Tummy tucks in Thailand, teeth whitening in Poland, a breast augmentation in Brazil or heart surgery in India. These are just some of the medical and surgical vacations that an increasing number of travelers are choosing.
Medical tourism has become a worldwide, multibillion-dollar industry in recent years. Basically it refers to patients going to a different country for either urgent or elective medical procedures. And there could be lots of reasons they are traveling. Perhaps the medical treatment isn’t available locally, there’s a big waiting list for the procedure at home or it’s cheaper elsewhere.
And it is paying off. Medical tourists from nations such as the United Kingdom and the United States are finding treatment is a quarter or sometimes even a 10th of the cost at home. And for those needing urgent surgery in Canada it’s been a way of skipping frustratingly long waiting times.
Some of the countries that actively promote medical tourism include Cuba, Jordan, Hungary, India, Lithuania, Malaysia, Thailand, Belgium, Poland and Singapore.