Canadians seek medical care

What are the reasons why a Canadian would seek medical care abroad?

One of the main reasons Canadians seek medical care outside their country is because of the wait time they face. Some ailments, seen as elective, cosmetic, bariatric, or non-emergent often have to wait months to be treated.

COVID-19 is shockingly not the direct cause of these wait times and the Canadian Medicare has median wait times of up to 25.6 weeks, according to the Fraser Institute, who advised that wait time is the longest ever recorded. The total wait time for patients who have been referred to specialists can range anywhere from 46 to 49 weeks. The longest wait times are found in the Neurosurgery and Orthopedics departments. Whether facing an emergency, simply wishing to undergo any type of elective surgery, issues related to the pandemic and/or necessary treatments when recovering from Covid 19, Medical Tourism Insurance offers an immediate solution.

These wait times can be extremely detrimental to the patient and their families as waiting for a necessary procedure can exacerbate the injury, causing both physical and mental pain and suffering along with the unlikelihood of the patient being able to work. Also, the damage that pain medication can do to the patient’s body is only worsened by the extended time.

A recent conversation with a Canadian patient needing surgery to remove an edema on the adrenal gland showed how difficult the wait times can be on a person’s body. If they wait until Canadian Medicare performs the surgery, they will more than likely require an adrenalectomy. This is highly preventable. Traveling to the US allows the patient to have the edema removed and the adrenal gland continues to function properly. The adrenal gland controls many processes of the body including making cortisone and adrenaline which manage blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, etc. Removing the adrenal gland would require being on hormone supplements for the rest of their lives.

Endometriosis, a painful disorder where tissue grows outside of the uterus and can encompass ovaries, fallopian tubes, and intestines, causing debilitating chronic pain and infertility. 1 in 10 women in Canada have endometriosis and the wait time for an invasive procedure to remove tissue and assist in pain management can be anywhere from 2 to 4 years. Due to the chronic pain and length of wait times, some women have had to quit their jobs. By choosing Medical Travel, they can have a procedure that will alleviate pain quickly and not affect their annual income.

What precautions should a patient take when going abroad to receive care from a Medical Tourism Insurance policy?

Canadians who seek medical care abroad need to do their due diligence when purchasing Medical Tourism Insurance and traveling abroad for a medical procedure.

They should discuss and read the policy to confirm how broad their coverage is and how far their limits go.

Another tip is talking with the medical provider or Medical Travel Insurance agent about what documents, clothing, etc. may be needed while they are abroad. Consider what you may need if you are going to travel for pleasure after your procedure has been completed. Medical Travel Insurance provides the option of including a travel companion within your coverage who can assist you after surgery. Adding a travel companion to your policy will allow them coverage in case of a medical emergency, travel delay or cancellation, and loss of baggage.

You might also be interested in: Impact of COVID-19 on health mobility, medical tourism and the insurance options for coverage.

Complications Insurance

Medical Travel and Complications Insurance vs. Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance and Medical Travel and Complications Insurance, also known as medical tourism insurance, are significantly different. However, many Americans still have misconceptions about what Travel Insurance and Medical Tourism Insurance provide and what is included and excluded in coverage.

 

What Travel Insurance Does

Essentially, Travel Insurance is intended for unexpected occurrences when traveling, primarily for vacation or business. Travel Insurance helps relieve the burden of unforeseen financial expenses should a covered incident occur. These incidents can include trip cancellation or interruption, luggage or credit card theft, and unexpected medical expenses during travel abroad. For our purposes, it is important to note that your standard travel insurance only covers unexpected medical expenses or emergencies. Most Travel Insurance policies have an exclusion if travelling for the purpose of receiving medical care. How is this different from Medical Travel and Complications Insurance? It’s all about the increased exposure and the intent of travel.

