Document Sample

                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION                                                       Page 3

ABOUT MEDICAL TRAVEL                                               Page 4

MEDICAL TRAVEL REASONS                                             Page 6

TRIP PLANNING                                                      Page 7

TYPICAL COSTS                                                      Page 8

THINGS TO AVOID                                                    Page 10

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER                                           Page 10

MEDICAL TRAVEL FACTS & STATISTICS                                  Page 11

CONCLUSION                                                         Page 12

                                                                   2|P age


The following is a free condensed version of My Medical Travel Guide Book, an excellent source of information for anyone
considering travelling to another country in order to receive medical treatment.

The My Medical Travel Guide Book contains information related to treatments, destinations, things to avoid, medical service
provider accreditations and much more...

For more information or to purchase the full copy of My Medical Travel Guide Book, click   here.

To purchase a full copy of the My Medical Travel Guide eBook,   click here.


                                                                                                                3|P age


Medical travel (also called medical tourism, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term that describes the rapidly growin g
practice of travelling outside your country to undergo surgical operations and/or obtain related healthcare services.

Medical tourists usually come from developed countries such as:

       United States
       Canada
       Western Europe
       Australia
       Middle East
       Japan

Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel include:

       The high cost of healthcare in developed countries

       Long wait times for certain procedures

       The ease and affordability of international travel

       Improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries overseas.

Even with travel costs such as air fare, travel insurance, accommodations, insurance and car rental, medical travel can be
substantially more affordable than domestic healthcare. (In addition to eliminating long wait periods). For example, a heart
valve operation that can cost up to $200,000 in the United States can cost under $10,000 in a country like India where lower
labour rates make the surgery inexpensive. The medical staff in developing countries are paid as per their economic
standards (and cost of living), which is much less than those in developed countries. In 2000, medical travel was limited to
cosmetic, plastic, or other elective surgeries. Now patients are commonly receiving medical operations such as heart surgery,
hip replacements, infertility treatments as well as cancer treatments and dental work. Virtually every type of health care
service is available through medical travel.

Even fields such as dentistry are popular in medical tourism. Americans traveled to places like Costa Rica for cheap dental
bridges and caps which were not covered by insurance. Ahis gave birth to a phenomenon called “tooth tourism”. In addition,
some medical and dental destinations offer procedures that are unavailable in certain Western countries. Hip resurfacing, for
example, was only by the US Food & Drug Administration in 2006, even though it had been available in India for quite some
time before.

Medical travel has grown rapidly over recent years as more and more people seek faster and cheaper alternatives to the
healthcare offered in their own countries. Today, over 50 countries have identified „medical tourism‟ as a national industry. A
forecast by Deloitte Consulting published in August 2008 projected that medical travel and tourism originating in the US could
increase by tenfold over the next decade. This growth is being propelled by local governments and private agencies that
provide additional grants to support and strengthen the infrastructure and hospitality in medical care, thus transforming these
regions into world-class destinations for advanced patient care. In some cases, patients even enjoy a relaxing recovery
vacation after receiving medical treatment, which adds to the industry‟s growing popularity.

Thanks to the Internet, more affordable international travel and major advances in medical science have turned medical travel
into a global trend. In 2005, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand attracted over 2.5 million medical travelers. (Source:

                                                                                                                   4|P age

Medical Travel Destinations in South America

       Mexico
       Argentina
       Brazil
       Costa Rica
       Dominican Republic
       Panama
       Peru
       Bolivia
       Colombia
       Cuba
       Guatemala
       Panama
       Uruguay

Medical Travel Destinations in North America

       Quebec, Canada
       British Columbia, Canada
       Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
       Many other American destinations

Medical Travel Destinations in Europe

       Hungary
       Poland
       Spain
       Belgium
       Germany
       Croatia
       Czech-Republic
       Jordan
       Turkey
       Cyprus
       Lithuania
       Malta
       Portugal
       Slovakia
       Ukraine

Medical Travel Destinations in Asia

       India
       Malaysia
       Turkey
       Thailand
       Philippines

                                                                              5|P age


Some of the common reasons for medical travel include lengthy wait times in developed western countries, the rising cost of
healthcare and the high quality private healthcare available abroad combined with the option of a tropical / cultural holiday.

Healthcare cost examples:

       The cost of surgery in India, Thailand or South Africa can be one-tenth of what it is in the United States.
       A heart-valve replacement would cost 20 times lesser in India (including round-trip airfare and a vacation package).
       A metal-free dental bridge worth $5,500 in the US costs $500 in India.
       A knee replacement in Thailand with six days of physical therapy costs about one-fifth of what it would in the States.
       A full facelift costs approximately $20,000 in the US and about $1,250 in South Africa.

Well trained professionals

Since the beginning of the 1980‟s, doctors in developing countries have been educated according to western standards.
Many of the best doctors abroad received their education from reputable Western medical schools. Furthermore, the large
population in these countries enables doctors to get more hands on experience in surgery, diagnosis and treatment.

