6 Reasons Why Medical Travel Is Booming
Medical travel is experiencing a boom on a global level. As the industry gets increasingly inter-connected, and the world becomes a smaller place due to travelling possibilities and options, many are now choosing to go abroad for their treatments. This is true for people from all over the world, be they from US, Canada, the African continent, Indonesia or Eastern Europe. The medical travel industry is booming right now, and it is only projected to grow in the next few years. So, what makes medical travel so attractive to people?
In today’s world which largely depends on money, the price of the treatments offered abroad has to be the number one cause why people choose to leave their countries for a treatment. This is especially true for the more “developed” countries like the US, the UK, or other EU countries, where medical prices are increased due to the higher standards of living, higher salaries in the medical field and the overhead costs. People from these countries then look for cheaper options abroad, as the difference in prices can be so big that they can afford transportation, hotel stay and living abroad, and still save a significant amount of money.
Sometimes money isn’t everything, though. Medical technology is not equally shared among all countries in the world, and, naturally, some are ahead of the others. Places like Germany, which is a powerhouse when it comes to technological advancement, or China today, which is rapidly advancing, offer technologies like minimally-invasive surgeries done with robotic assistance that just cannot be found anywhere else. These procedures are more precise, less inconvenient and have higher success rates, drawing in crowds from all over the world.
While people generally trust their physicians and doctors treating them, at most times it is wise to ask for a second opinion. After all, a doctor is just a human being and they can make mistakes. For some, it helps them put their minds at ease by having another doctor take a look at their condition. This is a right of every patient. By going abroad they get access to different schools of medicine and medical philosophies. A doctor in China will have different approach to an illness than a doctor in India, and they both will have completely different views from a doctor in the US, for example. Patients take advantage of this to take a look at their condition from different perspectives and gain the ability to make an informed decision.
With a difference in technology and approach comes the difference in available treatments. Some treatments which are perfectly normal in one country could be completely banned in other. In other cases, only one country offers a certain type of treatment. This is the case with Cuba. Their scientists have discovered a vaccine for lung cancer, but due to Cuba’s political situation, this treatment is available only on the island, and nowhere else in the world. So, when patients don’t have the best treatment available in their country, they travel.
As with the technology, the quality of service also differs from one country to another. Some nations are more culturally inclined to offer better quality services, while others have the technological know-how to make everything they do better. The quality of service is the primary reason why people are willing to pay more money than they would in their own country, i.e. why people travel from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ countries. For example, it is not the same if you get a hip replacement in Croatia and in Germany. The Germans will, as a rule, use better materials and more innovative technology, simply because it is available and they have been doing it for a long time. As a consequence, that hip will last longer and create fewer problems in the long run for the patient.
A country’s degree of investing into the medical sector is directly related to the quality of the facilities in that country. That goes both for the state-run medical centers and the privately-owned ones. If a country invests into its own facilities, then the private practices have to make theirs even better, as they have to lure people to come to them. Some countries, like India and China, have heavily invested into their medical facilities in the last decade, and they have achieved those levels that the EU countries and the US have, perhaps even surpassing them in some aspects. With the price levels as they are, this is one of the most important reasons why many choose these Far Eastern countries to travel to and get their medical procedures.
The industry of medical tourism has reached global levels and most of the developed and developing world is working towards becoming a part of it, if they are not a part already. Given the reasons above, it is safe to assume that it will only grow as the years go by.
If you wish to become a part of this booming industry, either as a patient or a medical provider, we are always there to offer partnership and answer any questions you might have, so feel free to contact us!