 

Medical Tourism Insurance

Hundreds of thousands of Americans travel outside of their home country for medical tourism, which is defined as receiving medical care or treatment in a foreign country. Unlike the type of medical emergency or accident that may trigger Travel Insurance, the procedures involved in medical tourism are carefully planned in advance. There are many reasons why patients choose to do this. Some of the reasons include paying less for procedures, undergoing treatments or medical procedures that have not yet been approved in their home country, and to receive care from a provider who shares the traveler’s culture and/or language.

 

Medical Travel Insurance Is Not Health Insurance

This is important. If a person is traveling abroad for the express purpose of receiving medical care, neither Travel Insurance, Health Insurance, nor Medical Travel Insurance will pay for the cost of the procedure itself. Most patients who choose medical tourism must self-pay for their procedures and often choose to do so because of the lower healthcare costs in other countries. However, some state funded health insurance plans in different countries are starting to see the value in allowing insureds to travel for cost savings or access to care and will occasionally pay for a procedure abroad. Certain procedures performed outside of the United States can save anywhere from 50% to 80% of the US procedure cost.

 

What Medical Tourism Insurance Does

Medical Tourism Insurance for individuals provides coverage for complications that may occur during the patient’s procedure or during recovery. With all the benefits of medical tourism, there are certain risks as with any procedure. While the benefits generally outweigh the risks for those looking for less expensive medical care, the informed patient will still want to have the added protection of Medical Travel and Complications Insurance. In the event of complications, this insurance provides relief from any financial hardship that may be incurred while abroad or while recovering at home. It is truly a necessity for anyone considering International Medical Tourism Travel.

 

You might also be interested in: Medical Tourism Complication Insurance

Medical Tourism for United Kingdom citizens

Medical Treatment for UK Citizens who Travel for Healthcare

In the United Kingdom, as in almost all developed countries, there are insurance companies that offer all types of health insurance coverage. However, we will be discussing medical tourism for citizens of the United Kingdom.

In Britain for example, citizens have a state funded system called the National Health Service or NHS. In other areas of the United Kingdom, there are also public or government funded health insurance plans. In most of these territories, you can buy a private plan to better your options when needing medical care. Private insurance can also be funded by an employer or purchased individually.

However, what is covered by a public or private medical insurance policy will vary. Whether the insurer is private or public, coverage is often limited when it comes to interventions that are considered luxury or cosmetic surgeries and even bariatric surgery.

When the insurance company is state-owned or public, meaning it depends on the country’s government funding the benefits that cover illnesses and injuries, some types of surgeries or procedures can also be limited. Typically they do not pay for procedures unless they are medically necessary or procedures that are required to intervene and prevent further illness.

Insurance companies typically exclude coverage when it comes to surgical interventions that have to do with cosmetology, such as permanent eyebrow and eye alignment, nasal and chin corrections, Botox, skin resurfacing and other dermatological skin treatments, as well as all types of surgical interventions that have to do with bariatric surgery. Bariatric procedure coverage may be included in some plans but it can be limited or insufficient.

Many women from the United Kingdom travel to the United States to undergo all kinds of medical procedures, which can be vital for survival, as well as other types of interventions that are for a more aesthetic purpose. The male medical tourism market has also been expanding with more and more travelling for a cosmetic procedure or a treatment that cannot be affordably or easily obtained in the UK.

Some of the procedures that are considered cosmetic or aesthetic such as breast reduction, or nasal realignment may be more important and needed than a beauty enhancing procedure. However, in the United Kingdom, access to treatment that may not be medically necessary, can be difficult and costly.

On the other end of the spectrum is those who want cosmetic and aesthetic improvements such as breast augmentation, face lifts, liposuction, eye lifts, Botox, tummy tucks, rhinoplasty and other restoration or improvement in the appearance of the body. Additionally there are large numbers travelling from the United Kingdom, especially England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to have fertility treatments.

People from all over Europe and specifically the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Scotland travel in search of cheaper medical care or for a center of excellence. This has increased medical tourism in the United States. Coupled with the medical tourism vacation, the travel gives people the opportunity to visit other countries. When it comes to dental interventions, there are many patients who come in search of orthodontic and endodontic treatments, including dental implants, bridges, crowns, dentures, and other mouth restoration procedures.

