Medical tourism is a field that has gained a great deal of traction. Bringing vacation together with low-cost medical procedures, it is an odd-yet-attractive synthesis. The phenomenon is not just a hot item for Americans;
31 percent of West Australian women surveyed say they would consider it. Popular destinations include Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States, which is home to a range of cosmetic treatments from facelifts to blepharoplasty. Due to the obvious ability to obtain medical treatments anywhere and save, medical tourism has travelers upping the ante on this unique opportunity. After all, who doesn’t enjoy saving money on medical costs and seeing the world at the same time?
The high cost of cancer: Responses in the East and West
The American Cancer Society warns that in the high cost of cancer treatment, health insurance is “no guarantee… you will be protected from major, life-changing expenses.” In fact, it notes that stopping cancer treatment early – or not receiving it at all – is a possibility due to high costs. Given the expense associated with some cancer treatments, it’s no surprise cancer treatment joins dental procedures, cosmetic surgery and in vitro fertilization in medical tourism. Luckily, there are a couple of notable options in the East and West that could be considered for cost-saving cancer treatments:
·Japan: A lesser known medical tourism destination, Japan has advanced considerably in the field of cancer treatment. Proton and heavy ion radiotherapy are particular strong points, as well as the combination of “soft skills and hard technologies” that form its healthcare-related advantages.
·Austria: With some of the best cancer survival rates in Europe, Austria is an enticing destination for medical tourists. Add in mineral springs, cutting-edge technology and specialized clinics and you have a respected option for any medical treatment – and a vacation.
Cancer treatment looks to be a continued part of the medical tourism industry. With lower-priced options that jump out at possible travelers, countries like Japan and Austria are quite intriguing. Compared to the United States, they deserve a closer look for cancer patients who are investigating a variety of treatment offerings.
Heading south: Insurance and opportunities
Medical tourism is certainly not limited to overseas opportunities for Americans.
Mexico is an ideal location, due to its easy travel potential. The statistics certainly speak to this theme. Mexican health tourism grew 25 percent from 2010 to 2011. Ros notes nearly two million Americans left their home to search for healthcare, five percent of whom traveled to Mexico. An interesting development in this story is the status of insurance. Some insurance companies in Southern California have extended coverage to Mexico, encouraging their customers to “seek the more valuable alternative.” Clearly, there is traction in the world of medical tourism. Insurance will be a familiar theme for many, as its lack could drive customers to look outside of their home coutnries for medical attention. While medical tourism may be possible for some health insurance companies,that seems to be the exception to the rule.
Overall, there is clearly a world of opportunity for those in need of medical attention. From attractive options for cancer treatment to the legitimacy of Mexico as a destination, there is no shortage of opportunities. Customers can truly go around the world for nearly any procedure and perhaps soak up some sun or sights while they’re gone.