year in American hospitals due to preventable medical errors.Â So no matter where you decide to receive your treatment, understand that you always face certain risks.Â
Healism.com is a free resource designed to answer general questions about medical tourism.Â We have tried to make this Web site as extensive as possible, but even we can't anticipate every question or concern.Â If you have unanswered questions about the relative safety and affordability of a potential medical tourism country, facility, practitioner, hotel, restaurant, spa, or resort, we invite you to use our Medical Tourism Forums.Â Â There, you can interact with past, present, and future medical tourists from around the world.
Alternatively, you can contact the hospitals directly and ask to speak to past patients and clients.Â Obviously, most medical facilities are only going to refer successful cases, but you should probably ask nonetheless.
return to the top
Although there is much to be said about traveling on your own, weâ€™ve found that medical tourism is most enjoyable (and successful) when you have a travel companion.Â This is especially true if youâ€™re about to undergo extensive surgery or treatment.Â Having a trusted friend or family member handle the paperwork, liaison between you and hospital staff, and keep you company will help remove some of the potential stress inherent both in travel and healthcare.Â
Obviously, adding a second person to the trip increases the cost considerably.Â We feel that the extra expense is worth it, but ultimately, the decision is yours.
return to the top