Medical tourism has both advantages and disadvantages. Medical tourism also carries some risks that locally provided medical care does not.
Here are a few advantages of Medical Tourism
- Low cost of medical procedures in comparison with the higher cost of healthcare services in the US or the country you reside in
- Access to all types of medical procedures that might not be offered in your country or region.
- Medical tourism gives patients quicker access to medical care with shorter to no waiting period when they can’t receive immediate care in a domestic hospital in their place of residence. When your health is on the line, waiting is not an option.
- Medical tourism gives patients a chance to explore a new destination and a new culture.
- When you do not have insurance coverage or your health insurance does not cover the full cost of a procedure, medical travel gives you the opportunity to go abroad where the savings are between 30%- 90%.
- International travel is more reasonably priced
- Global standards of care and technological advancements in healthcare are rapidly improving worldwide.
- Medical travel allows you to have your medical procedure performed abroad where you don’t have to worry about unwanted family, friends or neighbors knowing about your surgery or disturbing you before you have properly healed.
- New Insurance products are available that protect the patient should an alleged medical malpractice occurs overseas. Some medical facilities offer medical malpractice insurance to cover any unforeseen events.
Here are a few disadvantages of Medical Tourism
- Cultural and language barriers. Sometimes people who choose medical travel don’t like the fact that they can’t personally communicate one on one with foreign healthcare professionals or staff during their visit.
- Medical travel can sometimes be time consuming. Finding time in your busy schedule or receiving time off from your job is not always easy.
- Additional cost such as flight, hotel, transportation, food, tours, etc., must be factored into your trip along with the cost of your medical procedure.
- Environmental hazards and travel alerts in certain countries
- If something goes wrong during the medical procedure, sometimes you have little recourse depending on the medical provider and the country you choose.
- Traveling too soon after surgery can sometimes cause serious complications such as pulmonary embolisms, blood clots, swelling or infection.
- The food you eat in foreign hospitals and the quality of the water can be different which may upset a person with a sensitive stomach. If you develop diarrhea, vomiting or postoperative nausea before or after the surgery this can be a very unpleasant experience.