Due to improved transportation and communication methods, Americans now have more options than ever before for obtaining quality medical care. While some people prefer to grumble over the state of the U.S. healthcare system, others are being proactive and exploring the opportunities that are available in other countries. From cosmetic surgeries to dental care and cancer treatment, people are discovering that there are many benefits to seeking alternatives to the medical care in their native country.
1. Increased Affordability
Medical procedures are expensive, and this is especially true for cosmetic procedures that may not be covered by a person’s health insurance. In the United States, the higher cost for labor, physician salaries, room and board in a medical facility and medication all contribute to those who stay home paying more than they would in another country. In fact, the costs for a procedure abroad can range from 20 to 80 percent less than the same surgery being performed in the United States. It is important to note that paying less does not mean being scammed or receiving lower quality care. Other countries simply have a lower cost-of-living that allows for medical professionals to charge less for their services.
2. Faster Scheduling
In America, there is a larger population of people having surgery that often leads to a shortage of doctors. No one wants to wait months for a routine medical procedure that can be accomplished in a day. Immediate attention is one of the biggest reasons that medical tourism is thriving. Since there is no waiting for insurance approval or taking one’s place in line due to high demand, a person can quickly get the medical services they need so they can get back to enjoying their life.
3. Higher Quality Care
Many people falsely believe that America leads the way when it comes to providing quality care. The truth is that many other countries are heavily invested in improving medical technology and training their medical students in the latest techniques. Hospitals abroad are also likely to be accredited and expected to meet the same standards for care as those in the United States. Some countries even have stricter standards in place for infection control and medical staff training. For this reason, people often find that going abroad can still provide the same level of care that they would receive at home. Sometimes, it is even better.
4. Opportunities to See the World
When a medical procedure is needed, it is sometimes nice to throw in a little fun. Traveling abroad provides people with the opportunity to experience other cultures, see historical sights and just get away from their normal life for a little while. Since most medical procedures only take a short time and allow for a prompt recovery, many people take advantage of the chance to spend an extra day or two seeing the sights.
5. Relaxation During Recovery
Post-op recovery in other countries is focused on providing a relaxing experience for patients that encourages healing through nutrition and positive mental health. Often, American hospitals rush people out the hospital and provide little follow-up care. In other countries, however, great effort is made to make sure people do not endure undue pain, and physicians are quick to discuss the best ways to speed up healing. In another country, the temptation to rush back to work or tackle household chores will not interfere with a person’s ability to rest as they recover. Since they are already on vacation, they do not feel worried about choosing to sit back and relax.
6. Assurance of Privacy and Confidentiality
Although cosmetic surgeries and other medical procedures are commonplace today, many people do not like to advertise that they are having work done. It is also not just celebrities who fear having people photographing and gawking at them as they recover. Many people would simply prefer not running into a co worker after having reconstructive surgery or having to explain to a neighbor why they are wearing a bandage. Going across the sea provides the highest level of privacy a person can seek. This also applies to medical records since those are not typically transferred internationally, unless someone actively requests for them to be sent. This means that a person’s current health insurance company or employer will not have to know about their medical care while they were staying in another country unless they want the information shared.
Having options is one of the greatest things about living in North America, and doctors abroad are giving people one more way to take charge of their health. Due to the many benefits offered by accessing health care elsewhere, it is no surprise that medical tourism is thriving.