The thought of travelling for medical treatment can be met with mixed reviews, but the truth of the matter is that medical tourism is quickly growing in popularity.
Despite the allure and convenience of free NHS treatment in the UK, even British citizens are embarking on trips overseas. Longer waiting times and high costs can send people to alternatives overseas, from a UK hair transplant, to hip replacements, cosmetic surgery and more. If you’re witnessing any of these, medical tourism could be a solution. Here’s why:
Shorter Waiting Times
If you’ve ever been on a waiting list for NHS treatment, then you’ll be very aware of just how long it can take for that appointment letter to finally come through and even then, it can be another few months before the date finally rolls around. Elective surgeries are often at the highest risk of being cancelled, too, which can extend that waiting time even further. Travelling for treatment, however, often means that you get full control over how long you wait if you have to wait at all. For those living with daily pain and discomfort, the ability to have the surgery or treatment to resolve this quickly is often enough to convince them to travel abroad.
Medical tourism often drums up images of low-quality healthcare in questionable premises, but while every country in the world has its own standards for medical care, you’re likely to be very surprised. In fact, travelling abroad could mean you are treated in the top-quality facilities with a lower staff-to-patient ratio, ultimately leading to more attentive care before, during and after the treatment. Hospitals dedicated to medical tourism can also feel more like a hotel than a medical facility, providing you with better comfort while you recover then you may get from public hospitals at home.
Our health can be a difficult subject to talk about and too often, we aren’t exactly eager to discuss the treatment we need. If you’re particularly embarrassed about a procedure or you want to recover away from the prying eyes of your friends and family, travelling abroad offers you that opportunity. You can truly rest and relax as you heal and in some cases, enjoy the stay just like a standard holiday.
One of the biggest driving forces for medical tourism, particularly in the dental and cosmetic surgery industries, is the low cost. In the UK and USA, something as simple as a facelift or some dental work can set you back hundreds, if not thousands. Abroad, you can expect to pay much less, without compromising on the quality of the treatment. The same can apply for treatments that aren’t otherwise available on the NHS. Certain eye and dental-related conditions aren’t available as part of free treatment plans and in these cases, travelling could work out cheaper, even after factoring in the cost of flights.
While travelling for treatment isn’t for everyone, those in need of treatment quickly and at a lower cost than at home could benefit from the experience. Make sure to research the country and clinic that you have chosen to ensure that you are getting the best treatment for your condition when you travel.