By travelling abroad for complex medical procedures, Americans can save between five and 20 times the cost of having their operations on home soil.
This staggering figure, published by consultancy firm Social Technologies in a report “Medical Tourism: Cross-Border Care Grows”, demonstrates the rapid rise of medical tourism in the American market.
For reasons of cost, lack of health insurance, or merely to combine treatment with a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, Americans are opting to get their medical treatment abroad.
“It’s not tough to see why more people are travelling abroad when procedures are five to 20 times less expensive than in the US,” Chris Carbone, who authored the report, said. “Facelifts in Mexico cost about $6,000, compared to $10,000 to $15,000 in the US.”
He explained that other procedures highlighted the savings available through medical tourism. An American could save $190,000 by travelling to India for heart valve replacement surgery - that price includes the round-trip airfare and a trip to the Taj Mahal.
The surgery in India costs roughly $10,000 compared to the $200,000 cost of the same procedure in America, with no trip to the Taj Mahal thrown in!
Not just the great price
Carbone noted that, while the main driver for Americans was the tremendous financial savings, there were other reasons behind the rising trend for treatment abroad. Many Americans want access to alternative medicines and experimental care that are not available in the US.
He said: “The Vitallife Wellness Center in Bangkok offers custom compound nutraceuticals (foods claimed to have a medicinal effect on human health) and anti-aging skin treatments.”
Some medical tourists in India choose to mix their medical treatments with alternative therapies such as ayurveda and yoga.