Simply stating, Medical Tourism is the process of traveling abroad to receive superior medical, dental and cosmetic care by highly skilled surgeons at some of the most modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world...all at a fraction of the price in the USA, UK and Canada.
There are many ways to define Medical Tourism, which is also known as Medical Travel, Surgical Tourism, Health Tourism, Health Travel, Medical Value Travel, Healthcare Abroad, Medical Overseas, Overseas Medical, Surgery Overseas and even Medical Outsourcing and Offshore Medical. But for millions of patients in the USA, it is the only way to get the needed or desired medical treatment, without wiping out their entire life-savings.
Medical Tourism gives the global medical tourist the opportunity to get the best quality of medical surgery, cosmetic plastic surgery and dental surgery at significantly lower costs. While the low costs are the primary motivation to travel abroad, some medical tourists seek medical care overseas because of immediate availability of procedures and sometimes the unavailability of certain procedures.
Many countries offer discount medical tourism world wide. However, some of the best destinations for international medical tourism include India, Thailand, Singapore, Turkey and Mexico. Central and South American countries like Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and Argentina are also picking up fast as they not only have top quality medical expertise to offer but also have great travel destinations where one can enjoy a medical vacation.
Finally, some may call medical tourism a misnomer. Surely, vacationing is not the primary purpose of medical tourism, but while the medical tourists are recuperating, they usually take advantage of the opportunity to inexpensively vacation in the destination country.
History - How medical tourism came into being?
As the prices of receiving good healthcare soar, the insurance coverage becomes poor and the wait lists become longer, one is inclined to explore other avenues. If the same (and sometimes even better) quality of healthcare is available within reach then why not go for it? Hence, the birth of Medical Tourism.
Medical tourism is not a new concept. It has been practiced by wealthy Europeans and Asians for decades when they would travel within their continent and sometimes even to the USA to seek health related treatments.
Today, Medical Tourism is no more a "dirty word" as was labeled once by the media. In the USA, Health travel is quickly gaining recognition. This is proven by the fact that hordes of Americans (nearly half a million) visit Asia, Mexico and South America each year to seek high quality yet cheap medical treatment, combined with exotic vacations in the destination country.
Who should be interested in medical tourism?
As long as you are healthy enough to travel, you stand to benefit from medical tourism's offerings. While anyone is a prospective patient, most of our customers fall into one of the following four categories:
Medical Tourism for Elective surgery
A large number of medical tourists seek out elective procedures such as cosmetic, plastic, dental and wellness treatments that are not covered by insurance plans.
Medical Tourism for Underinsured
As insurers cut back on their coverage and insurance costs skyrocket, more and more individuals find themselves 'underinsured' the current figure rising to about 16 million Americans. High deductibles, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses, wait-lists and limited physician choices force many patients to seek out alternative treatments. Others find that the care they need is not covered under their catastrophic insurance plans.
Medical Tourism for Uninsured
16% of the USA population i.e. about 45 million Americans are uninsured. These individuals, many of which are self-employed, frequently find themselves dipping into their hard-earned savings to finance their medical care. Medical illness can be a financial nightmare leading to bankruptcy. According to a Harvard study, half of personal bankruptcies are related to medical expenses. Thus, medical tourism is an increasingly popular solution among our uninsured population.
Medical Tourism for Others:
In some cases, even for insured people, the cost of treatment overseas is less than their out-of-pocket amount in the USA. If you are a Baby Boomer you do not yet qualify for Medicare or Medicaid for your urgently needed surgery. For others who have lost their group coverage due to retirement, the surgery or procedure they need may not be covered under the Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Under such circumstances, medical tourism is the most viable option.
What's in it for me?
You are not well and the medical treatment is necessary. Your medical insurance is not going to cover much and you will have to pay out of your savings. You know that the surgery will leave you with nothing to pay for your home loan or your car loan or even your utility bills and that you will have to start everything over again. Would you not rather go to another country where you can get the same high-quality care for a fraction of the cost?
The primary motivation behind Medical Tourism is undoubtedly savings. And not just savings - incredible savings, let us say!
Compare a $7,000 hip resurfacing in India with a $48,000 one in the USA. That's more than 80% savings even after you have paid for your travel, stay and vacation.
Everybody raves about the low cost of medical travel but does that mean that quality is compromised?
NO! At least, not at Healthbase. We only include those hospitals and medical centers in our network which meet the tough standards like those specified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the Joint Commission International (JCI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). So, rest assured that the services that you will get will meet or exceed USA standards.
To further ensure exceptional service, we have a rigorous screening and selection process through on-site visits and extensive research. We periodically send experts to our partner hospital sites to re-evaluate their service standards and facilities. Furthermore, we monitor the quality of our providers through patient feedback and reports by international healthcare agencies. At Healthbase, we make every effort to make sure that you receive the best in health and the most in savings.
When your health is at stake, wait-lists are not an option. Our hospital partners will work with your schedule and timeframe to ensure quick access to care. Through Healthbase's sophisticated online quote system, your medical records will be made accessible to the hospitals of your choice instantly and hence will be able to get your medical quote within two business days in most cases.
As the industry's most sophisticated and comprehensive web portal, consumers can arrange medical care from start to finish. Our one-stop service offerings are just one of the ways we strive to provide world-class care.
While the primary motivation for most customers is affordable surgery, the opportunity to visit exotic destinations is an additional draw for some of our customers. Some medical tourists spend a few days sightseeing before their procedure while others enjoy the same while recuperating.
I get all these benefits but how are the hospitals able to provide high quality at such low rates? Is it a marketing gimmick?