More medical staff

Since most of the developing countries have a large population and a substantially lower cost of living, the hospitals in these
regions can afford to hire many medical professionals. As a result the staff / patient ratio in these hospitals is much higher
when compared to western countries. You can expect good personal care, friendliness and attentiveness from hospital and
clinic staff.


With local governments supporting the medical travel industry and with well sustained economies in many developing
countries, especially in the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), there‟s substantial improvements in overall
infrastructure with new and modern hospital buildings and state of the art operation theatres.


The improvements in medical technology have brought about a great level of accuracy to medical diagnosis and have
improved robotic navigation during complicated surgeries. Many countries involved in the medical travel industry have spared
no expense in upgrading diagnostic and medical instruments, they often make use of their profits to pump up and upgrade
their technology, and as a result many major hospitals involved in medical travel now boast of standards on par or better
than their western counterparts. Most of the countries possess cutting edge diagnostic machines and imaging capabilities.


There are countless direct and frequent flights linking major cities of USA/Canada with major medical travel countries/cities.
It‟s also very easy to obtain a medical travel VISA to these countries since it‟s an encouraged activity by local governments.


Most of the nations offering medical travel also happen to be popular tourist hotspots. So, a 2-4 week sightseeing tour is
becoming more and more popular, not to mention the medical and economical benefits which make the experience more
fulfilling. There is little wonder that a growing number of North Americans are taking advantage of affordable, high quality
treatment, and combining it with a tropical, cultural and relaxing holiday.

                                                                                                                    6|P age


Even though medical travel offers major cost savings and the option of exotic holidays, health issues and overseas travel
need serious attention and should never be taken lightly. Proper preparation will improve the chances of a successful medical
travel trip. Here is a list of ten things you should do when planning for medical travel:

1. Gather accurate information

Find out as much as possible about the procedure in question. An informed patient is better suited to make decisions. Find
out about all the treatment options and risks involved as well as the necessary information pertaining to your trip (Visas,
passports, vaccinations, etc…)

2. Budget your trip

While planning your medical travel trip, it‟s OK to cut down on the luxuries but never compromise on your treatment budget.
Quality health care should always be your main consideration.

3. Evaluate your facility and practitioner options

Find out all you can about the hospital/clinic‟s reputation. Ask if initial consultations and follow up‟s can be done in your
country of origin as some doctors come to Europe and North America periodically to visit patients. If so, check whether the
consultation in your country will be with the same surgeon performing the operation, or with a nurse or health advisor. Seeing
the plastic surgeon / dentist for a consultation locally will give you a better understanding of what is involved and a good
consultation will inform you of what the surgeon believes are the best procedures for you as well as go over the possible risks
and complications.

4. Plan ahead

Planning ahead ensures that you will have better cost savings on your air fare and other expenses. You also get better prices
for medical travel and get to choose better doctors at the hospital for your procedures. It is recommended that you confirm
your medical travel plans at least three months before your date of travel.

5. Plan the details

6. Choose the appropriate accommodations

7. Compile your documentation

8. Organize your documents in a clear manner

9. Inform your family and your doctor

Before you embark on medical travel you should inform your family and friends about your plans and leave a photocopy of all
your travel, treatment and accommodation plans. Even though over a million North Americans safely undertake medical
travel every year, it is advised that you take necessary precautions to ensure your security.

10. Check insurance compliance

You may also want to check if your insurance company covers overseas medical travel. Although not many insurance
companies currently provide such medical travel insurance, it is still a feasible option to further minimize the risk of your trip.

                                                                                                                       7|P age


Surgery cost comparisons

       Procedure         United States($)      Thailand ($)       Singapore ($)   India ($)
      Heart bypass              130000             11000                18500      10000
       Heart valve              160000             10000                12500       9000
      Angioplasty               57000              13000                13000      11000
    Hip replacement             43000              12000                12000       9000
     Hysterectomy               20000               4500                 6000       3000
    Knee replacement            40000              10000                13000       8500
      Spinal fusion             62000               7000                 9000       5500

Source: American Medical Association

      Procedure               USA ($)          Thailand ($)       Singapore ($)   India ($)
       Face-lift                20000               4800                6250        3100
        Breast                  10000               3150                8000        2200
    Breast Reduction            10000               3900                8000        3000
     Eyelid Surgery              7000               1400                3750        2200
      Liposuction               10000               2100                5000        2500
     Nose Surgery                7300               3850                4400        1800
     Tummy Tuck                  8500               4050                6250        3400

Source: American Medical Association

                                                                                           8|P age

         Procedure                     USA ($)                 UK ($)   India ($)
     Open Heart Surgery                100000                   43000     7500
   Total Knee Replacement               48000                   52000     6300

