As if you needed another reason to visit a foreign country, add this one to the list. Medical tourism is rapidly growing in popularity, and makes going on a little vacation a money-saving endeavor. Certain medical procedures, especially elective ones, are pretty pricey here in the states. In many cases, though, these same procedures are available and safe in countries with much lower prices. With a few guidelines, you can have a truly beneficial experience getting the care you need while visiting a place you’ve always wanted to go.
How to Find the Spot
So, obviously you will want to make sure that the country you pick is adept and safe about the procedure you look to get. You don’t want to pick a medical tourism location based on where you want to go most, and just roll the dice with your health. That is a very easy way to come home with a few missing teeth, or even an infection. The goal here is to save money and have fun, not pay for antibiotics the moment you get back home. Luckily, the Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) has great resources on its website to ensure you are in good hands. Do your research, and make sure that you cover your bases.
Popular Medical Tourism Destinations
As a Californian, the medical tourism combination I hear of most is Mexico and dental work. The number of people I know who go to Tijuana for dental work is almost enough to fill both hands. Brazil is best known for its plastic surgery, and I’m sure one can imagine why.
Dental work is also fairly cheap in Panama. The country is a safer and more vacation-friendly place than most large cities in Mexico and Brazil.
If you’re looking for places to live long-term in order to retire and get good healthcare, Singapore is the gold standard. Being the most economically free nation in the world with a strong culture of personal accountability, Singapore ranks at #6 in the world for healthcare. With higher costs than other nations on this list, this nation from the future still undercuts the United States.
Do your research, pick a place that works best for you and be safe. Don’t go into this haphazardly, and keep your focus on what is important — your health. No vacation is worth risking your life. Even smaller procedures can be extremely risky in the wrong places. Strike a good balance, trust the resources provided to you here, and have a good time saving money!