This post has partner links that I may receive compensation for at no cost to you. Thank you!
Credit: Moving Mountains Trust (Flickr)
This is a sponsored post from FlightHub
You’ve probably heard a story from a friend or family member where they or someone they know has experienced a medical emergency abroad. This can be a massive medical and financial burden. While online travel agencies like FlightHub offer comprehensive insurance plans, many people travel without insurance and end up in a heap of trouble due to excessive medical costs in developed countries and suspect facilities in less developed ones. While this will continue to be a problem, there is a new wave of tourism taking off. Medical tourism is a massively growing industry and, as part of its due diligence, is a tourism segment that FlightHub reviews constantly. But what exactly is medical tourism? Why do people take part in it? Lastly, where are people going?
Medical tourism is simple. It is people flying to another country to receive medical care. And surprisingly it is happening more than you think. FlightHub, in its research, came across the website patients without borders. This website, which is dedicated to medical tourism, estimates that medical tourism is growing by 15% to 25% yearly. The countries growing the fastest? Countries within North, Southeast, South Asia, and the Middle East.
Now, why are people choosing this over Canada’s free healthcare system? FlightHub found it is often it’s for speed of care. Paid procedures overseas are often available nearly on-demand. This of course depends on the nature if the procedure. Some of the most popular overseas procedures are cosmetic and dental surgeries. These are often not covered under Canada’s healthcare system or individual employee insurance plans. The range of procedures broadens when you take the United States into account, as their medical system makes complicated procedures very costly. Sadly, medical care is the single biggest reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States and there are savings to be found in foreign countries.
Cost-wise, patients can see some huge savings getting procedures done abroad. The savings range depending on the country, with procedures generally costing up to 65% less in a country like Turkey. This country, which is a popular destination for FlightHub partially due to its growing medical tourism market, is considered the cheapest medical tourism destination, with other countries like Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea closely following them.
Some other reasons why people are choosing medical tourism are simple as well. As countries like Canada and the United States see their average age rise, the need for healthcare expands. As it stands, these two countries have pretty heavily loaded medical systems, leading to some extreme wait times for basic procedures. At the same time, these countries offering medical tourism are growing and becoming competitive markets. As these economies grow, their medical systems become more modern, bringing them nearly to par with established and developed nations. Mix in some marketing, and you have a recipe for people hopping on planes to get procedures done on the other side of the World.
FlightHub is a leading online travel agency in North America based out of Montreal, Quebec.
Traveler. Writer. Photographer. Terrible dancer. 40+ countries & major territories so far, slowly working his way through the rest. Related interests: craft beer, street food, cocktails, culture, sporting events, history, value travel, credit card bonuses, hiking, visiting non-touristy places, bacon, seafood, & cheese