Medical Tourism in Argentina
Latin America is a leading provider of medical tourism, and Argentina is quickly following in the foot-steps of its regional rivals, Brazil and Colombia. Argentina has invested heavily in this lucrative area and now boasts some of the most advanced medical centers and clinics to rival those in the US and Europe. Specializing in providing medical procedures including cosmetic treatments, Argentina is lesser known for its dental care and health spas.
Pros: Medical tourists are attracted to Argentina due to its proximity to North America. Direct flights are available from most major US cities and there is no major time difference. Most Argentine doctors are trained in the US, which means high standards and no language barrier between practitioner and patient. Since the floating of the Argentinean currency in 2002, medical treatments have become even more affordable in comparison with treatment in the US, the UK or Europe.
Cons: There are few drawbacks when it comes to having medical treatment in Argentina. Petty crime is on the rise, but there is very little violent crime, especially when compared to neighboring countries. If you are planning on traveling after medical treatment, make sure you check the elevation of your destination. Argentina's geography varies greatly in elevation and patients are advised not to venture above 2,000 meters after having surgery.
Having to compete with neighboring counties such as Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay—which already have established medical tourism sectors—Argentina is yet to become a leader in South America's medical tourism scene. The country does, however, offer a range of surgical treatments at favorable prices and attracts a percentage of foreign medical tourists for treatments such as Lasik eye surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is very popular in Argentina, as it is in most Latin American countries. This means that treatments are not only available for international patients, but also for locals. A wide array of cosmetic surgery clinics and hospitals specializing in cosmetic surgery are on offer. Comparable costs are staggering; for example, rhinoplasty costs roughly US$2,300 in Argentina whereas it's as much as US$6,000 in the US. This means that even including the flight and perhaps a short holiday, you would still be saving money.
Not known primarily for dental tourism, Argentina nevertheless provides excellent dental services to foreign patients at a low cost when compared to dental treatment in the US. Procedures available include the fitting of dental veneers, implants and crowns as well as standard treatments such as root canals and fillings. Dental clinics with facilities to cater for medical tourist are mostly located in the capital, Buenos Aires.
Argentina isn't known for its alternative medical treatments, and visitors seeking treatment of this kind may need to travel to a different location.
Spas in Patagonia and elsewhere in Argentina have grown in popularity in recent decades, with several high class health spas available across the country. Treatments offered include sauna, hydromassage, mud treatments and nutritional programs. The capital, Buenos Aires, has some good spa options, as does Córdoba.