The quality of United States doctors and advanced techniques employed in cosmetic and conventional surgery are state of the art and go hand in hand with the latest scientific advances and discoveries along with the implementation of new products. However the other factor is the procedures can be much cheaper for a patient from the UK to receive medical treatment in the United States. Even with airfare and accommodation, a patient will be able to receive medical treatment for a fraction of the cost.

When it comes to dealing with the current pandemic, the United States is among the first to have thoroughly complied with vaccination programs, including safe treatment and the administration of COVID 19 vaccines. Additionally, if a person who entered the US for medical treatment contracts the virus, they will be treated promptly and effectively before being allowed to return home.

People coming from the United Kingdom and other medical tourists who wish to take advantage of the medical programs in the United States, have access to services that are part of the medical tourism process, including, but not limited to, the following:

Consultation

The consultation is the first step between the patient and the treating physician. This includes the diagnosis of the disease, suggested treatment plan or approval for a elective procedure. They can also be referred to a specialist, if needed. They will discuss the financial aspect of the treatment, estimated time of hospitalization, and possibilities of recovery time periods are established.

Intervention

In the case of a surgical intervention, this will be subject to the results of all the rigorous examinations that patients has undergone. The receiving medical care provider will want to review the medical history of the patient to determine the best medical intervention for the specific patient.

Treating Facility

The patient will be given a number of locations, whether they are hospitals, private clinics or rehabilitation centers and the patient can choose the place that best suits their economic and personal interests.

For all of the above reasons, many people are willing to travel to the United States to receive medical care from highly qualified personnel, with the certainty that they will be well attended.

Between getting a check-up, having a surgical intervention or receiving a needed medical procedure that would be too costly or unavailable in the United Kingdom, cosmetology, cosmetic and bariatric surgeries, the United States stand out as one of the top countries that receives medical tourists from all over the world. Top destinations in the United States include Houston, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland, and Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida.

United Kingdom citizens travelling for medical care should review their travel insurance policy, as most of them have an exclusion if travelling for medical care. They should check to see if medical complications coverage for a medical tourist is available to cover them while outside of their country in the case of unexpected additional medical expenses. They may also want to engage the assistance of an experienced medical tourism facilitator to assist with the procedure details. With all of the advances in care, the availability of treatment and the specialized medical professionals, medical tourism to the United States from the United Kingdom is still growing. Even though medical tourism destinations in Europe for UK citizens is easier to travel to and may take less time.

You might also be interested in: 3 Reasons to be Thankful for Medical Tourism

Canadians Medical Tourism

Why do Canadians travel to another country for medical care?

Canadians along with people from other countries are seeking medical assistance outside their country of origin. Many are looking for an economical alternative, while others look for a doctor who can offer the best results. Canadians have been seeking treatment in Europe, the United States, Mexico, and various other countries that can meet their expectations.

While some are searching for a specialized treatment, others are looking into elective cosmetic or bariatric surgeries. In addition, there are others who are looking for the best treatments to combat diseases like cancer and infertility or to get a procedure done earlier than the national healthcare system will allow.

Two of the most prominent reasons Canadians choose medical tourism is to shorten appointment wait times and get alternative treatments. In Canada, citizens typically have to wait longer to be seen than if they travel abroad.

What does the Canadian Medicare plan do for medical tourism?

Whether for critical medical care, cosmetic surgery, specialty treatment, or to avoid long wait times, Canadians look abroad for a solution. In Canada, the publicly funded single payer health care system is called Canadian Medicare. Although it is quite comprehensive, Canadian Medicare is cost conscience when delivering treatments and the wait times can be very long. 65-75% of Canadians purchase a supplementary health insurance product when insured by the universal healthcare provided by the Canadian Health Act.

