MEDICAL TOURISM GUIDE – Everything you need to know

medical tourism

Medical tourism is a growing trend; with people looking for healthcare at better prices abroad. But there are a few things you need to know!

Healthcare costs are rising. In the United States, in 2016 alone, an average person would spend a whopping $10,345 on medical expenses during the entire year. And since then, the prices have skyrocketed. For many, medical tourism seems to be an answer.

What is Medical Tourism?

This term describes an action when individuals dealing with various health concerns travel to another country to receive medical care. Initially, this trend originated among the citizens of less developed countries.

They would travel to get treatments that were out of reach in their home countries. Today, people travel from all around the globe, mostly to India, Spain, or Japan, to get high-standard healthcare services without giant fees and never-ending waiting lists.

Singapore sunset

Why Travel for Healthcare?

Low costs of medical procedures, healthcare, and medical equipment services, are the most appealing factors for many medical tourists. What’s more, the public doesn’t call them “tourists” for no reason. Medical treatments may be their primary purpose, but many patients take advantage of their abroad visits and take day trips, sightsee, and experience other cultures to the fullest.

What are the top worldwide medical tourism destinations? And are there any risks? If medical travel has caught your eye and you want to know the answer to these questions, keep reading!

Medical tourism guide

Risks of Medical Tourism

  • Low-quality medical treatment – Not every European or Asian country has a robust healthcare system. In some, medical services and medication may be of poor quality, so you must do thorough research before you contribute to their medical tourism industry.
  • Communication problems – Even if English is a widely spoken language, communicating may be challenging without an efficient proficiency in the local language. To avoid miscommunication, make sure your soon-to-be medical facility has English-speaking staff or hires an interpreter fluent in your native language.
  • The risk of infections – If you travel for medical purposes, you can be exposed to an increased spread of various noroviruses, multiresistant or mycobacterial infections, mainly following cosmetic surgeries.

3 Most Common Medical Tourism Destinations

Medical Tourism


In 2020, Canada ranked first in the 2020’s Medical Tourism Index. Each year Canadian medical healthcare system attracts over 14 million Americans. Experts foresee that this number will rise dynamically in the upcoming years.

Great White North is known for a withstanding reputation in the medical field and offers a wide range of top-quality and highly-specialized treatments. However, due to boosting interest in the last years, the Canadian government has reduced the number of insured health services purchased out-of-country. Still-growing waiting lists caused many Canadians t

Medical Tourism


Each year, over 500K foreign patients go under the knife in Singapore’s top-of-the-line medical facilities. Singapore ranks second in the Medical Tourism Index and appeals to the global public with affordable and high-quality treatments.

Most patients travel to Singapore to undergo cosmetic, sex reassignment, and bypass surgeries. They have the option of treatment in the world’s best facilities, such as Gleneagles Hospital. It costs a third of what you would pay in your home country AND gives you the chance to go through the convalescence period with the most beautiful travel e



Spanish citizens’ life expectancy is the second-longest in the world, so no surprise that it has one of the fastest-growing medical tourism industries worldwide. More than 10 million patients decide to undergo various procedures in Spanish facilities every year, like orthopedic treatments, heart and cosmetic surgeries.

Most medical tourists in Spain come mainly from the United Kingdom, the United States, North Africa, and the Middle East. Thanks to the low costs of Spanish healthcare and great offers of insurance companies, services such as breast augmentation or BBL (Brazillian Butt Lift) are three to four times lower than everywhere else (while maintaining a top-notch s

medical tourism

Worldwide Medical Tourism Trend

In many countries, the healthcare system is overfilled and insufficient. But with the use of cheap flights and international insurance companies, nothing can stop you from undergoing a medical procedure 100,000 miles from your home country.

Two years ago, the worldwide medical tourism industry was worth over $37 billion US dollars. Last year, because of the spread of coronavirus, many healthcare facilities had to put all non-vital procedures on hold, but once the world shifts back into place, the demand for affordable and high-quality medical services is expected to blow up.

International healthcare tourists travel to Canada, Dubai, Spain, and Japan to obtain various medical services, ranging from essential treatments, cosmetic surgeries, and stem cell therapy to reproductive outsourcing and cytoplasmic transfer. This booming trend’s primal cause is low cost and a lack of access to diverse medical services in many (sometimes even developed) countries.

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