If you have heard about the new type of tourism lately – called medical tourism – and you could not help but wonder what that could be, then you are in the right place. The following few paragraphs will explain what medical tourism is all about and what are top countries to go to. Keep reading and you will find out.
What is medical tourism all about?
Medical tourism, also known as health tourism, implies people travelling to another country not for see sights sake, but in order to get a medical treatment there. There are numerous reasons for this type of travelling: either the medical service in question is not available in their (usually underdeveloped) country, or the expenses of the treatment they wish to get are significantly lower (usually in third-world countries). This type of tourism is, however, not new – it exists for thousands of years, ever since Greek pilgrims travelled to Epidaura to visit the sanctuary of the healing god, Asklepios. However, what is new is the plethora of treatments you can get abroad, depending on your state and needs.
Top places to go to
As it was announced earlier, here is the alphabetical list of the best countries for medical tourism and overseas healthcare:
- Brazil – Probably the most famous destination for medical tourism is the South American state of Brazil. Brazilian girls are famous for getting breast implants by their sweet sixteen party, and when it comes to the treatment you get – rest assured you will be treated like royalty, because Brazilian clinics offer excellent privacy and fairly cheap medical treatments.
- Eastern Europe and the Balkans – The further you go from west to east, the cheaper the price of medical facilities and services, but also the foreign the ‘at home feeling’ as well. Even though treatments in the Czech Republic or Croatia and Greece are fairly low, if you are not ready to adapt to culture shock, do not go for it. Greece, for example, is the world’s second largest country in terms of plastic surgery due to cheap procedure costs and advanced technology.
- Italy – If you want an anti-ageing procedure, Italy is the place to go to. It is famous for Botox and injectable fillers for fighting wrinkles, lowered eye lids, eyelid circles, as well as cheek and chin uplifts, and other signs of premature ageing. Another very popular procedure performed in Italy is liposuction, so do not hesitate and explore more about what this beautiful country has to offer besides history and stunning Mediterranean beaches.
- Malaysia – Being an ex-British colony, Malaysia is a popular destination due to low-cost yet efficient medical facilities. It may sound surprising, but medical expertise in this part of the world seems to be even better than in most Western countries. The most popular procedures here include plastic surgery, orthopaedics, urology and gynaecology, as well as cardiology. And if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, there is a great Australian clinic called Medaesthetics, where you will get the best service and medical treatment in that part of the globe.
- Mexico – The best thing that Mexico has to offer is not only its climate, but excellent dentistry and cosmetic surgery. Their well-trained doctors offer excellent treatment in low costs modern hospitals, which makes this country one of the top destinations for medical tourism.
- South Korea – The largest centre of plastic surgery is definitely South Korea. The fact that in 2009 every fifth woman in Seoul underwent a plastic surgery may seem shocking, but this is only due to their experienced and well-trained experts in the fields of Blerharoplasty (eye-lid surgery), liposuction and Rhinoplasty (nose jobs).
However, what you should keep in mind is that medical tourism can bring certain risks along with it. When you travel to a different country, you should think of infectious disease-related epidemiology which differs from your country or continent. Post-operative care quality should also be your top priority, so ask around and look for clues that will signal that you get the best treatment possible. The best thing would be to combine the best service with a good place where you can rest after the surgery, such as good climate and lots of sun. And if you have already travelled abroad for a medical treatment, tell us something about your experience in the comments below.
Diana Smith is a full time mom and a passionate traveler simply in love with Asia and South America. In her free time she enjoys exploring new destinations with her family and reading articles about exotic places.