JCI, Chicago Illinois, November 5 – Medical tourism statistics revealed an anticipated growth of the industry from about $40 billion in 2004 to $100 billion by the year 2012. The estimate was made by the Confederation of India and the McKinsey Company. Among U.S citizens, liposuction ranks number two in offshore cosmetic procedures.

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Asia as a Favorite Medical Tourism Destination

 “Why travel abroad to get medical treatment?” I ask this question Raina (real name withheld) an aspiring commercial model who admitted she had just undergo rhinoplasty in Bangkok. “Having just had a head start in my career, I would say that my primary objective was to seek lower costs as my primary consideration” The aforementioned statement is just one of the contributing factors to the steady rise of offshore medical procedures in Asia.

 Singapore and Thailand are gaining prominence in medical tourism. Singapore health care system was ranked 6th best in the world and 1st in Asia by World Health Organization. While Thailand on the other hand fully equipped their hospitals with linguists medical staff which is very convenient and helpful to medical tourists. 

  Tyra Sinclair a resident in Maine, who had just returned from India, underwent a chin reduction liposuction in Bangkok.  “Before undergoing this procedure, I inquired several beauty clinics online and my operation will cost me US$100, 00, that is a whopping difference from US$12,000 I paid way back in India. One thing more what makes Bangkok the best choice was their beautiful beaches, now that’s what we call a package” Sinclair candidly added.

 It was another case for Mr. Weiss, retired postmaster, who underwent hip surgery in Phyathai Hospital in Bangkok. “My insurance does not cover the surgery my doctor advised me to undergo, my daughter accompanies me to go to Bangkok, and in return she had her liposuction done there too”.

 Medical tourism gaining popularity is a result of the consumer’s patronage. But certain precautions must be practiced all the time to ensure the consumer right, and that is a safe medical and cosmetic procedure.

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By Jullian Guilliard, release-news.com

Eight-to-ten years ago, medical tourism was hardly large enough to be noticed. Today, more than 200,000 patients per year visit Singapore alone and nearly half of them are from the Middle East.

This year, approximately half-a-million foreign patients are expected to travel to India for medical care, whereas in 2002, the number was only 150,000. This gives an idea about the rate of growth of this industry that has been showing a northward trend in the last couple of years.

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Factors that have accelerated medical tourism include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries

Medical tourism gives medical tourists worldwide an opportunity to get the best quality treatment. Mainly patients who need cosmetic plastic surgery, medical surgery and dental surgery travel to other country to get treatment in lower cost. While the lower cost is the primary motivation to travel abroad, some medical tourist seeks medical care overseas because of immediate availability of procedures and sometime unavailability of certain procedures.

Patients have genuine reasons to seek out care beyond the United States. There are some regions of the world where medical facilities are hard to come by, if they exist at all and in some countries, health-care system for public is so overburdened that it can take years to get needed care. In Britain and Canada, for instance, the waiting period for a hip replacement can be a year or more, while in Bangkok or Bangalore, a patient can be in the operating room the morning after getting off a plane.

Now more and more patients from USA are opting to undergo medical treatment abroad for procedures such as: heart bypasses, fertility treatments and face lifts. Every patient avoids travelling but due to the high cost of medical treatment in the USA, many American patients are going abroad for medical treatments. Their purpose is to save money on medical treatment conducted by doctors who are often trained in the United States, at hospitals that maintain the precise standards of patient care and safety.

A research shows that in 2006, about 150,000 American citizens traveled to Latin America and Asia for medical treatment. The figure increased to approximately 300,000 in 2007 and by 2010, experts say that the number could increase to well over 1 million.

(By Don Pathak, Internatinal Business Times)

Taiwan has potential to become the next medical-tourism destination. That’s according to Time Magazine’s website on Saturday.

The website said that Taipei has abundant health care facilities with modern and sophisticated equipment. Also, the cost is much cheaper compared to other countries. Some of the biggest savings are in liver-transplant surgery, which runs about $91,000 US dollars compared with some $300,000 in the US.

These prices are causing many people from China to go to Taiwan to have surgery. That’s become much easier since restrictions for Chinese tourists to Taiwan were lifted in mid-2008. And a recent announcement that Chinese tourists will soon be allowed to travel individually to Taiwan has many medical-tourism proponents hoping the industry will take off.

Taiwan’s medical industry is still budding in comparison with that of neighboring countries. Last year, there was roughly $20 million USD spent on cosmetic surgery in Taiwan while in Singapore and Thailand there was roughly $1 billion USD spent.

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(By rti.org)

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