Medical Tourism in Thailand: A New Genre in the Travel Industry
As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon out of proportion, with the United States leading the way, more and more Westerners are finding the prospect of international travel for medical care increasingly appealing. An estimated 150,000 of these travel to Asian nations like India and Thailand for cheap healthcare procedures every year.
A Pleasant Surprise for Those Who Choose International Travel for Medical Care
Traveling in Malaysia last year, Jamie Johnson, an American with a history of diabetes, contracted an ankle infection that needed emergency medical care. Johnson was immediately airlifted to Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, a healthcare facility that was as alien to the Johnsons as the city itself. Her husband, back home, had nightmarish visions of a straw hut in a tropical jungle. Far from it. Johnson had landed at a premier medical tourism center in Thailand, one of the most efficient hospitals in the world, and the first in Asia to receive international accreditation. The hospital has a worldwide reputation for offering high quality cheap healthcare – developed world treatment procedures at developing world rates.
World Class Service is the Buzzword for Medical Tourism in Thailand
Thailand, along with India and Malaysia, is the medical tourism destination of choice for Westerners who have to undergo invasive, life-saving procedures like complicated cardiac surgeries. Besides the sophisticated treatment and the cheap healthcare costs, what patients take back with them is the one thing sorely lacking in understaffed, overworked Western hospitals – service with a smile. Add to that luxurious little details like Bumrungrad Hospital’s limousine service for picking up patients at the airport or the partnerships with luxury hotels where patients can recuperate in five star comfort, and it’s easy to see why the ranks of these medical tourists has swelled to include the more affluent. In the swank Platinum Lounge of New Delhi’s Apollo Hospital – another hotspot for medical tourism in the region – oil-rich sheiks rub shoulders with well-heeled Europeans.
Now, Corporations and Insurance Companies offer International Travel for Medical Care Programs
Big American businesses and health insurers have been quick to jump on the medical tourism bandwagon. Alarmed by inflating healthcare costs that eat into their profits and attracted by the cheap healthcare offered on foreign shores, forty corporations have signed on for an overseas healthcare plan offered by one of Florida’s leading health insurers. Bumrungrad International Hospital has been quick on the uptake and has begun work on an eighteen-story outpatient block with the capacity to handle 6000 patients daily. With developments like these, it’s safe to say that the medical tourism sector in Thailand is in the pink of health!