Recently, Global Protective Solutions’ Tracy Simmons spoke with Carlos Vigil on his podcast “Vigilando Tus Ventas” about the work of our medical tourism insurance agency. You can listen to the podcast episode here. One of the basic questions covered was why people would want to engage in medical tourism. In this blog post we will dive deeper into the question of “why participate in medical tourism?”
Greater Access to Care
In their home country, a patient’s access to the medical care they want or need may be limited. This could mean that the patient lives in a rural area where there are no specialty medical centers nearby. It may also mean that a patient is seeking a medical treatment that is not widely available to even approved in their home country due to government or other regulations. Even if a treatment or procedure is available, it may be out of reach financially or have a long waiting list of patients. The reasons people choose to engage in medical tourism are often interconnected.
Impressive Cost Savings
Most people know that the highest “developed” countries often have the most expensive medical care. However, what many people don’t know is that many lesser “developed” countries still have extremely advanced medical care to offer. In many cases, the major cities in these countries have far superior medical standards than what the patient’s home city has to offer. The incredible thing about getting medical care abroad is that a patient can save up to 90% on the exact same procedure with the same or a better standard of care. Even with the cost of plane tickets, accommodation, and other travel related expenses, medical tourism patients save money.
Lower Wait Times
Among the most highly developed countries, Canada has held the title of longest healthcare wait times for several years. These wait times apply not only to medically necessary surgeries and procedures but also to elective surgeries. For this reason, many Canadians (as well as residents of other countries with long wait times) choose to engage in medical tourism, which is most commonly utilized for elective surgeries. Elective surgeries may not be considered “medically necessary” but to the patient, they are necessary. Waiting months on end is not an option. By traveling abroad to receive medical care, patients can get the best total package for their procedure: excellent standard of care, reduced out of pocket costs, shorter waiting times, and a vacation abroad all in one.