What is medical tourism? Where are its most important centers? Best 10 types of medical tourism

Medical Treatment is the management and care of a person to combat any illness or medical disorder related to one’s health. Every country does not have the required means or experts to treat certain diseases or disorders. Hence, this results in patients going to other countries to seek medical treatment and this is called medical tourism. Discover the top 10 types of medical tourism for better health care services.

Classes of medical tourism

Travel focusing on Medical treatments and the use of health care services use a far wider term which is known as health tourism. It covers a wide range of health-oriented tourism from health conductive and preventive treatment to even curative self-driving as well as rehabilitation.  

 There are generally, three main types of medical tourism, for example, they are outbound inbound and domestic or intrabound. 

  •  Outbound: When patients travel from their native country to a foreign country to undergo medical treatment is called outbound.
  • Inbound: When patients travel from a foreign country to their home country for medical treatment it is called inbound
  • Intrabound or domestic: This involves no International traveling and patients travel from one part of their own country to another to seek medical help. 

There are multiple types of medical tourism, however, given below are the top 10. 

1. Dental or Dentistry:

People often seek dental healthcare facilities outside their own country or local healthcare systems. Their own country might be lacking ever-advancing facilities. 

2. Orthopedics:

One of the most asked for the top 10 types of medical tourism is in the department of Orthopedics. People might seek medical tourism to treat their musculoskeletal system. 

3. Cosmetic/Plastic surgery:

To remove signs of aging or change or improve, doctors attend to a person’s appearance for cosmetic or plastic surgeries. This asks for highly developed technological procedures and instruments. Every hospital may not carry out these procedures. So, a person seeking this kind of surgery mostly travel to other countries. 

4. Cardiology:

To treat congenital heart diseases, coronary artery disease, heart failure or Bueller heart disease and electrophysiology one might seek for medical tourism. A country might not have the proper training or expert cardiologist. Hence a person could go to a foreign country to treat any heart diseases. 

5. Bariatric surgery:

Bariatric or weight loss surgery request highly trained professional experts or surgeons to do this. Though, all countries do not have a properly trained professional to undergo this kind of surgery or even equipment. Thus, most people opt for medical tourism in case of this surgery. 

6. Fertility treatment:

People often seek medical tourism in case of fertility treatments. So, the main reason being when it is a question of fertility treatment people want the best option and don’t want to take risks.

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Fertility Treatment for Couples: What You Need to Know

7. Eye surgery:

Eye Surgery is a very risk-prone surgery. People can depend on expert surgeons for their dexterity and training. All Countries do not have suitable facilities or experts to perform such surgeries. Thus, people have to travel to foreign countries for best options. 

8. Ears, nose, and throat:

ENT surgeries require a lot of modern equipment and technologies. Thus, people mostly travel to foreign countries to undergo such surgeries. 

9. Organ transplants:

Organ Transplants involves a lot of risk-taking and surgeons should be taking caring of these procedures with the help of the best equipment. 

10. Rehabilitation:

Most countries do not have proper rehabilitation centers and thus, medical tourism is the only option. 

Thus, Medical Tourism is the act of people traveling to other countries to seek medical treatment. Generally, this involves people traveling from less-developing countries to a country which is more developing in nature. Also, has higher medical facilities and requirements.

Another reason might be that certain medical services that have no license or is unavailable in their native country. The main reason behind medical tourism is for surgeries or similar treatment. However, people do travel for fertility tourism and dental tourism also.

Examples of medical tourism

  1. Periodical medical control
    Even if you feel good and you consider that you do not have any health problem, your health can be only
    apparently good. Therefore, it is recommended to see a doctor for a general medical examination once or
    twice per year, even if you do not have the symptoms of a disease.
    The annual medical check-ups prevent serious diseases, offering a precocious detection. They identify
    any physical change, discover pathological modifications, even if there are no clinical symptoms, by
    laboratory tests. Controalele medicale periodice anuale previn boli grave, oferind o detectie precoce.
    During such medical check-up the doctor shall try to determine your general condition by performing:
    • Compete blood tests, markers of liver and kidney function, sugar level and cholesterol level in the blood,
    hormonal tests, tumoral markers and PSA;
    • Electrocardiogram (ECG) and effort test;
    • Echocardiography;
    • Lung function testing;
    • Lung and heart X-ray
    • Ultrasound examination of gastrointestinal system;
    PS: The examinations last for 3-4 hours. The patient is recommended not to eat for the blood tests.
    On vacation, you can spare a few hours for a general examination.
  2. Artificial fertilization and in vitro insemination
    Many couples who struggle with infertility chose to resort to artificial insemination procedures in order to
    increase the chances of remaining pregnant. With the help of modern medicine, there is a multitude of
    solutions to this problem. Vipmed team makes available the best hospitals in the world in order to fight
    infertility and for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Our partner clinics provide a complete range of diagnosis and
    treatment options for the couples which cannot have babies in a natural way.
  3. Dental Tourism
    The dental problems can be solved / treated in a very short period of time, on vacation, having the
    occasion to visit the desired city. Whether you need general dental care services, dental aesthetics or
    surgical treatments, Vipmed organizes trips in the great European cities, also complying with the
    appointments made by mutual agreement with the dentist from the desired dental clinic.
  4. Sports medicine
    For performance sportspersons, Vipmed intermediates examination and treatment services at the best
    and modern clinics from abroad.
  5. Aesthetic and plastic surgery
    Vipmed organizes for its clients vacations which may include plastic surgery interventions, such interventions
    which cannot be performed in Romania, and luxury aesthetic surgery packages, and also simple routine
    consultations at private clinics from broad.