       Hip Resurfacing                  55000                   48000     7000
      LA Hysterectomy                   22000                   24000     4000
    Lap Cholecystectomy                 18000                   20000     3000
    Spinal Decompression                60000                   65000     5500
   Obesity Surgery (Gastric             65000                   70000     9500

Source: Wockhardt Hospitals

Source: American Medical Association

                                                                                    9|P age


     Opting for cosmetic surgery or dentistry based only on pictures or email correspondences. Do not believe the photos
      put up by hospitals on their websites; it could be their only successful surgery! Instead do your research and find out
      about the hospital and the reputation of the doctors.
     Going-ahead with a procedure even when you‟re not fully comfortable with the hospital or accommodation.
     Going ahead with a doctor based on gut instincts instead of checking the doctor‟s track record.
     Choosing a surgeon even if he/she appears unfriendly and lacks empathy.
     Choosing a country based solely on its tourism merits, without fully checking the quality of the surgeons, dentists,
      clinics or hospitals.
     Not having a backup plan in case of complications.
     Booking air tickets which are non-refundable.
     Wiring or sending money to unknown parties. Even though money transfers happen safely most of the time, it is not
      worth the risk. It‟s advised that you send money only to verified sources.
     Not informing your local physician and considering his opinion before leaving for medical travel.


Here are some other things to consider when researching a trip for healthcare purposes:

     Is this medical facility the best choice for me?
     Does the doctor have experience dealing with my condition?
     Am I comfortable with the facilities the hospital has to offer?
     Does my medical condition allow me to undertake long distance medical travel?
     How long do I need to stay after my procedure and am I comfortable being away from home for that period of time?
     Do I need a partner to accompany me during my visit and will my partner be comfortable travelling long distances and
      staying over for long periods of time?
     What are the benefits of choosing this doctor and medical staff overseas?
     Is this country's culture acceptable to me? Would I be comfortable learning more about this country's culture during
      my medical travel?
     What are the other options I can consider for my medical treatment?

                                                                                                                10 | P a g e


   Medical Tourism is expected to grow to a US$40 billion annual industry by 2011.

   It is estimated that 40 – 45 million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured in the realm of healthcare.

   Canadians make up 6 % of worldwide medical tourists.

   According to the Fraser Institute, on average it takes 125 days to see a surgeon in Canada. However, that average
    includes urgent referrals.

   It takes an average of 282 days (over 9 months) to see an orthopaedic surgeon in Canada.

   A recent study by the international management consultants McKinsey & Co. project that over the next 15 years 500,000
    – 700,000 Canadians will utilize out of country medical providers.

   Medical tourism by American citizens is rising each year consistently by 15 to 30 %.

   It is estimated that 1.3 million medical tourists go to Asia each year.

   Over 18,000 Canadians go to Thailand each year for medical treatment.

   In 2005, half a million Americans travelled abroad for medical treatment, in 2007, 750,000 Americans used out of country
    medical providers. A Deloitte Consulting report published in August 2008 estimates that number could increase to 7.5
    million by 2018.

   In Canada and Britain, average wait times for hip replacement surgery is over 1 year.

   In 2006 one Bangkok (Thailand) hospital alone treated over 150,000 foreigners.

   Over 600,000 foreigners visit Thailand each year for medical treatment.

   In India, medical tourism revenues are expected to grow to $2 billion by 2012 according to Forbes magazine.

                                                                                                                      11 | P a g e


Even with travel costs such as air fare, travel insurance, accommodations, insurance and car rental, medical travel can be
substantially more affordable than domestic healthcare and may provide access to procedures and techniques otherwise not
available in your home country.

There are many factors to research and consider like with any medical procedure; however, medical travel can prove to be an
ideal solution for many individuals.

Our goal with this travel guide and is to provide prospective travellers with all the information
and contacts necessary to plan a successful medical trip. There are risks associated with any medical procedure whether
performed at home or abroad; the more planning and research you do, the less likely something will go wrong. Because
“When you fail to plan” you “Plan to fail”.

Your health dramatically affects your quality of life; with medical travel you now have new options to consider.

             For more information or to purchase the full copy of My Medical Travel Guide Book, click                             here.

                           To purchase a full copy of the My Medical Travel Guide eBook,                      click here.

The medical information in this guide or on our website, , is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be
used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used
as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical con dition. My Medical Travel
Guide / mymedicaltravelguide expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever
suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this guide or on the website By reading this
guide or visiting our website,, you agree to the these terms and conditions, which may from time to time be changed
or supplemented by My Medical Travel Guide / mymedicaltravelguide .com.

If you do not agree to the foregoing terms and conditions, you should not read this guide or visit our website.

                                                                                                                                        12 | P a g e

Shared By:
Description: The following is a free condensed version of My Medical Travel Guide Book, an excellent source of information for anyone considering travelling to another country in order to receive medical treatment.