Recently, there has been more and more news about medical tourism. Some of the news has been good, but a lot of it has been bad. Our team decided to do some digging to give you the true details, based on facts.
What is it?
A great place to start is defining medical tourism. Medical tourism is when people travel outside of their country for the purpose of getting a medical procedure done. Because Dermaquip focuses on cosmetic surgery, we are going to focus on that topic. Keep in mind that medical tourism doesn’t just have to be cosmetically focused, it can be focused around any other medical procedure.
The first thing people tend to ask about medical tourism is why someone would consider it. In other words, if you live in the United States (where there are so many qualified surgeons available), why would you even want to travel outside of the country? Below are some main points around this.
One of the main reasons people from developed countries travel outside of their country for cosmetic procedures is because of cost. It’s no secret that the cost of surgery is much higher in places such as the United States. This is especially true when you compare it to other countries such as Mexico or Thailand. Here is a list of the top medical tourism destinations and their most popular procedures (source: Medigo).
- Thailand for Plastic Surgery
- Malaysia for Dermatology
- Germany for Oncology
- Costa Rica for Dental Care
- Mexico for Dentistry
- Turkey for Eye Specialists
- United Arab Emirates for Bariatric Surgery
- Poland for Dental Implant
- Hungary for Teeth Whitening
- Brazil for Liposuction
While it’s true that many people travel from developed countries to other countries because of cost considerations, many people travel from undeveloped countries to places such as the United States. The reason is because developed countries have better technologies for certain procedures.
The third and most common reason for medical tourism has to do with legal issues. In other words, some procedures that are illegal in places like the United States are legal in other countries. So, if someone was set on getting a specific procedure they wouldn’t be legally allowed to in one country, so they would travel to another country to get it done.
Isn’t it risky?
Traditionally, medical tourism does tend to be risky. There are a lot of legal and ethical concerns that people have about medical tourism, but the real risk comes from a lack of a certification process, and the lack of knowledge one would have around the materials being used in their procedure.
For example, if you wanted to get Botox done in another country, you would have to trust the doctors would actually be using certified materials that weren’t expired or defective.
The advice that Dermaquip gives us to always go with a certified plastic/cosmetic surgeon within the United States. There are many qualified surgeons here that offer the best procedures available, with the best technology. Today, most doctors offer payment plan options and also can take insurance for some of the cost. There are options available, and Dermaquip would urge anyone to consider those options before heading out to another country.