Medical Tourism Vacations on the Rise
News articles and press releases vouching for the high cost effectiveness of health vacations are showing up with increasing frequency. Some of them go into detail, quoting savings of 60–80% on medical tourism vacations. With cost savings of that magnitude within reach, it seems almost too good to be true that you’d get a full-fledged vacation to go with it. The increased interest from healthcare consumers has spurred various authorities to forecast the growth of the industry over the next few years. For example, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India published a study forecasting annual earnings of US$1.87 billion in foreign exchange by 2012 in India. These earnings are seen as a direct result of the medical tourism boom.
What Does Medical Tourism Mean for the Individual?
Quite simply, medical tourism takes care of the healthcare requirements of those who are uninsured and underinsured. It also provides unlimited opportunities for those seeking tremendous cost savings coupled with an enjoyable vacation from the daily grind. Individuals in need of major surgery need not fall into heavy debt and potentially damage their credit in order to pay for it. For example, the cost of hip resurfacing surgery in the U.S. can amount to a whopping $55,000. Wockhardt Hospital in India performs the same surgery with the same quality of care for a mere $7,000. But that’s not all. The lower price tag covers the cost of the hip resurfacing surgery as well as transport to and from the airport, consultations, standard tests, standard medication, a fully equipped room with accommodations for a companion, a customer service attendant, a comprehensive written medical report, a dietician, daily email updates of your condition for your family, and travel planning assistance. Now that’s what I call adding value!
Choosing the Right Hospital for a Health Vacation
Anyone considering a health vacation should remember to do a fair bit of research on the hospitals and doctors promoting their services. Amidst today’s climate of zeal for medical tourism and its benefits, there are many great deals as well as scams to be found. Take the help of a reputable medical tourism operator or look up the major hospitals in the countries of your choice. Their websites or customer service personnel should clearly state their rates and the details of the package. Be sure to check that the hospital is accredited and that the doctor assigned to you is fully qualified.