Medical tourism sometimes also referred to as medical travel or health tourism, is any travel activity across international borders to receive health care or medical attention. The reason for this travel may be economic, privacy, lack of availability of specialists, or lack of process in the tourists own country.
Medical treatment may also often be accompanied by direct or indirect engagement in leisure, business or other tourism or other recreational activities.
Medical tourism is in general an acceptable practice. It has been practiced from times immemorial.
It has been practices right from the ancient Greeks time when people from all over, traveled to temples like Asclepia, Greek God of medicine, to seek cures for their ailments.
Later, when Rome became a world power, several hot water baths and springs became popular among the rich and elite worldwide.
In the Middle Ages, Asia was a prime medical tourism destination. In Medieval Japan, hot mineral springs became popular due to their healing properties. Warrior clans used them to heal wounds and recuperate from battles. In 1248 AD, the Mansuri hospital was built in Cairo. It was the largest and most advanced hospital of the time.
Medical tourism flourished during the Renaissance.In 1326, a village known as Town of Waters, became famous throughout Europe when iron-rich hot springs were discovered there.
During the 16th century, rich Europeans rediscovered the Roman baths and flocked to towns with spas such as St. Mortiz, Baden Baden, Aachen, and Bath in England.Many kings and princes visited Bath and it became famous throughout the world.
The discovery of the New World or America brought new destinations for European medical travelers.It was believed that the Native Americans in the New World were well-versed in the healing arts. Their knowledge of herbal medicine was believed to be exceptional.
In 1933, the American Board of Medical Specialties was established. In 1958, the European Union of Medical Specialties was formed. It comprised different National Medical Associations from member nations of the European Union.
With the rising cost of healthcare in the 1980s and 1990s, American patients started considering offshore options for medical treatment. In 1997, the Joint Commission International (JCI) was formed to ensure international healthcare facilities conformed to international standards.
Thus you can see that Medical tourism has been practiced from the ancient times.
Depending on the type of condition, and the ailment, medical tourism can be undertaken by you. We strongly recommend you to discuss with your personal physician and embark on a journey which can cure your condition expeditiously, economically and in comfort.
Most medical conditions are appropriate for being treated as a medical tourist. However, an appropriate opinion can be provided on understanding your specific condition and review of your medical records. We also recommend consulting your personal physician before you embark on any type of medical treatment.
There are many countries and hospitals which are good based on different criteria. There is no such thing as a best place. There are many considerations that go in before a hospital or country is recommended or selected by you. We encourage our clients to understand their criteria or primary and secondary objectives before selecting upon the place and hospital.
The countries engaged in medical tourism are cost effective because most popular medical tourism destinations are developing countries where
- Wages are relatively low
- Infrastructure costs are relatively inexpensive
- The insurance costs for liability or damages are less or virtually non-existent
Hence the consultation, diagnostic, surgery and treatment costs are considerably economical.
A medical tourism facilitator has many roles
Educator : Provide you more information about your conditions, about hospitals trained to treat your conditions, which specialisation or branch of medicine is appropriate to treat that condition. They do not actually propose any treatment method or procedure.
Facilitator : Facilitate you to connect with your chosen hospital, doctor or panel, hold discussions with them etc.
Travel support : Support you to obtain visa or documentation to enable you to obtain visa, international air travel, travel in the place of your treatment etc.
Concierge services : Assist you in greeting you at the airport, show you your hotel, hospital, money exchange, banks and any other locations that you require.
Arrange accommodation pre and post treatment : Help you to identify the right hotel or accommodation before getting admitted in the hospital for treatment and during convalescence.
Translation services : In case your native language is not spoken in the hospital, locate and arrange translators to help you communicate better with doctors and service providers.
Communication service : Support you in communication services by arranging or providing phone / mobile and internet services in the country of treatment.
Advocate : Act as your advocates basically in a foreign country. They support your cause and address and redress any issue you encounter.
Any treatment cost provided here is generic and provided for information. All the treatments to specific conditions are specific in nature and depend on various parameters. In general the cost advantage of treatment in an advance country (like the US) to a medical tourism centric country like India is upto 90 %.
- Brazil: 20-30%
- Costa Rica: 45-65%
- India: 65-90%
- Malaysia: 65-80%
- Mexico: 40-65%
- Singapore: 25-40%
- South Korea: 30-45%
- Taiwan: 40-55%
- Thailand: 50-75%
- Turkey: 50-65%
The above figures are taken from the website “www.patientsbeyondborders.com”
We very strongly encourage you and your family physician to discuss with the treating doctor. We would not advise you to embark on a course of treatment without discussions and concurrence from your family doctor. Our service or marketing coordinators will arrange for the discussions. (video or audio based on facilities available on either end)
Undoubtedly. While we encourage you to do your flight bookings through our recommended travel affiliate so that any change can be easily accommodated, we can always use your frequent flier points to economise your travel.
The affiliate hotels we have selected are done so after reviewing various aspects: services, closeness to hospital, security, proximity to airport, transportation and other services. Hence we strongly recommend you to book through hotels recommended by us. Besides, we also have special rates negotiated with those hotels so your stay will be economical.However we are open to you booking your accommodation on your own and will service your medical requirements fully.
We recognise that in extraneous circumstances, you may have to postpone your plans for the medical treatment. Since the hospitals and other service providers have already made arrangements based on your confirmation, it is likely that they may charge cancellation charges which are not in our control. Our service charges are non-refundable, however our branch managers have the authority to negotiate and reconfirm the service charges.
Once we agree upon your treatment hospital and country, we will also discuss the duration of your recuperation and the type of recuperation, keeping in mind the recommendations of the doctor who has treated you. We will make all arrangements for the same after obtaining your confirmation.
Normally, your companion will take care of you while you recuperate. Anavara personnel will come at frequent intervals to check on your condition. Anavara can arrange for a companion or assistant either on a full time or part time basis, based on your requirement, condition and nature of condition, at additional cost if required.
Yes, you are encouraged to take a companion with you. Most often the hotel charges include double occupancy and are likely to include breakfast for two persons. Thus the likely additional charges would be the flight charges, visa charges and additional expenses incurred on tourism, food or beverages.
All the folks with Anavara are fluent in English and one or two other languages. As far as possible we will encourage folks who are fluent in your native language to interact with you. In the rare case when we do not have on our rolls, we will engage the services of a translator. (optional services at additional cost)
Usually you will be provided a phone with preloaded talk time. The telephone numbers of the destination country Anavara personnel (service coordinators) is preloaded in the phone. Besides, Anavara service representative who discussed with you in your country, the country manager / branch manager of the country where you are undertaking treatment, the personnel who are in close touch with you like the transportation facilitator, concierge, hospital, personal attendant will be preloaded in the mobile phone. You can call any of them for assistance.
In the rare event that you want to call off your treatment, we will support you in doing the same. But there will be associated costs as all the service providers have earmarked the time to service you. Besides there are costs, which are non-reimbursable like travel, visa, hotel accommodation availed and facilities already rendered. However, Anavara is your advocate and will ensure to see that all negotiations are conducted with your situation in mind.
Usually we provide a mobile phone with adequate talk time to call your folks back home. The phone is also preloaded with other important numbers like the Client service executive of your home country, of the host country, the concierge service executive and other important numbers.
We provide a smart phone with internet access which can be connected to your laptop to avail of internet facilities. However there is a preloaded value in the phone which has to be replenished by you.
Every insurance has its own terms and conditions and validity criteria. We cannot confirm without reviewing your insurance and discussions with your providers representative