The no 1 reason for patients to go abroad for surgery is to save money. One guideline has been that any surgery costing more than 6000 US is worth considering doing abroad. This sum is constantly changing as a result of price and currency fluctuations and in the end always depends on your specific circumstances. In general however you should be able to make savings in between 15-85% compared to undergoing the procedure at home.
To get a fair price comparison we recommend that you include all types of extra costs for your medical travel. These include factors such as airplane tickets, hotel, visa, salary fallout (for extra time away), see our budget checklist for more info. Also make sure to find out how you will be paying the fees and if needed how to sign up for additional insurance coverage.
Destinations and costs
Popular medical destinations such as India and Thailand can offer noticeable cheaper medical surgery than most western hospitals. In general the more complicated a procedure is the more money you are able to save, on the other hand its easier to go abroad for dental work than to do a liver transplant…
Certain countries have even come to specialize in certain medical procedures, such as India with hip replacement surgery and Brazil with facelifts. So in many cases their hospitals can offer some of the most qualitative operations available for a fraction of the cost for having it done in the western world.
Source: Medical Tourism Magazine
As you can see in this cost comparison, certain medical procedures are dramatically less costly in some countries compared to others. We recommend our readers however to always be critical and to investigate what is actually included into the price and what is not. In general however there is substantial money savings to be made.
As hospital costs and line-ups in many western hospitals keep on increasing its no wonder that medical travelling has been expanding. The organisation “National Coalition on Health Care Costs”, found in one of their research that employee spending for health insurance coverage increased with 126% between 2000-2004. Its no wonder that millions of people travel abroad to save money and to take advantage of the many qualitative health care facilities available abroad.
According to the National Coalition of Health Care half a million Americans travelled abroad in 2006 to seek surgical treatment. The popularity of medical travel is however no new phenomena in the world although it has been increasing dramatically during the last couple of years. What characterises the new trend is however that from having been an exclusive clique of internationally wealthy people seeking health care abroad, nowadays ordinary un- or underinsured patients are finally starting to benefit from health care facilities available abroad.