Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Top Ten Destinations for Medical Tourism: the Truth Behind the Numbers.
8. Taiwan, 90,000.
7. Turkey, 110,000.
6. Brazil, 180,000.
5. India, 400,000.
4. Singapore, 610,000.
3. United States, 800,000.
2. Mexico, 1,000,000.
1. Thailand, 1,200,000.
However, while low prices are certainly important, cost isn't the only factor taken into account when deciding to get medical treatment in another country. In fact, the US is not known for its low prices, yet it comfortably takes place number 3 in the list. Why is that?
The answer is because not all patients are the same. When people who defend the US healthcare system say it's one of the best, if not the best in the world, they are telling the truth. If you have an uncommon illness or you need a very specialized procedure, then the US is the best place to get it.
On the other hand, that's precisely the kind of procedures and treatments that are outside the financial reach of most people, especially those who are uninsured or who don't have full coverage. Most Americans are in this situation, which is why many of them just go south of the border to get treatment.
That's why Mexico makes it to second place in the list. While medical healthcare in Mexico isn't as cheap as in Thailand, it's certainly cheaper than in the US. And its proximity with the US make it very attractive. Americans can even travel to Mexico before the procedure and see the doctor and the hospital before making a decision, which makes them feel more confident about it.
Lastly, Singapore sits at number one because of it's cheap prices, the higher quality of its medical care in relationship with its close competition (which may explain why it's ranked higher than India), and the fact that it has a reputation for sex change procedures (which are hard to find elsewhere at cheap prices).
If you want to see Bloomberg's original source, click here.