Each year, millions of people around the world leave their country of current residence to travel abroad and seek affordable and quality medical treatment and care. Some of the reasons that make medical tourists travel abroad include better quality services, cheaper medical treatment costs and availability of elective or restricted treatments.

In addition, a large number of people around the world continue to remain either uninsured. Some, despite having medical insurance, routinely face a huge burden of medical costs because their insurance does not cover certain procedures for example hip replacements and dental implants.

The perception of travelling abroad for medical treatment did not exist a decade earlier. However, realizing the cost benefit that they can derive from getting treated abroad, an increasingly large number of people have started to appreciate the quality that exists in other countries. Millions of people are now travelling abroad for medical treatment.

In fact, it is estimated that people save at least 40 to 60 percent on their procedure when they visit another country as a medical tourist. While patients may feel that communication, flying after surgery, blood supply and antibiotic resistance could be a problem; hospitals make sure that patients do not face any trouble during their stay.

Six most popular surgeries and destinations among medical tourists

 People often prefer to travel for surgeries that either cost too much locally or are not approved or legal in their own country. The top medical tourism procedures include:

  • Hip replacement
  • Knee replacement
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Breast augmentation
  • Valve replacement and angioplasty
  • Dental implants (veneer, crowns and caps)
  • Tummy tuck
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The most popular destinations that medical tourists prefer to choose because of the cheap cost of health care and quality services include Mexico, India, Thailand, Brazil, Singapore and Malaysia. Despite the high cost of health care, some people also choose the US to undergo specialized surgeries. Hungary and Turkey are a popular choice among patients looking to get dental implants.

Price comparison of popular treatments

The following tables compare the cost of treatment for popular procedures in countries most often visited by the medical tourists. The prices are average for a procedure and may vary according to the level of complexity, increased duration of stay and other secondary procedures opted for.

Hip replacement

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $40,364 $17,000 $13,900 $13,900 $13,500 $8,000 $7,200

Knee replacement

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $35,000 $14,000 $16,000 $12,900 $13,500 $7,700 $6,600

In vitro fertilization

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $12,000 $5,000 $10,000 $4,400 $12,400 $3,325 $3,700

Angioplasty

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $28,200 $4,200 $17,200 $13,900 $10,400 $8,000 $5,700
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Heart bypass 

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $1, 23,000 $15,000 $17,200 $13,900 $27,000 $12,100 $7,900

Spinal fusion

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $1, 00,000 $9,100 $8,200 $10,000 $12,000 $9,100 $6,500

Gastric bypass

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $33,000 $16,600 $15,000 $10,000 $11,000 $9,500 $5,000

Gastric sleeve

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $28,700 $13,500 $15,000 $18,000 $10,000 NA $5,000

Liposuction

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $9,000 $2,300 $3,000 $3,000 $2,800 $2,300 $2,800

Heart valve replacement

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $1, 70,000 $21,200 $35,000 $20,000 $18,000 $10,500 $5,500

Face lift

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $7,000 $3,500 $10,000 $10,000 $4,000 $7,000 $1,900

Breast augmentation

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $11,000 $8, 000 $7,000 $3,500 $3,500 $4,500 $2,000

Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Country US Thailand Singapore Turkey Mexico Malaysia India
Cost (USD) $7,000 $3, 500 $2,800 $3,800 $3,000 $5,000 $2,200

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