One recent prostate cancer patient who is over 70 was faced with the decision to be castrated in Canada or travel outside his country to receive a more desirable cancer treatment. We have seen Canadians pay up to $350,000 of their own money for quality care that would not be provided in Canada or would involve a wait that would jeopardize their health. Also, procedural costs can be minimized in foreign currencies, and traveling abroad gives the ability to have treatment sooner.

The financing system for Canadian healthcare is funded by the 13 provinces and territories. Each has its own health insurance plan and each receives federal government funding support. However, there is no nationally defined mandatory benefit package. That is why many Canadians, including those who on a smaller budget, tend to look to other countries for the monetary savings that can benefit them when receiving medical treatment that may not be covered by Canadian Medicare.

Since dental and optical health are not included in Canadian Medicare, Canadians seek to receive this type of treatment abroad too. Various procedures in this class are sought by medical tourists from Canada, including orthodontic and reconstructive surgery.

Similarly, bariatric surgery for surgical weight loss assistance is another significant procedure that Canadians will travel to obtain. They can travel to Mexico and Venezuela, where costs are much lower for this elective procedure.

Finally, those in chronic pain from the need to have a hip replacement, knee replacement, other joint replacement or other ailments, will pay out of pocket to obtain care sooner.

Approximately 400,000 – 500,000 people living in Canada are without health insurance. They could be landed immigrants, which mandates a three-month waiting period before provincial benefits kick in. They could also be temporary foreign workers, refugees or people seeking asylum. So, the uninsured may also have a significant financial reason to travel for medical care.

Whether a Canadian resident is looking for heath tourism alternatives to the universal healthcare system, or a traveler is residing in Canada with no access to the universal healthcare system, there are international insurance solutions. Medical tourism set medical procedure pricing does not typically include emergency complication medical bills. So, before you travel for medical care or travel to another country uninsured, please check the insurance options available.

We are not Canadian Healthcare specialists but are only citing the trends we are seeing, including the Canadian medical tourists’ feedback from the past 15 years.

Please consult a professional when looking for specific Canadian universal care coverage questions.

You might also be interested in: Medical Tourism Facts: Canada

Bariatric surgery abroad

Bariatric surgery abroad

Weight loss or bariatric surgery is a medical specialty which is responsible for treating cases of morbid obesity. There are a significant percentage of people who suffer from this condition which can cause both physical and mental trauma.

Excess weight can affect various organs and limit or even prevent the proper functioning of that organ. People with excessive weight are also limited when it comes to fine and gross motor skills. Some are unable to perform daily activities that can range from personal hygiene to simply moving from one location to another, and even driving their own vehicles.

With regards to the mental trauma morbid obesity can cause, people who are obese often deal with increased depression, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem.

The best way to treat people with obesity

Of course, the way to treat morbidly obese patients is directed towards a healthy diet, thus controlling a progressive and sustained weight loss for as long as necessary. In most cases, that could be years.

Surgery is also as a method to achieve a normal weight, but generally people should be treated by medical specialists who provide them with a diet prior to any type of surgical intervention.

What is a bariatric surgeon?

When we talk about a bariatric surgeon, we are referring to a physician who specializes in diseases derived from obesity. This specialty is closely related to nutritionists.

However, bariatric physicians must be surgeons, while the nutritionist is limited to studying the different ways to assist obese people in losing weight through diets designed for individual cases and taking into account the condition of each particular patient.

A medical consultation with a bariatric doctor, can be expensive, because although it is a disease, it is also closely related to plastic and cosmetic surgery. Therefore, in many cases, this contributes to the increase in the cost of professional fees.

What are the most frequent procedures used to treat morbid obesity?

Among the procedures used in bariatric surgery, we can mention:

  • Gastric sleeves.
  • Staples in the stomach to reduce its size.
  • The bypass.
  • The balloon.
  • The cutting of a considerable amount of intestine to lighten the digestion and with it the total absorption of food.

Where should one go to treat morbid obesity problems?