Medical Tourism Thailand

Thailand is leading to Asia as a medical tourism destination. Medical tourism in Thailand is booming; pushing other nations down the list. The number of medical tourists that come to Thailand has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s. This has resulted in the country taking its place on the top of the global medical tourism market.

The main reasons that have enabled Thailand to dominate this growing market are:

  1. The low cost of medical treatment,
  2. The quality of treatment provided by private medical centers,
  3. And the highly developed tourism industry.

Thailand’s healthcare system

There are over 1,000 hospitals in Thailand, of which over 470 are private facilities. The country takes pride in having the largest private hospital in Asia, as well as having the first Asian hospital to receive the ISO 9001 certification and JCI accreditation. To date, 37 hospitals in Thailand have been accredited by the JCI, all of them private.

Thailand’s Medical tourism industry is largely driven by private hospitals. Thai doctors are attracted to international hospitals as they can earn as much as 70% more than in public hospitals.
Leading the list of private hospitals are the Bumrungrad International HospitalBangkok Hospital Group, and Samitivej Hospitals. These hospitals are widely becoming renowned globally. They are known to cater mostly to foreign patients and have been actively seeking medical tourists since the early 2000s. Around 30-50% of the patients in these hospitals are foreigners, due to the fact that, to a greater extent, they find the hospitals cheaper than their home countries. However, most Thais find the prices in these hospitals too high, as salaries in Thailand are low.

Top Hospitals for Foreign Patients in Thailand

  • Bumrungrad International
    Bumrungrad International is known to have excellent facilities for medical tourists. The hospital has treated over 520,000 international patients, (including expatriates and medical tourists) from 190 countries worldwide (3). It attracts more foreign patients than any other hospital in the world. Over half of the hospital’s 1,200 doctors have international training and/or board certification, including 200 who are US board certified.
  • Bangkok Hospitals Group
    The Bangkok Hospital Group is a leading group of hospitals with specialized services for overseas patients. It has a network of 15 hospitals scattered all over Thailand. The Bangkok International Hospital in Bangkok tops the list. It has an International Medical Center which caters especially to medical tourists and is completely employed with multilingual interpreters. It even has a Japanese Medical Centre with Japanese speaking physicians and nurses.
  • Samitivej Hospitals
    Samitivej Hospitals are a well-known chain in Thailand. The group has expanded and developed world-class healthcare facilities, including 3 JCI accredited hospitals. Samitivej Hospitals are equipped with advanced medical equipment that compares to the hospitals in North America and Europe.
  • For more information about Thai hospitals, browse are list of hospitals for medical tourists in Thailand.

Common Procedures done by Medical Tourists in Thailand

The procedures medical tourists come to Thailand for varies diversely. Nevertheless, the popular treatments include the following:

  • Cosmetic/plastic surgeries
    Every aesthetic procedure in Thailand costs only a small fraction as compared to what patients in the US and UK would pay back home. Yet, the standard of service and treatment is usually high.
  • Dental procedures
    From routine checkups to the most complicated dental surgeries, many Thai dental clinics and hospitals are well equipped and employed to execute a complete range of dental treatments. The costs are also comparatively low and the standards are international.
  • Medical check-up programs
    Medical check-up programs are a growing trend in the global medical tourism market. These programs are recommended for everyone, and the frequency would depend on the patient’s age and condition. They are particularly recommended for patients in their 40’s or 50’s. Every major hospital in Thailand has inclusive check-up packages.
  • Cardiac procedures
    Many hospitals in Thailand, including the Bangkok Heart Hospital, have cardiac surgery centers. Procedures carried out in Thailand include heart bypass, angioplasty, and heart valve replacement, among others.
  • Orthopedic surgery
    Foreign patients fly to Thailand to get different kinds of orthopedic procedures. Many orthopedic surgeons in Thailand have been trained overseas and the equipment used for the procedures is assured to be modern and innovative, including the Computer Assisted Surgery (CAS) Micro Invasive Surgery (MAS). Common orthopedic surgeries that take place in Thailand are hip and knee replacement, as well as spine surgeries.
  • Infertility treatment
    Common procedures such as IVF, ICSI, IUI, and PGD can be done in Thailand at significantly lower prices than in most developed countries.
  • Bariatric surgery
    Gastric Bypass, gastric banding (lab-band), etc.
  • Ophtamology and eye surgeries
    LASIK, Cataract surgeries, etc.

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