Medical tourism: Advantages vs Disadvantages
More important than money, career or possessions, our health is always #1 on our priority list. We would do anything, or go anywhere if it means getting the best for our health. That’s why if we cannot get the best health services in our own country, or if it is something we can’t afford, or something that’s not available, we are willing to go to a different country to be able to avail of a better and cheaper treatment.
What is Medial Tourism?
Medical tourism is defined as the process of traveling and going to another country to seek healthcare services and medical-surgical procedures. an example is when a patient from a third world country needs a surgical procedure that can only be done in first world countries, and travels there in order to get treated.
Medical tourism can also mean that some healthcare provider travels to different places in the world to render first class health care service.
Traveling abroad for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment became popular because of its proven positive benefits. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of seeking health services abroad.
Let’s talk about the advantages first:
It’s more affordable
Healthcare treatment abroad is affordable. You can save up to 50% because their cost of labor is more cheaper than in the United States. Hip and knee replacements for example cost $7,000 more than other countries, and in the United States, PTCA or coronary angioplasty costs $9,000 more than in Finland. Even with the same or better quality, other medical procedures costs more in the US than in Europe.
High quality service
We want to be have the best quality of health service as possible. That’s why more people travels abroad to receive better and high quality of health service in foreign hospitals. They also give you more personal care.
It saves time
One thing they love about seeking care abroad is that they don’t need to wait. Foreign hospitals can give you immediate care because for them, waiting is not an option. They believe that if they can treat your medical issues immediately, the patient can recover right away. Again, even if they do if fast, they still give you better quality of service.
You just don’t travel abroad exclusively for health purposes. You save time from getting immediate care that’s why you also have the time to explore the tourist spots of country.
There are also risks when seeking health treatments abroad:
Some health insurances do not cover the surgical treatments abroad.
Exposure to different kinds of virus
We travel abroad to seek better medical treatment. But some countries have “natural viruses”. And because we are new to their environment, we don’t have the natural immunity to avoid the viruses. Therefore, there is a higher chance of getting certain viruses.
Increase risk of complications
Long travel time can increase the risk of complications. Medical tourism is just applicable to those conditions that don’t need urgent and critical care.
Unfortunately, some countries have racial issues. They tend to choose their clients. Some choose clients that can afford their treatment while leaving the less fortunate behind. It is a sad reality, that’s why it is considered as one of the biggest disadvantage of seeking care abroad.
Medical tourism have advantages and disadvantages. For those people who are interested in seeking health services abroad, you should always consider the pros and cons before you make a decision.