While there are many destinations sought by patients suffering from morbid obesity, it is indisputable that the United States and Europe are among those that receive the greatest influx of people seeking a solution to achieve a sculpted figure, or at least an acceptable figure within what can be considered a “normal weight“.

Another popular destination for bariatric treatments is Mexico. Mexico not only has a large contingent of expert physicians, facilities that do these procedures in ever increasing numbers, state of the art robotic assisted surgical options, but their pricing is still very reasonable.

In Latin America, this problem of obesity is very frequent and many people seek the solution to their problem abroad. Typically because they need to find a center of excellence to perform the desired treatment or it is not available in smaller Latin American countries.

There are lots of reasons many travel outside of one’s home country looking for the best bariatric surgeons across the world. In some cases, seeking support from insurance companies that can pay for at least part of these surgeries, if not all of it.

Morbid obesity affects the overall health of a person, altering not only the physical appearance and proper functioning of many organs, but also the mental well-being. So, it is not surprising that some insurance companies will cover weight loss procedures.

The disease of morbid obesity has been increasing worldwide. There are more obese people in all parts of the world than underweight people suffering from malnutrition due to famine. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti has the lowest level of obesity.

Who can be considered obese?

People who are more than ten kilos (22 lbs) over what is considered a “normal weight” are considered obese and can be candidates to seek professional help from a bariatric physician.

Many can return to their normal weight with a simple balanced diet and other behavioral changes that prompt them to lead a healthy life. However, some who have more than one hundred pounds or forty five kilograms to lose, the alternatives to a surgical remedy can seem overwhelming and hopeless.

Anyone who exceeds a body mass greater than 35, should consult a specialist to reach normal levels of weight and height ratio.

The genetic factor and a sedentary life, as well as the addiction to food types that cause a person to consume many calories, can lead a person gaining weight in an excessive way.

How to avoid morbid obesity?

  • Control excess weight with a balanced diet.
  • Sports and athletic activities.
  • Walk at least one hour daily.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Early consultation with health professionals specialized in this type of problems.

A healthy diet from an early age is very helpful in reducing obesity. Healthy eating should be practiced from pregnancy. Limiting the foods high in sugar and fat given to children, can help avoid food addictions later in life.

Countries where people travel to receive bariatric surgery

Great Britain and the United States are receiving patients from all over the world to receive bariatric surgical treatments. Thailand, Panama and Canada are opening weight loss clinics for people suffering from morbid obesity.

In Spain, specifically Seville, patients are undergoing bariatric surgery with great success. In Venezuela, this type of operation can cost around $25,000.

The biggest trend we have send is bariatric surgery in Mexico. Many North Americans travel to Mexico to get bariatric treatments for an affordable price that meets their expectations. In addition, Mexico has many centers specializing in this type of surgery with experienced and qualified bariatric doctors to treat patients from all over the world. There is a growing percentage of Europeans travelling to Mexico or the US for medical tourism as well.

Robot-assisted bariatric surgery, also known as revisional surgery, is a novel and very complex technique. It has become a new reason to travel for bariatric treatment and has a lower complication and mortality rate with excellent results for patients.

For more information you can use the information in the following address https://utswmed.org/medblog/robotic-bariatric-surgery-new-weapon

Types of complications that can result from the application of bariatric surgery

Among the complications that may occur in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, we some include:

  • Acute and sustained intense pain
  • Infections, sometimes severe
  • Blood clots or Embolisms
  • Gastric leaks
  • Loss of dental hardware

In some instances, insurance requirements for fully insured people are very strict and don’t meet a threshold where a bariatric procedure would be insured. Some decide to self pay to avoid limitations on obtaining the desired bariatric surgery and go to another country for cost and more relaxed benchmarks.

The requirements to receive weight loss surgery can include:

  • General examinations that define the patient’s condition prior to treatment include coronary studies, complete blood chemistry, chest x-ray, transaminase evaluations, coagulation and bleeding, and a psychological study of the patients.
  • Have a body mass index greater than 40.
  • Required to prove weight loss capabilities through diet and meet certain weight loss benchmarks prior to surgery.
  • Not suffering from co-morbidity diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure or are at least able to control them before being taken to the operating room.

