The growth in medical tourism to Asia shows no signs of slowing down as latest reports estimate the continuing popularity of traveling overseas for low-cost, high-quality healthcare.
MedicalDepartures.com gears up for the increase in demand by consolidating its position at the vanguard of medical tourism services throughout Asia, ensuring global healthcare travellers from countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand can access affordable services with specialist doctors in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and elsewhere throughout Asia.
The growth in Medical Tourism
Affordability, better quality, accessibility and availability are all primary influences that are fuelling Medical Tourism’s growth, with consumers able to search and compare healthcare services and make their own choices, in the same way as they do for other consumables. Factors promoting this include:
· the growth in cheap and frequent air travel;
· rising healthcare costs, particularly in economically advanced countries, like the United States, Canada, the UK, Eire, Australia and New Zealand;
· long waiting lists;
· uninsured or under-insured people looking for alternative healthcare options;
· access to better information about clinics abroad, namely through the internet;
· increased online presence of medical tourism facilitators and providers in other countries;
· aging populations in need of care for degenerative conditions, such as joint and heart problems
· people looking for non-FDA approved procedures, or treatments not available in their home country, either due to lack of expertise, religious or cultural reasons
· the growing trend toward globalization of services
· the appeal of a health holiday
Medical ‘Airbnb’ Services
Family members unable to afford dental care inspired Founder and CEO, Paul McTaggart. Knowing there were good-quality healthcare services overseas, but with no way of gauging their efficiency, was the prime motivation for McTaggart to explore setting up Dentaldepartures.com. Thus, Medical Departures Inc commenced its medical tourism services in Asia with the launch of Dentaldepartures.com in 2010 prior to Medicaldepartures.com Providing access to foreign healthcare providers, the company differs from many of its competitors by its screening processes.
All doctors, dentists, clinics and hospitals appearing on Medicaldepartures.com and Dentaldepartures.com have qualifications and credentials checked by the company. Its own staff visit each clinic, with clinic photos of facilities and previous patient testimonials published online for prospective patients to view. They also operate a 24-hour customer service, as well as providing relevant, additional services from discounts on local hotel rates, to medical travel insurance, packages and concierge services.
Designed to take the guesswork out of finding affordable, good-quality medical services overseas, prospective clients can search by destination and procedure to find suitable quality-checked providers, along with prices.
Popular Medical Tourism Procedures
Medical tourism is a broad church and practically any services can be found abroad. Dental services cover the whole spectrum from a simple tooth filling to full mouth rehabilitation. Cosmetic dentistry is popular, including dental implants, crowns and veneers, which often cost between 60% and 80% less in Asia.
Plastic surgery is another area where travel overseas can save patients thousands – more than enough to cover the cost of a holiday, and enable patients the opportunity to recuperate in a relaxing destination rather than having to return to the demands of everyday life at home.
While the traditional view of medical tourism was people specifically traveling to another country for a particular procedure, it is now just as common for holiday or business travellers who are already at or going to a destination, to arrange dental, or even non-surgical cosmetic work, while they are there.
Medical Tourism Locations
The pioneer of modern medical tourism, and still retains its crown as one of the go-to destinations. Thanks to its popularity as a holiday destination, it has a good infrastructure – so flights, accommodation and other amenities are inexpensive and plentiful. Clinics and hospitals for medical tourists can be found across the country in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiangmai and include:
The center of Indonesia’s medical tourism industry lies on the tropical island of Bali. Here, tourists can take advantage of affordable dentistry and medical hospitals and facilities that cater to international patients, particularly for plastic surgery procedures:
Malaysia’s foray into medical tourism has started somewhat later than neighbouring countries, but is an attractive destination thanks to its well-established tourism industry, modern facilities and because of its Colonial past, English is widely spoken as a second, if not first, language.