Thursday, April 16, 2009

Medical Tourism

In the ever-changing world of international healthcare, medical tourism is a rising trend. In fact, medical tourism is a phenomenon that has taken the world of healthcare by storm in recent years. It remains a unique proposition that no only involves the healthcare industry but also has a significant impact on the tourism industry.

What is medical tourism? Why is everybody talking about it these days? And is it a good choice for you? Let’s try and answer these questions.

The practice of visiting new places in search of favorable climate or on just being advised by a doctor to go ‘on a change’ is not new. Medical tourism is just a refined form of this age old habit practice of humanity. In its broadest sense, medical tourism combines care for your health with international tourism. The primary reason behind its surging popularity is that it enables the common man to avail better healthcare services at an affordable budget. When one’s health is one’s concern, it is natural to look for the best treatment options within one’s budget. Countries such as India, Dubai and Malaysia are fast emerging as the forerunners in providing world-class healthcare facilities. These include a wide array of highly skilled healthcare professionals, trained in various specialized disciplines, state-of-the-art equipment and modern amenities, impeccable service and personal attention to every need of the patient and all these, at a cost that’s surprisingly affordable.

Most people in need of specialized healthcare services feel daunted by the high cost associated with them. Countries such as US, Canada or some European nations, offer the same high standard healthcare facilities as India, Malaysia or Dubai, at a cost that’s substantially greater. Let’s face it, not everybody can afford the high cost associated with healthcare services in his or her own country. Nor do all of us enjoy the benefits of a high medical insurance coverage.

All this naturally necessitates the need to look for similar healthcare services elsewhere, where the cost is significantly lower. Healthcare tourism makes it possible to save up to 80% (as compared to US/UK) on medical costs by opting for countries like India. Healthcare tourism in India is fast gaining in popularity because of this simple reason.

Medical tourism also gives you other advantages such as reduced waiting periods for your treatment. If there is a critical treatment involved, or an operation that needs to be done quickly, you can initiate the process almost immediately after contacting the healthcare professionals in these countries. Most hospitals or medical establishments in the US or UK have lengthy waiting lists and necessitate wait for a substantially longer period of time.

So what can you expect in the lap of foreign hospitality? Nothing less than what you would in your own country. Smart and well-informed professionals, speaking fluent English and attending to every detail with meticulous attention, only add to the overall experience. You can rest assured knowing that the task of caring for your health is in good, able hands.

The reasons that contribute to the ever increasing popularity of medical tourism are not difficult to understand. Exorbitant cost of healthcare and medical facilities in advanced countries, ease and affordability of international travel, favorable currency exchange rates in the global economy, rapidly improving technology and high standards of medical care in the developing countries - all of these have contributed to the rapid development of medical tourism.

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