Medical Tourism Costs

The primary reason people travel abroad for a medical purpose is to save on medical treatment costs in their home country. With several leading medical tourism destinations offering world class health care at state-of-the-art facilities, yet at costs as much as half of those in Europe or North America, its is no wonder the medical tourism industry has expanded rapidly in the past decade.

The cost savings patients can make on having treatment abroad often means they have the means to enjoy a holiday before or after a medical procedure. Often the savings made are so great that even including the cost of flights, a luxury holiday and medical treatment, many medical tourists still make a significant saving against treatment costs at home.

Not only are people travelling for minor elective procedures but they are also travelling for major surgeries such as heart valve replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery, bypass heart surgery, and even in-vitro fertilisation. Leaders in the medical tourism industry include India, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, Cuba, Columbia, Costa Rica, Hungary and Malaysia with many other countries striving to attract medical tourists with their developing facilities.

In India treatment costs can be up to one-tenth of the cost of treatment in the UK or North America while Costa Rica offers treatment at a saving of up to 80 per cent of health costs in Europe. Knee replacements in Thailand offer savings of up to one-fifth of US costs for the same treatment. With such attractive treatment prices and high quality care, growing numbers of patients are deciding to seek treatment outside of their home country.

Sample Costs

Here are some example savings that can be made on medical procedures:

Heart bypass surgery – normally costs around US$100,000 in the US but can be done for US$12,000 in Thailand.

Knee replacement surgery – normally costs around US$50,000 in the US but can be done for US$10,500 in Costa Rica or for US$5,000 in Columbia.

Hip replacement surgery – normally costs around US$25,000 in the US but can be done for US$7,000 in India, for US$5,500 in Thailand or for US$5,854 in Cuba.

Heart valve replacement surgery - costs around US$200,000 in the US but can be done for US$10,000 in India.