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Population: 190 010 647

Area: 8 514 877 km²

Density: 22/km²

Language: Portuguese

Time zone: -2 to -5 GMT

Calling Code: +55

Currency: Real


Brazil has several JCI accredited hospitals and can offer high quality medical procedures. The main disadvantage with Brazil is that they have done little to promote themselves among international patients and lacks the experience in receiving larger numbers of medical tourists. Nevertheless Brazilian hospitals can offer excellent health care and we can recommend that you do some research of your own or try to contact a medical travel agent that specializes in Brazil to find out more. Surgical procedures have excelled in Brazil and then especially within cosmetic surgery. Brazilian hospitals do have a lot of experience within the medical field and have been benefiting from an increasing domestic demand of medical treatments. So if you speak Portuguese or have been given good recommendations to a hospital in Brazil you might want to give it a try, otherwise you better wait until they have adapted themselves better to the international market of medical tourism.

Costa Rica

Population: 4 300 000

Area: 51 100/km²

Density: 85 / km²

Language: Spanish

Time zone: -6 GMT

Calling Code: +506

Currency: Costa Rican Colón





This small country in Central America has a few very excellent clinics that offer medical procedures to international patients. As many smaller countries within the medical travel field, it has specialised in dental and cosmetic surgeries. Most of the hospitals and clinics are located in the capital of San José and its surrounding areas such as the posh suburb of Escazú. A few of the clinics have been trying to build up world renowned facilities to serve the needs of international patients and have partly been successful in doing so. Being a major tourist destination, Costa Rica can offer some excellent hotels and tourist attractions for those of you who wish to combine your medical treatment with a vacation. As many Americans already live and have been buying real estate in the country it has become one of the more Americanized countries in Latin America and the knowledge of English has been increasing rapidly.



Population: 10 064 000

Area: 93 030 /km²

Density: 109 / km²

Language: Hungarian

Time zone: +1 GMT

Calling Code: +36

Currency: Forint


Located in the heart of Europe, Hungary has perhaps become the most successful medical travel destination country in Eastern Europe. Nowadays being a member of the European Union it is participating in an economic boom throughout this region and it has successfully been launching a few of its hospitals and clinics to international patients. Its proximity to rich western European countries has also attracted large numbers of patients from countries such as Germany and Suisse. Although the country offers a variety of different medical procedures it is foremost dental treatments that are attractive to foreigners, offered for a fraction of the cost compared to having the procedure done at home. An advantage with travelling to Hungary and the capital of Budapest is the unique cultural heritage combined with low costs in general.



Population: 1 120 000 000

Area: 3 166 414 /km²

Density: 329 /km²

Language: Hindi/English

Time zone: +5.30 GMT

Calling Code: +91

Currency: Indian Rupee


India has been striving to become the worlds no 1 destination for medical tourists and has partly been successful in doing so. The immensely large and populous country of India offers several first class hospital facilities mostly located in big urban centres such as Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore. Few other countries can combine India’s low costs combined with a wealth of expertise and experience in a wide range of different medical treatments. The medical care offered to international patients is almost entirely offered by private hospital groups, including conglomerates such as Apollo, Fortis & Wockhardt Hospital groups. They have shown characteristics of being both innovative with introducing new procedures such as the Birmingham hip resurfacing technique and the Illizarov procedure as well as showing high rates of success with surgical procedures comparable to many hospitals in the west. India has as a result of its efforts become a favourite destination for many international patients.



Population: 27 122 000

Area: 329 847 /km²

Density: 82 /km²

Language: Malay

Time zone: +8 GMT

Calling Code: +60

Currency: Ringgit


Being located between two major hubs of medical tourism (Singapore and Thailand) it was only a matter of time until Malaysia would follow their pace. Its efforts to become a major destination for medical tourists were invigorated by a national goal made by the government who hopes the country will attract an increasing number of international patients. Malaysia has also experienced cooperation programs between Western hospitals and their own ones, such as the partnership between the Medical University of Vienna and the soon to open Prince Court Medical Centre. As many other countries in the region Malaysia has done much to improve the hospital quality allowing them to offer top quality care comparable to many western hospitals. Most of the hospitals and clinics targeting international patients are located in and around the capital of Kuala Lumpur located in the western part of the country.



Population: 108 700 891

Area: 1 972 550 /km²

Density: 55 /km²

Language: Spanish

Time zone: -6 to -8 GMT

Calling Code: +52

Currency: Peso


Perhaps the main advantage with healthcare in Mexico exists for patients residing in bordering US states such as California and Texas. As a result you can undertake your medical procedure in Mexico and afterwards swiftly return home to recuperate. Mexico’s healthcare offerings to foreigners have to a large degree been limited to dental, cosmetic and ordinary health checks. Many smaller clinics might offer you a great deal for your money but you would be well advised to check up previous medical credentials. Nonetheless the market for healthcare is growing in this area and has included several facilities being opened up to cater to the needs of medical tourists.



