As modern medicine is becoming increasingly advanced, there are many new opportunities opening for patients and doctors alike. One of these new benefits is the availability of medical tourism.
What exactly is medical tourism?
Medical Tourism is when a patient travels outside of the country or state, in order to receive medical care. This has become much more available, now that there are commercial air ambulance services available, where qualified patients are able to be transferred by airplane. This rather new – now popularized – practice of air medical escort services has raised a lot of talks within the medical world. Most are praising this practice because it allows individuals to receive medical care that may not have been an option – due to time or costs. Furthermore, this practice also allows individuals from lesser-developed areas to travel to more advanced areas in order to receive medical attention that may not be available in their country or region. This multi-billion dollar industry is changing the way the medical world works. Commercial air medical escort services, a non-emergency service ensures patients get to their destination, accompanied by a trained medical professional and proper medical equipment. Patients can save costs by using a commercial airline instead of a private medical jet, but let’s also take a look at a few of the benefits of medical tourism.
Medical Tourism Can Reduce Medical Care Costs
Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of medical tourism is the cost. The New York Times covered the story of a man who was in need of a hip replacement surgery. The cost of this operation in the United States was estimated to nearly $100,000. He was able to travel to a private hospital in Belgium for the surgery, which ended up costing only $13,660, including travel expenses. That is an 86% decrease! As medical costs in the U.S. are continuing to skyrocket a lot of patients are beginning to look into the idea of traveling for their medical needs. This is mostly due to the cost of care being significantly lower in other parts of the world.
Some speculate the costs are lower because the quality of care is significantly less. However, this is not the case. Many hospitals and clinics in other countries offer the same care as we find in the U.S., the difference is that many international hospitals are privately operated, with far less government regulation than what we see in the United States. Meaning the cost of medical services in these areas is significantly less.
Medical Tourism Can Be Significantly Faster
The world of medicine thrives off of urgency. If a patient needs an organ transplant or blood transfusion, these operations need to be done as soon as possible. However, due to demand, patients are often put on a wait list and must wait for months (sometimes even years) to receive the care that they need. This can take a serious toll on their quality of life. Thankfully, medical tourism is helping solve this issue. This practice gives patients worldwide options, rather than being confined to one region or country.
Medical Tourism is Still Tourism
An additional benefit of traveling to receive medical care is that a patient has the ability to experience new areas and cultures while they recover. Many medical travelers are able to spend their time sightseeing and exploring new worlds.
Originally published on AMR Air Ambulance