Medical Tourism Thrives

Traveling to countries throughout the Far East and Latin America, first world patients are able to receive comparable treatments at a fraction of the cost, even after travel expenses are taken into account, says the New Yorker.

  • The Bumrungrad hospital in Thailand treats 400,000 foreign patients annually.
  • Similarly, Malaysia had almost 600,000 medical tourists last year.
  • South Korea had more than 100,000, nearly a third of them American.
  • Mexico and Costa Rica have also become popular destinations.

This growing trend defies conventional wisdom regarding medical care – that it was not a sector that could cross borders. Yet large differentials in operation costs between countries, even those across the world from each other, are too tempting for those willing to bear the inherent risks.

Full article in The New Yorker worth reading.

Comments (3)

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  1. brian says:

    I wouldn’t trust any of those countries. Maybe Japan, South Korea, Taiwan,…….the more advanced the country the safer the safer the medical treatment is likely to be.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    I toured hospitals in Costa Rica a couple years ago. They looked just like the modern hospitals in the United States that I’ve toured. I began my professional career as an accountant in the health care industry. I could tell little difference in the quality of the facilities in San Jose’ and Dallas.

  3. Brian Williams. says:

    My only experience with “medical tourism” was when I once visited a hospital in Peru. The hospital lacked anything modern, to the point of defying common sense. For example, the emergency department was on the second floor, up a flight of stairs. And the x-ray film took a day to develop. But I understand what Devon is saying about some hospitals that may be competing for medical tourism clients.