Medical tourism is the process of traveling abroad in order to receive medical care, be it cosmetic surgery, heart surgery, breast implants, a hip replacement, or dental work.
Rising health care costs and longer waiting times in the western countries like United States, Canada, and UK etc. are inducing patients to seek treatment overseas. While U.S. consumers are concerned mainly with the exorbitant cost of health care, Canadians are more troubled by wait-times for certain treatments. Indeed, approximately 1 million Canadians claim to be experiencing difficulties in access to care. As for UK, it is believed that more than 50,000 people from the UK travel for treatment abroad because of high medical care costs in UK.
Medical Tourism in South Korea South Korea has been growing as a tourist destination of choice for health and vacation because of their world class physicians, modern technology, and unique caring and compassion at great values for money at a fraction of the cost in the west. The country is home to some of the best hospitals and stand alone Specialty clinics in the world, offering world-class expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and the warmth of hospitality. Also, some of the world’s best spa retreat resorts and tour destinations can be found in this part of the earth. Additionally, it’s not unusual to find plus accommodations, foreign language translators, and other amenities at some of the major facilities.
South Korea has made its initial foray into the lucrative market of medical tourism by launching the Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion. Funded by the Government and 28 private hospitals, this organization will market medical packages to foreign patients seeking affordable health care. The Council has initiated a set of measures to promote the medical vacation industry by aiding hospitals in their marketing strategies. In this way, South Korea can generate greater overseas awareness of the country’s medical and tourism offerings. According to a Council official:
The average charge for an in-patient visit in a US hospital is dollar3,762, which is 13 times higher than in South Korea.
The average charge for outpatients in the US is dollar13,000 which is 9 times higher than in South Korea. South Korea’s affordable health care system has seen the number of foreign patients rise from 10,000 to 13,000 in just 2 years. With all these added measures in place, South Korea is on its way to claim its share in the prosperous medical vacation business
Benefits of Medical Tourism Health care costs are constantly on the rise in countless Western countries. In the US alone, it is already a multi-billion dollar industry that shows no sign of stopping (worldwide it is over dollar3 trillion US). But why pay exorbitant prices at home when you can travel abroad and receive the same treatment (if not better) from a fully certified medical facility for a fraction of the price?