This information is provided is a brief overview of general trends and practices we have seen. However, we are not medically qualified to provide advice. You should consult a qualified health care practitioner to decide what is the best path for you.

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covid-19

Impact of COVID-19 on health mobility, medical tourism and the insurance options for coverage.

Almost two years after the first case of COVID-19 in the city of Wuhan and after the outbreak of the global pandemic, we have not yet seen a noticeable recovery in the world.  There are many countries that still have restrictions and regulations that continue to destabilize and disrupt health mobility and significantly affect the medical tourism industry.

According to data provided by the International Medical Travel Journal, world medical tourism was booming before the arrival of the pandemic, with estimated growth of 20% per year in some destinations. When we talk about medical tourism we refer to the activity of traveling outside the country of residence with the aim of receiving medical or dental treatment.  There is still a reluctance among travelers, who believe that traveling for medical care will never be the same again.

Current scenarios for medical tourism

The impact and consequences generated in the market of destination healthcare as a result of COVID-19 have not gone unnoticed. Current scenarios show a sharp decline in the world tourism economy, an industry on which international markets depend significantly.   While many countries slowly emerge from travel lockdown restrictions, it will be some time for travel activities to gain sustainable traction, and equal the levels realized pre-Covid. 

What is a fact, is the need for additional coverage that provides the medical traveler with the necessary benefits in case of contracting Covid-19 during their stay in the host country, remember that most travel insurance policies contain certain exclusions in event of epidemics and pandemics. Now, having Covid coverage has become one of the essential requirements for entry to certain destinations.

Countries such as Thailand and Israel require proof of a medical policy with Covid-19 coverage. For example, Thailand has a minimum required limit is $ 100,000. Previously Costa Rica also required a limit  of $ 50,000, but this restriction has already been removed for fully vaccinated travelers and  unvaccinated travelers must obtain proper travel insurance that covers Covid related expenses. 

Medical Insurance with additional coverage for pandemics and epidemics

The need to provide benefits to the insured in the event of a pandemic, in case they contract Covid-19 while staying in the host country, was immediately adopted by many countries in order to control the entry of visitors to the destination country and to provide health security to local citizens and residents.

Covid 19 coverage to any participant / travel companion, is generally limited to $ 25,000. However, the amount of the benefit can be higher as long as the destination country requires it.

Covid 19 coverage will increase the cost of enrollment, depending on the level of coverage required. Benefits included are:

  • Medical expenses only related to the treatment of Covid 19 disease, with limits ranging between $25,000 and $100,000.
  • Expenses incurred by the insured from being quarantined, such as accommodation, meals and travel expenses, with a limit of $5,000.

Benefits provided by the Covid 19 endorsement are applicable in the visited / destination country. Benefits are not provided in the participant’s country of origin.

Considerations to take into account when adding Covid-19 coverage

Please note that coverage for Covid 19 has the following subjectives:

  • The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) benefit does not provide any expenses related to travel delays or cancellations of the outbound segment of travel.
  • Covered expenses must occur in the destination country as elating to any claim caused or resulting from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
  • If you selected limits higher than $25,000 during the application process, these limits are only included if a host country requires a greater amount of coverage, regardless of which limit you chose or paid for. 
  • It is recommended that you know the destination countries Covid requirements before you travel and purchase the appropriate limits and coverage. 

Key Requirements / Exclusions 

Further, to be eligible for the benefits you must comply with the following:

  • Provide evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) test within 96 hours before leaving the country of origin. Negative results must be submitted at the time of claim.
  • Follow ALL protocols, laws, directives and curfews as provided by the host country.
  • If at any time before the trip an inoculation or vaccine is widely available to protect against SARS-CoV-2 and its mutations, the Trust Participant must receive said vaccine before departure.

