Decreased Costs Lead to Medical Travel Competition
Technological advances are creating downturns in the rapidly rising costs of healthcare abroad. Several Asian countries are capitalizing on this phenomenon through medical travel (also known as medical tourism). As the number of participating countries grows, the increased competition in medical tourism lends direct benefits to countries like the Philippines which already have incredibly affordable pricing.
With competition driving down prices, healthcare may become more affordable. In the United States, bureaucracy, legal ramifications, and excessive regulations raise barriers to entry in the medical field. What’s more, affordable healthcare has long since become an oxymoron in the U.S. Enter medical tourism, where U.S. medical patients can travel to the Philippines, vacation, and return home having spent a fraction of the cost for the same procedure 20 minutes away from their house.
Competition Could Increase Medical Travel Insurance in the United States
Increased medical tourism to the Philippines is simply a product of supply and demand. The more supply available in terms of doctors available to perform medical procedures, the cheaper the prices will become. Eventually, medical travel will begin eroding insurance benefits in the U.S., forcing companies to raise prices to offset the differences. Medical travel insurance for U.S. patients may also increase because of safety concerns. Cheaper healthcare appeals to the bank account, but patients must consider what else must be cheaper in the supply chain for medical centers to remain competitive. Competition in business—and medical travel is indeed a business—heightens motivation, but also added pressure to do more with less. Unfortunately, this occasionally leads to corners being cut. Medical procedures gone awry, could in-turn, contribute to an increase in the costs of medical travel insurance for procedures outside the U.S.