Population: 88 706 300

Area: 300 000 /km²

Density: 276 /km²

Language: Filipino, English

Time zone: +8 GMT

Calling Code: +63

Currency: Peso



Skilled healthcare labour from the Philippines has for a long time supplied hospitals all over the world with qualified staff. Now, finally the Philippines are starting to open up their own health care facilities to serve the needs of international patients. Most of the hospitals that are receiving international patients are located in the mega city complex of Manila-Quezon, located on the main northern island. Recently a large part of one of Malaysia´s main hospitals were sold to Thailand´s mega hospital group Bumrungrad. This was seen as a sign of the country being willing to more effectively promote itself among international patients. The country currently has two JCI accredited hospitals, The Medical City and St. Luke´s Medical Center. They are however soon expected to be followed by more hospitals to meet an increasing demand for medical procedure from international patients.


Population: 4 553 009

Area: 704 /km²

Density: 6369 /km²

Language: English, Mandarin, Malay

Time zone: +8 GMT

Calling Code: +65

Currency: Singapore dollar



Although Singapore is a small city state located on an island by the tip of the Malaccan peninsula, it is one of Asia’s main travel destinations for international patients. A position it has kept since it pioneered the medical travel industry in the 1980s. As more countries in this region are entering the healthcare industry for international patients, Singapore has responded by specialising in treating certain rare diseases such as bone marrow transplants and keeping top quality hospital care. It has also joined partnerships with renowned and prestigious hospital institutions such as the John Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. If you are willing to pay a little bit more compared to other medical destinations in this region and wants to be certain of receiving some of the best available hospital care, Singapore is the choice for you.

South Africa


Population: 47 432 000

Area: 1 211 037 /km²

Density: 39 /km²

Language: English

Time zone: +2 GMT

Calling Code: +27

Currency: South African Rand


South Africa could be the right destination for those of you who are sensitive to cultural and language differences. English is widely spoken and the main medical destinations Johannesburg and Cape Town are distinctively Anglo-Centric. This country is also renowned for its professional health care education and hospitals in the US have for several years been quite eager to recruit hospital staff from South Africa. A wide range of health care specialities for international patients can be offered and cosmetic surgeries seem to be a particular favourite. Price levels are a bit more expensive compared to certain destinations in Asia, it is however one of the more popular destinations for those of you who wishes to combine surgery with a vacation.



Population: 62 828 706

Area: 514 000 /km²

Density: 122 /km²

Language: Thai

Time zone: +7 GMT

Calling Code: +66

Currency: Baht



Perhaps no other country in the world is more associated with medical tourism than Thailand. Already being a favourite destination for many tourists it is especially attractive for those of you who wish to combine surgery with tourism. Its leading hospital Bumrungrad has effectively targeted international patients, offering high quality health care for low costs. Some of the hospitals clienteles in Thailand nowadays consists of nearly 50% foreigners. The country is dedicated to keep its position as one of the worlds main medical travel destinations and has also done much to ease the process for international visitors such as English speaking staff and efficient handling procedures. In fact as certain hospitals are relying heavily on international patients and with an ever increasing number of visitors they have been able to invest into a wide range of different medical specialities including the most modern and sophisticated technical equipment available on the market.



Population: 71 158 647

Area: 783 562 /km²

Density: 93 /km²

Language: Turkish

Time zone: +2 GMT

Calling Code: + 90

Currency: New Turkish Lira


Turkey has several JCI accredited hospitals and received six new ones in 2006 alone. It has become a popular medical destination for people looking for affordable treatments in particularly dental, cosmetic and fertility treatments. This country can however also offer advanced surgical treatments and perhaps their most famous hospital “Anadolu Medical Center” have a cooperation agreement with the renowned John Hopkins Institute. One of their more successful hospital groups is the Dünya Eye Hospital with several clinics all over Turkey and has now even expanded into some European countries. Located between Europe and Asia, Turkey is a surprisingly secular and progressive country aiming to become a member of the European Union. It hosts some beautiful nature sceneries and beaches that attract millions of tourists each year.  So if you are thinking about going to Turkey be sure to plan in some tourist activities, even if that would just involve relaxing on one of their beaches.

United Arab Emirates


Population: 4 496 000

Area: 83 600/km²

Density: 64 /km²

Language: Arabic

Time zone: +6 GMT

Calling Code: +971

Currency: UAE Dirham


United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular has become a popular tourist destination impressing visitors with its architectural wonders, including several man built islands and the worlds most luxurious hotel. The atmosphere of the city is quite international and a majority of the population consists of foreigners. Although this city is relatively new in the field of medical tourism, it does have a few hospitals where international patients can receive excellent healthcare. Currently under construction, Dubai’s half billion dollar project “Dubai Healthcare City” is the result of a cooperation program with Harvard Medical School. This centre aims to revolutionize the health care within this region and foremost to attract the wealthy Persian Gulf residents who currently take their health care business elsewhere. Nonetheless this medical centre is aiming to take a big chunk of the growing medical travel industry and is likely to attract many skilled medical workers to staff its hospitals as well as patients from various countries. Price levels for hospital care can be expected to be lower than most western countries but still significantly higher than in destinations such as India and Thailand.

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