If you would like to know more or have any questions regarding your next trip or coverage you can contact us directly at enroll@globalprotectivesolutions.com

You might also be interested in: Medical Tourism Complication Insurance

3 reasons to be thankful for medical tourism

3 Reasons to be Thankful for Medical Tourism 

Medical tourism, the act of traveling to a foreign country to receive medical care or procedures, often at a much lower cost than could be done at home. People from all countries engage in medical tourism, and they are all ages and income levels as well. Here are three reasons to be thankful for medical tourism! 

Medical Tourism Saves You Money 

Probably the number one reason to be grateful for medical tourism is that it saves you money! Even if you have health insurance, the cost of getting a surgery or other medical procedure performed in your home country could be astronomical. And for cosmetic procedures that are not covered by insurance, you must pay out of pocket for everything. This is where medical tourism comes in. While the convenience of having your medical work performed close to home is undeniable, for many people, the costs associated are simply too great. Traveling to a different country to receive the same procedure can save you anywhere from 20 to 90 percent – even with travel and accommodation costs included. 

Medical Tourism Has Excellent Standards of Care 

Those uninformed about medical tourism may assume that the operations are performed with outdated tools in unsafe environments. There is certainly a negative connotation that medical tourism has with those who are uneducated about it. However, that could not be further from the truth. Depending on the country where you have your medical work performed, you may encounter medical technology and techniques that rival those in your home country. Indeed, there are many countries that boast hospitals catering primarily to international patients, and the standards of care at these facilities are very high. If you want to ensure that you are receiving the best possible medical care when you embark on your medical tourism journey, you can always look to the Joint Commission International, which gives accreditation to hospitals serving medical tourists. JCI accreditation means that a facility has proven it meets the high standards of care set by the JCI, and this typically results in high patient satisfaction from visiting foreigners. 

Medical Tourism Makes Medical Procedures More Accessible 

It’s an all too common tale. Someone wishes to have a hip replacement or knee surgery but cannot afford the cost. Even though this procedure would greatly improve their quality of life, they must continue to put it off. Then, imagine that person discovers medical tourism. Suddenly, they are able to have their dreamed-of procedure performed without emptying their entire savings account. Medical tourism can truly make dreams come true. Alternatively, many people choose to engage in medical tourism for cosmetic procedures. For some, a cosmetic procedure would make all the difference for their self confidence, but since elective procedures are not covered under insurance, they are also often put off as a distant dream. Medical tourism makes cosmetic work accessible to those who desire it but cannot afford it in their home country. In many ways, medical tourism can improve the confidence and quality of life of patients. That’s certainly something to be thankful for! 

You might also be interested in: Medical Tourism: Healthcare and a Vacation In One

Best Medical Tourism Destinations to Escape Cool Weather

Best Medical Tourism Destinations to Escape Cool Weather 

As the weather cools down, the medical tourism market is still heating up. Many people long for the warmth of a tropical vacation as the winter sets in, but not everyone has an excuse to jet off to a warmer city in the winter. For people interested in medical tourism, the act of traveling to another country to receive (typically lower cost) medical care and procedures, wintertime is the perfect time to take the medical tourism trip they have been considering! What could be better than receiving a surgery or procedure without breaking the bank, while getting an exotic vacation at the same time? Below are three popular medical tourism destinations to escape cold weather.  

Thailand 

In the Land of Smiles, the climate stays warm and dry in the months of November to February. With some of the most advanced medical facilities in Southeast Asia, Thailand is an excellent choice of destination for medical tourists – especially those looking to escape cold weather and enjoy a foreign vacation alongside their recovery efforts. Since medical tourism is so popular in Thailand, medical tourists will have many options of facilities to choose from and should not experience long wait times for care. Some of the most popular procedures for medical tourists choosing Thailand are cosmetic surgery and dentistry, gender reassignment surgery, and heart surgery. 

