Best Countries & Destinations for Medical Tourism
With the ever-growing medical advancements, recent years have seen a surge in the number of people travelling for medical reasons. Millions of people travel across international borders each year to seek advanced medical treatments.
This travelling for medical care or medical tourism is not a luxury but a necessity since we cannot deny treatment to ourselves or our loved ones if we know they can be healed in some part of the world.
List of Top 10 Countries for Medical Tourism
The attractiveness of a country for medical travel depends on numerous factors, with the country's economy, healthcare costs, public image and quality of healthcare being the major ones. These factors, and many others too, are in constant interplay to drive medical tourism in a country.
Here is a list of top countries for Medical Tourism:
Canada is one of the popular tourist destinations and boasts a robust medical tourism industry. Some of the major factors that have earned it this position are:
- This second-largest country in the world has a reputation for offering high-quality and top-of-the-line healthcare facilities.
- Canada offers these high-quality services at a very affordable cost when compared to the developed nations like the United States.
- Another major factor for its booming medical tourism is its proximity to the United States. Many people from the U.S. and other developed nations head to Canada to bypass their home country's high treatment costs and long wait times.
Another country that ranks high on the Medical Tourism Index is Singapore.
Here is why:
- The top-notch quality of healthcare services and facilities, which are also affordable compared to most developed nations, make it one of the favourite medical tourism spots.
- Singapore has a multitude of hospitals that offer excellent medical services, with state-of-the-art facilities and, most importantly, highly trained and competent specialists.
- Singapore recently set up International Patient Service Centers (IPSCs) to make their medical tourism industry better organised. They act as a liaison between medical tourists and Singapore healthcare providers to make the services better managed.
Another nation on the list of favourite destinations for Medical Tourism is Japan. And the below factors have rightly earned it this position:
- Japan has incorporated the latest technological and medical advances into their healthcare system as a technologically advanced nation. Hence, it continues to deliver top-notch healthcare services to patients. No wonder! People in Japan have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
- Talk about medical equipment and devices like MRI scanners, CT scanners or anything; Japan stands tall in their availability. This reduces the wait times and takes their service levels higher than most nations. Japan particularly excels in the treatment of Cancer.
- Another major factor that drives medical tourism in Japan is its low treatment costs. Although Japan is expensive, most health centres are managed as Non-Profits, thus keeping the costs down.
One of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Spain attracts millions of tourists every year from across the globe. The country ranks high on the Medical Tourism Index due to several factors, some of which are:
- Its proximity to the Middle East, North Africa and the British Aisles from where numerous medical tourists visits the country for advanced orthopaedic, cosmetic, and dental procedures.
- Spain offers all these healthcare services at a high quality and low cost compared to the above or other developed countries.
- Spain also boasts several JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited hospitals.
5. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, is one of the choicest destinations for medical travel, in fact, for general tourism. It welcomes millions of international tourists yearly owing to its rich cultural heritage.
The reasons that make it one of the choicest medical travel destinations are:
- It is home to renowned medical institutions like the London Orthopaedic Clinic, Birmingham Children's Hospital, and the Cambridge Complex Orthopaedic Trauma Center, all known for their top-notch healthcare services.
- The United Kingdom is known for cosmetic treatments such as corrective jaw surgery, facial fillers, and other cosmetic procedures.
- Apart from the high-quality treatments and services the country offers, another major factor that makes the U.K. one of the favourite medical travel destinations is the cost. Most of the medical services or procedures here cost much lesser than that in the U.S. or any other country at the same level of quality.
Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, is known for its ultramodern architecture, high-rise buildings, and luxury shopping experiences.
Dubai has recently become one of the most popular destinations for medical tourism in recent years. The top specialities for which patients land up here are Cancer treatment, dental procedures, infertility, dermatology and skin care and orthopaedics.
Here are the major factors that have made this possible:
- Its recent growth and advancements in medical care.
- Due to their proximity, it has evolved into a medical travel hub, especially for Europe and the Middle East.
- The primary reason behind the medical tourism influx in Dubai is the high quality and affordable medical care.
- The state-of-the-art technology used in their medical services makes excellent use of A.I. and Robotics in surgeries, wireless brain sensors and the most modern sensors for Cancer and other treatments.
- The Cherry on the cake is the easier visa process in Dubai compared to the U.S. or Europe, making the patients choose Dubai.
7. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is another rapidly rising country on the Medical Tourism Index. One of the safest, most beautiful and most conveniently located places for eco and medical tourism, Costa Rica has very rightly reached this list of favourite medical tourism destinations. Here is why:
- It offers excellent choices to medical tourists at competitive prices that are considerably lower than in the U.S.
- This country has ranked higher than many developed nations for dentistry and cosmetic surgery procedures. Besides, medical tourists also come there for eye surgery, cancer therapy and bariatric surgery, among other things.
- Not just that, this beautiful place also provides exotic recovery retreats for medical travellers who can relax and recover in its serene ambience.
As per the global Medical Travel Index, Israel is another top medical tourism destination in the world. Here are the reasons that have earned it this position:
- Many medical tourists travel to Israel for its advanced and innovative cancer treatment, besides other medical services like orthopaedics, neurology, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, eye surgery and bone marrow transplantation.
- Hospitals in Israel provide excellent treatment facilities and high-quality post-surgery care.
- The country's medical professionals are highly qualified and competent enough to deal with complex cases.
- The hospitals here provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and the latest facilities to manage even the most complicated issues.
9. Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is not just the capital city of the United Arab Emirates but also its largest emirate. It has built a robust medical tourism platform in recent years and can soon emerge as the best in the region.
Some reasons for the above are:
- The Super easy medical visa program, medical tourism insurance and affordable treatment packages.
- All of the above, along with the details of medical offerings and healthcare facilities in the city, are provided through the Abu Dhabi Medical Tourism e-portal launched by the emirate in 2019. This makes the process a lot easy for medical tourists.
- Abu Dhabi provides high-quality healthcare facilities that comply with strict rules and regulations set by the city's health department, thus ensuring that its patients receive top-notch healthcare.
- Besides these top-quality healthcare services, medical tourists may also enjoy scenic views and beautiful tourist attractions in the country.
India has become a top health tourism destination in recent times.
Below are the major factors that have made this possible:
- Our country specialises in bypass surgeries and other high-end complex procedures like multi-organ transplants, hip replacements, cardiac care, cosmetic surgeries, and gastrointestinal procedures
- The above-mentioned procedures are performed here at a much more affordable cost than in any western nation. In fact, the medical expenses in India are about a one- fifth of what most western countries like the United States charge, as per the Indian Department of Tourism.
- Chennai has been rightly termed as 'India's health capital'. It attracts around 45% of foreign health tourists arriving in the country and about 40% of domestic health tourists.
- One of the most attractive features of Indian medical tourism is the medical visa policy that allows patients to stay up to 60 days. Not just that, a close family member is also provided with a medical attendant Visa to accompany the patient.
- Indian Medical Tourism is identified not just by highly qualified professionals and infrastructure but also in the empathetic service levels of our skilled support staff and nurses.
The above countries rank top because they provide the best healthcare with optimum expenditure and effort. However, with the fast-paced advancements in healthcare and technology, many more countries are joining the wagon.