Healthcare Tourism

Medical Tourism in US

I recently enjoyed reading а blog about medical tourism success stories and also watched a few videos about medical tourists from U.K. undergoing their orthopedic surgeries in India. All these satisfied, happy medical tourism clients are a testament that there ARE great hospitals and terrific, Western trained, experienced surgeons outside the U.K. and the U.S. Without doubt, medical tourism does offer great value to patients who are willing and able to travel. Yes, the last part about being able to travel means that not everyone is a great candidate for a medical trip abroad.

It was interesting to see the numbers for medical tourists coming from the U.K. Also patient testimonies in the video certainly support this. Medical tourism is at its infancy in the U.S., and countries like U.K. are far more advanced in this realm. In fact, EU recently passed a bill that allows patients in one country get medical treatments in another and get reimbursed for those procedures at home. It will take years for something like that to happen in the U.S., but it will probably happen sooner with the passing of the Health Care Reform here in the U.S.

medical-tourism-usWe Americans have been "spoiled" with medical services and have been brainwashed to believe that the U.S. has the best of the best AND nobody else can come close. Well, the reality is, it is not true. Here is another little trivia. Until U.S. began requiring passports to travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, only about ten percent of American had passports. If we don't travel abroad much, how do we know what's out there?

Unequivocally, we have many remarkable medical facilities in the U.S. that boast state-of-the-art operating suites and staffed with amazing, well trained doctors. Having said that, the surgeons and the doctors MedVacation works with abroad have all been trained in the U.S. So quality care is available abroad. One of the dental clients who went though MedVacation told us once: “I saw a crown making machine in your clinic’s dental office that makes crowns from x-rays. I never saw anything like that in the U.S.”

Lastly, I want to touch on the comment I made about being able to travel earlier. Some medical procedures lend themselves more naturally to medical tourism. When people ask us, why we don’t offer heart surgeries, I respond by saying ‘because it is very difficult for people with heart conditions to travel by plane.’ Procedures such as dental implants dentures, IVF, addiction treatments and plastic surgery are typically low risk, do not demand long recovery time, and have low rate of serious complications.

In summary, Medical tourism is a young industry. I feel it is poised to grow in the upcoming years. The industry offers a great deal of value to Americans who are looking value and high quality medical procedures. However, prospective medical tourists should do their home work when selecting reputable, state-of-the-art clinic for their medical procedures.

Taras Kuzin

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