Integrative Health Blog

6 Reasons Why Americans Should Consider Medical Tourism

Posted by Sherif Hassan MD on Thu, Jan 24, 2019

medical tourism abroad Wash DC

Are you worried about not having the money to pay for a medical treatment or surgical procedure?

Or, are you anxious because the medical procedure you have scheduled for next month will eat up a large chunk of your savings for retirement?

If you answered yes, then you may want to explore an alternative to receiving costly treatments in the United States: Medical Tourism. Medical tourism refers to people traveling from one country to another to obtain medical treatment or fulfill a medical need at a more affordable, specialized or reputable treatment center. You may have heard that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is scheduled this week to have "non-mesh hernia repair" surgery  in a private Canadian hospital world-renowned for the procedure. Why would Sen. Paul travel to Canada for medical treatment?

The Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Receiving Medical Treatment Abroad:

Cost Savings of Medical Tourism

It is usual for people to want to get the best value for their money, but also to save money in the process. Considering the high costs of medical procedures in the U.S., medical tourism has provided Americans with an alternative. They may choose to travel to other countries, and end up saving money, without the fear of any compromise on the quality of their healthcare treatments. For example, the cost of a cardiac bypass surgery in the U.S. is well over $100,000. On the other hand, the same procedure in some European countries costs around $20,000. If all other costs are taken into consideration, an American could end up saving possibly $80,000.

Enjoy an Unexpected Quality of Care

It might sound strange, and surprising, but the quality of healthcare and customer service available in some European countries sometimes exceeds the average care encountered in the U.S. It is because the governments of these countries have poured billions of dollars into their healthcare systems to bring them up to the international standards. So, when foreigners go to such hospitals for treatment, they not only receive world-class treatment but are also met with hospitality, care, and grace.

Insurance Company Shortcomings

Many Americans just carry on with their lives, despite being affected by a chronic condition or illness. When asked the reason for not receiving treatment, they reply that their condition is not covered under their medical insurance, and that they do not have the capacity to undergo treatment and pay for it on their own. The fact of the matter is, they might not have the capacity to receive treatment in the U.S., but there is a possibility that they’ll be able to receive treatment abroad. In such a scenario, it would be wise to explore medical tourism instead of living in pain or with chronic llness that is affecting the quality of life.

Special Procedures

Certain treatments, medications and procedures are not allowed in the U.S., or are still in their developmental or investigational phases. However, many of these procedures have been successfully performed for years throughout Europe or other countries. When in need, it is possible to take advantage of these treatments by utilizing medical tourism. Shouldice, the private hospital where Sen. Paul is to receive surgery, has been doing mostly non-mesh hernia surgery for 70 years.

Longer Hospital Stays

The cost of a hospital room in Europe is cheaper than the cost of an average hospital room in the United States. Therefore, it is possible to have hospital stays that are longer, in such countries, while not going overboard on your budget. This ensures that you receive expert care and supervision for as long as possible, or until you are back in shape and medically ready to be discharged.

Take a Vacation

Medical Tourism might be for medical reasons, but it is still tourism, and if you are well enough to take advantage of the opportunity for travel it can be a wonderful time to experience the beauty of another culture. Going overseas for treatment may not only give you the best value for the money but also exposes you to an environment that you might have never experienced before. And what better way can there be to utilize your sick leave or vacation from work than to experience the grandeur of  Europe?

Finding the Right Place for Medical Tourism

The only thing that you require for traveling is being directed to the right place for treatment. You want a doctor and hospital with the expertise and the established track record of treating your condition. I only refer to European Centers of Excellence with world-renowned International standing. I am not involved in Medical Tourism for Dental, Cosmetic or Fertility Procedures. Some of the facilities I refer to do accept International Health Insurance and Self Funded Insurance plans on a case-by-case basis.

I would hope that such a need for medical care never arises, but if it does, you may view it as an opportunity to experience the best in Medical Tourism.




Topics: medical tourism