 Brazil 

A trip to Brazil for any medical tourism needs is highly recommended during the time of August to October when the average temperature is around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). If you’re seeking to recover from your medical operation in a beautiful, temperate atmosphere, Brazil may be the right choice for you. Cosmetic surgery is a popular procedure for medical tourists in Brazil, as the country follows right behind the United States in the number of cosmetic surgeries performed per year. These surgeries, and other medical procedures, can be performed for a fraction of the cost that they are in your home country.  

Singapore  

Its closeness to the Equator means that summer reigns year-long in the country of Singapore. The climate here can be considered tropical, and with the warm weather also comes frequent rainfall. However, if you’ve been stuck at home in a place that’s experiencing snowfall, then rain probably doesn’t sound too bad! An attractive spot for medical tourists, Singapore boasts 21 Joint Commission International (JCL) accredited hospitals. This means that these facilities have been given a seal of approval in regards to their patient safety, quality of care, and other standards. Learn more about the JCI.  

Medical Tourism Insurance  

If you are engaging in medical tourism and concerned about the risks of the practice, you would benefit from getting medical tourism before taking your trip. Medical tourism insurance helps to protect you from the financial burdens incurred if you experience a complication that forces you to extend your stay in a foreign country. Reach out today to get a quote.  

You might also be interested in: Why is Thailand a Popular Medical Tourism Destination? 

Medical Tourism Complication Insurance

Medical Tourism Complication Insurance

Medical tourism complication insurance is now being sought after by medical tourists, medical tourism facilitators, and receiving international hospitals. Enrolling in medical tourism travel insurance is usually done online and the coverage is available worldwide.

 Individuals traveling for medical care are typically quoted a price for a medical procedure, however, they would be responsible for additional medical costs should a complication occur. Individuals look to insure this exposure by buying medical tourism complication insurance for their medical procedure.

International hospitals and facilitators are also including coverage automatically in the cost of their procedures. This assists the patient with unexpected expenses but also reduces the hospital’s exposure to noncollectable medical bills. In some instances, hospitals will require payment prior to providing medical care so, having insurance can be very important.

Policies typically include travel accident and illness coverage, trip cancellation, baggage coverage, death, repatriation, emergency evacuation, additional costs of travel meals and accommodations should a medical complication cause delayed return travel, medical costs associated with a complication, and travel companion coordination. Should a complication occur after the medical tourist returns home, there is usually a 6 month period that extends to cover complications.

Regular travel insurance has an exclusion if traveling for the purpose of receiving medical care. So be certain you check your policy and make sure you have the correct coverage for your medical trip.

You might also be interested in: Medical Travel and Complications Insurance vs. Travel Insurance

Thailand

Why is Thailand a Popular Medical Tourism Destination? 

Thailand has dominated the medical tourism scene in Southeast Asia for many years, especially in the realm of cosmetic surgery. But how did Thailand become the medical tourism powerhouse that it is today?

Following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, which began in Thailand, there was a push in Asian countries to encourage foreign investment. In many Asian countries, this included a push to draw visitors with world-renowned centers for medical achievement. Thailand, in particular, began to draw attention as a destination to receive medical work and surgery at a lower cost. The Thai government noticed this and worked to expand the country’s influence in the global medical tourism sphere.

The government’s hard work to market Thailand in the medical tourism industry has paid off. To date, Thailand boasts 66 JCI accredited hospitals, a number that puts them fourth globally and first amongst their fellow Southeast Asian countries! This high level of accreditation along with Thailand’s reputation for being welcoming to visitors has made the country quite popular among medical tourists seeking great prices on medical work and great options for recovery vacations.

Thailand’s medical tourism landscape is dominated by major procedures such as cosmetic surgery and dentistry, gender reassignment surgery, and heart surgery as well as preventative care and alternative medicine. Many medical tourists come to Thailand from other Asian countries. 

If you are a medical tourist looking to travel to an Asian country known for both its hospitality and its medical standard of care, Thailand could be an excellent option to look into for your trip. For medical tourism insurance, we can take care of you. Learn more and get a quote today. 

You might also be interested in: Top 5 Medical Tourism Destinations in Asia