The cost of medical care is rising in Britain and in America, and more and more patients are choosing to go to a foreign country for affordable medical care. This is known as medical tourism, and certain places are benefiting from it in a big way, be they the patients of said countries, or the host countries themselves.
About Medical Tourism
Medical tourism is on the rise in most of Europe, as the quality of care and the cost are at such a perfect intersection for many medical tourists, that getting the same treatment at home would be equivalent to madness. Companies dealing with medical tourism almost always take care of accommodations, flights, and even post operative vacation events and sightseeing, where appropriate. In the eyes and minds of many folks, medical tourism is a shady business involving illegally obtained organs and subpar treatment needed to save the life of a foreigner, all for an exorbitant price.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Medical tourism is always done in a legal and safe, controlled environment, with many doctors and medical facilities existing for the sole purpose of welcoming foreign patients, and is almost always much less costly than the procedure would cost in the patient’s home country. In the case of dentistry and complex procedures, the price is often just a fraction of the amount it would otherwise cost. And as with any business that is booming as hard as this one, the treatments and the accommodations are becoming more and more tailored to the people using it.
Western Europe and dental tourism
Although Western Europe is roughly priced the same way as Britain or America, there are several things to keep in mind. The first and most obvious would be the quality of the care. While the price might be the same or just a little bit cheaper, the quality of care is almost always significantly higher, especially for complex or multi-stage procedures, like bypasses or heart surgeries.
The reason? The best medical schools are located in Western Europe, and with the countries there making enough money to be able to support their doctors, who stay in the host country as a result. An interesting outlier is Spain, who, although is economically currently undergoing hardship, still has some of the best doctors, and at a much more affordable price than most countries in the region. Spain also has excellent beaches and greta topography, which is relaxing, and is a popular tourist destination anyway, thus medical tourists will find both the their medical needs, and their tourism needs fulfilled in just one pleasant trip. That’s a bargain if I ever heard one.
Eastern Europe and dental tourism
Although a less popular tourist destination, countries in Eastern Europe is a very popular destination for medical issues, from students to tourists to doctors looking for professional development. The prices are always much lower than in the West, and the quality of care is usually the same, and more and more often, thanks to medical tourism, even better than what one would get “back home”. The primary reason for medical tourism to Eastern Europe is dental tourism, as dentistry costs a fraction of what it would cost in the West, but the best dentists in the world come from this region. Countries like Hungary, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria have already spent quite a lot of money in having dental practices that are on the level of Western practices, and often even surpass them, especially in terms of price. So no long queues at the NHS or other public health service, no exorbitant doctors fees, and a vacation to go along with it? It is easy to see why more and more people are choosing to export their medical problems, and come back happier and healthier than ever!