No, it is not a marketing gimmick and there are no fine print catches. Our hospitals can really provide high quality at low rates. Fees in the USA are driven by labor overhead, administrative expenses, and insurance contracts. Over 71 percent of hospital costs are labor related according to a recent World Health Organization report which helps to explain some of the cost advantages for countries with low labor costs. Healthbase eliminates these burdens by connecting patients directly to surgeons, allowing us to offer premier services at prices unavailable in the USA. It is truly a win-win situation for everybody.
The process of Medical Tourism at Healthbase
Having read enough about the low cost high quality phenomenon of medical care, we are sure you now want to board that plane to get your treatment. Allow us to assist you in your journey to recovery with our unique and most sophisticated medical tourism process.
The guide to the step by step procedure of Healthbase Medical Tourism follows:
Become a registered Healthbase member
Register for FREE to create a new account or use an existing account to login to enjoy a whole host of services and resources.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Begin your journey by logging in now to explore the multitude of medical tourism options available to you, to view the cost comparison of over 200 procedures at various hospitals in different countries and to receive your free personalized cost estimate. It's as easy as 1-2-3...fast, simple and FREE!!
Life is precious and mistakes can cost you dearly. You are traveling halfway across the world to go under the knife of someone you hardly know. So wouldn't you like to take a partner along who is with you at every single step all the way - from start to finish and beyond?
Yes, we are talking about us. When you choose to go with us, you will find us with you everywhere. At Healthbase, your wellness means everything to us. We are not amongst those medical tourism companies that give you a plethora of advice but a paucity of assistance. At Healthbase, you will receive the best of advice and the best of assistance. Here are a few more reasons why we stand out amidst competition and why we are the trusted provider-of-choice for medical tourists worldwide:
Empower yourself with information anywhere, anytime
We have the industry's most sophisticated and comprehensive automated web portal to guarantee quick, effective and efficient communication of all information related to the medical tourism process.
Communication is the key to everything
We allow you to correspond with your assigned surgeons as and when required.
Our boasts are not empty
We are medical tourism experts with first-hand industry experience and satisfied clients.
Offer so much to choose from
We offer over 15 international hospital providers in 10 cities in 4 countries to meet your medical travel needs. And we are continually expanding our network so you have multiple choices to select from.
Quality is our hallmark of success
We have a rigorous screening and selection process through on-site visits and extensive research. We periodically send experts to our partner hospital sites to re-evaluate their service standards and facilities.
Need we say again that quality is our hallmark of success?
We have room for only leading healthcare institutions that are either JCI or JCAHO or ISO certified or equivalent. They are equipped with the most modern, state-of-the-art medical equipments and technology and employ elite physicians educated and trained in the USA/UK.
Understanding your needs at every step
We partner with travel agencies to arrange your travel, with hotels to manage your accommodation, and medical and dental loan processing companies to support you financially.
Always round the corner
We are accessible via our Toll-Free telephone number (1-888-MY1-HLTH or 1-888-691-4584) to answer your questions at your convenience. Should you require assistance via email then simply drop in a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Corporate Medical Tourism
To all Small-business owners, Corporations, Self-insured employers, Insurers, Brokers: Are you looking to expand medical choices for consumers while saving thousands of dollars on each case? Do you want to distinguish your company from the competition?
We have some excellent corporate plans (employer plans) that will help you reduce costs while maintaining high standards of care. Click here to know how.
Healthbase, an award-winning* medical tourism facilitator in USA, is the trusted source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide. We arrange a variety of medical tourism services from basic consultations to full service treatment abroad. We help you to take care of all your medical tourism details from arranging the surgery and financing options to visas, travel, lodging and tourism.
Healthbase caters to the needs of individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurance carriers, benefit consultants, insurance agents, and third party administrators seeking affordable medical travel and dental travel options. Our state-of-the-art, easy to use, information rich web-based system makes it easy to coordinate international medical care including necessary travel and accommodation for patients and their companions, all at one place.
The cost of surgical care at our ever growing network of affiliated institutions is typically a fraction of the cost of care in the U.S. with equal or superior outcomes. Healthbase arranges first class services for patients at major internationally accredited hospitals in Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, USA and is expanding to Canada, UK, Jordan,Taiwan, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, El Salvador and Guatemala.
We offer over two hundred medical, dental and cosmetic procedures in various categories: Orthopedic procedures such as hip replacement, Birmingham hip resurfacing, artificial knee replacement, rotator cuff repair, knee surgery; Cardiac and Vascular procedures like heart bypass (multiple coronary artery bypass graft or CABG), aortic aneurysm repair, heart valve repair, heat valve replacement, angioplasty, RF Ablation; Spinal procedures such as spine fusion, laminectomy, disc replacement; Weight-loss procedures like gastric bypass, lap band, gastric sleeve; Eye procedures like LASIK; Cosmetic and Plastic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, face lift, rhinoplasty (nose surgery), liposuction; Dental procedures such as orthognathic surgery, dental bridges, dental implants, dental crowns; dental veneers; and hundreds of other procedures in the departments of Urology, General surgery, Wellness and many more. The savings are up to 80% of typical US hospital prices.
Medical Tourism, also termed as Medical Travel, Health Travel, Health Tourism, Global Healthcare, Medical Vacation, Medical Value Travel, Medical Treatment Abroad, International Medical, Surgical Tourism, Surgery Abroad, Surgical Trip, Healthcare Abroad, Medical Outsourcing, offshore Medical and Overseas Medical, is the act of traveling abroad to receive medical, dental and cosmetic care. Significantly lower cost for best practice care is usually the primary motivation behind medical tourism although some medical tourists go abroad for immediate availability of procedures and to seek treatments that are not available in their home country. Patients frequently also take advantage of the opportunity to vacation and tour inexpensively in the foreign country while they are visiting for health care. Signup to know more about medical or dental tourism.
* - Awarded the "Best Website for Accessing International Medical Information for Patients/Consumers" by Consumer Health World 2007.