Traveling abroad for cosmetic or other medical procedures is a growing phenomenon. Patients Beyond Borders (PBB) says that some of the top treatments sought abroad are weight-loss and cosmetic procedures, dentistry, last-resort cancer treatment, cardiovascular treatment, and orthopedic surgery. PBB also estimates that global medicine saves patients 20% to 90% of the cost of comparable U.S. treatments.
While comparable medical procedures may cost much less in other countries, they are not risk-free. Whether you travel to Mexico, Thailand, or Singapore for treatment, be sure to do your research before you go.
First, check with your health insurer regarding your international benefits and ensure that the cost of returning to the U.S. for treatment, if required, will be covered. Also consider the medical facility’s reputation and certification. The U.S. Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. healthcare organizations and programs, has now accredited more than 600 hospitals and clinics worldwide. Check mymedholiday.com for links to Joint Commission International-approved hospitals where standards of care may be higher.
Before you go, calculate the total cost of the trip, including airfare, hotels, cost of any attendants, and aftercare costs you might need while abroad.
The Joint Commission continues to approve additional international facilities, and medical tourism will continue to grow. But while you may feel like a pioneer, Americans living in other countries by choice or for work have long and successfully received medical treatment abroad. With careful preparation, so can you.