Usually, when people hear about tourism and travel destinations, their minds conjure up images of tropical islands with white sandy beaches, Disneyland, or the Serengeti plains in Africa. The reality however, is that there is a lot more to tourism and travel destinations than that. One needs to look no further than the growing trend of what is now known as medical tourism for evidence of this.
Medical tourism is the term used to describe the occurrence whereby patients travel to locales outside of their own for the purpose of accessing medical services. This is not your usual case wherein patients will leave less developed nations and go to major medical centers in more developed countries to access medical treatment that is unavailable in their own countries.
In the case of medical tourism the traffic flows in the opposite direction, from highly developed nations to other parts of the world, which are usually less developed for medical care. The primary purpose of the trip is to take advantage of much lower costs. There are not many medical services that are unavailable in such a scenario and some of the more popular ones available include alternative treatments, cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, cardiac surgery, and complex specialized surgery.
It has been reported that in excess of fifty countries actually incorporate medical tourism as part of their national industry. The costs for the majority of these procedures are often times less than half what they would normally cost in the more developed countries.
Add to this the fact that the quality, or standard, of the service is on par with the best in the world and it becomes clear why more and more people are opting to become medical tourists. Some countries are way ahead of the game where medical tourism is concerned, and have already cemented their place in the industry. There are a few of them that stand out and usually have their names mentioned when reference is made of those that rank among the top echelon.
Hungary is one of the countries that make the list. The country possesses the most dentists per capita, and this ensures that the rates for procedures such as implants, full mouth restorations, and cosmetic oral surgeries are very competitive.
South Korea is another that makes it onto the list. They are renowned for their proficiency in the screening and treatment of cancer, as well as regular positive results for spinal surgeries. The fact that they are regarded as among the worlds most scientifically and technologically advanced nations does not hurt either.
Also on the list is Brazil. Medical tourists in need of elective surgeries such as facelifts, tummy tucks, breast implants, and rhinoplasty or nose jobs, will be happy to know that Brazil is home to the highest per capita number of practicing cosmetic doctors on the planet. This will surely bring costs down as they compete for business.
India too is among the favored travel destinations for medical tourists. They are recognized for their excellence where orthopedic and cardiac procedures are concerned, and with the consistent good results they produce their workload is certain to increase.
It is interesting to note that in many instances medical tourism destinations also double as regular travel destinations as well. One such example is Brazil, which has football, carnival, and the Amazon rainforest, all of which are powerful lures for visitors to that country. So the next time you hear the word Brazil being used in the same sentence as tourism, consider the possibility that fun and sun may not actually be on the agenda but instead matters of a medical nature.