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What is Medical Tourism?

Passport Medical Blog

iStock_000002130357Small Medical tourism is the act of seeking out low-cost, first-class healthcare outside ones’ home country, often while recuperating in beautiful surroundings. This phenomenon is being driven by factors such as rising healthcare costs in the United States and by long wait times in countries with public healthcare such as Canada. Common services include elective procedures like joint replacement surgery, dental procedures such as dental implants, cosmetic surgery and specialized treatments such as bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

Medical Tourism Simplified

Who is a good candidate for medical tourism?

In the United States, it is estimated that almost 60 million people under the age of 65 went without health insurance at some point in 2008.. For these individuals, and the under-insured, medical tourism represents a viable, low-cost alternative to skyrocketing healthcare costs in the United States. Countries with public healthcare, like Canada, report an average wait time of over 18 weeks to receive necessary medical treatments. In fact, some procedures like orthopedic and bariatric procedures can have significantly longer wait times, diminishing quality of life, and increasing the chances of further complications. These individuals can usually have the same procedures done at world-class facilities with little or no wait time and at a reasonable cost. Elective procedures such as fertility treatments, cosmetic surgery, or bariatric procedures can be financially debilitating and stressful; often individuals prefer to keep these treatments a secret from friends and family. Individuals seeking these treatments can save large sums of money while being treated and vacationing in luxury and anonymity.

Is medical tourism safe?

Most people are initially shocked by the high quality care and first-rate medical facilities offered by Passport Medical. At Passport Medical, we are a dedicated facilitator in the medical tourism process. Every healthcare provider in our network has been personally visited and vetted by our team, and most are accredited by international agencies such as JCI (Joint Commission International) or revered hospitals in The United States. Most of the doctors in our network have studied, practiced, or are board-certified in The US, Canada, or Europe, and all speak English. In many cases, patients will find superior hospitals and care centers boasting state-of-the-art facilities and nurse-to-patient ratios far surpassing those in North America.

What if there is a complication?

As with any medical procedure at home or away, there is always a small chance of a complication, so one should always plan for this eventuality. That is why medical complication insurance is available with approved procedures through our partner Compass Benefits.  Contact us for additional information on medical complication insurance.

What are typical cost savings?

Of course this depends on the procedure, but clients can often expect to save from 40 – 80% off the cost of treatment alone in their home country. In addition, most costs associated with medical tourism are tax deductible. Of course, cost should never be the primary consideration in a medical procedure, but when low cost can be achieved while receiving first-rate care, it should certainly be considered.

Why use Passport Medical International?

Passport Medical is one of the largest medical tourism companies by patient volume in North America and the winner of the  ‘Leadership Excellence in Medical Facilitation’ award.  We have sent over 2500 patients abroad since 2009 for various medical and dental procedures.  We have one of the best reputations in the industry, with many positive testimonials from our many US and Canadian clients, and have been invited to numerous international medical tourism conferences to speak to others in the industry.  We have worked hard to create close relationships with our partners and maintain efficient lines of communication. Thus, we can get the information and pricing you need quickly to help make your healthcare decision. Trying to do this on your own can be a very difficult task.

Do I have a say in choosing the facility and doctors used for my procedure?

Absolutely! As with any procedure at home, you need to be comfortable with the decision you make. Our job is to facilitate information and provide options for your care. If you are interested in a procedure, we will provide you with destination options followed by a list of facilities and doctors who perform your procedure. You will then be given an opportunity to contact the doctor directly with any questions or concerns.

What if I don’t find the procedure I want listed on the Passport Medical International’s site?

Virtually any procedure offered in North America, and some that are not, can be accommodated within our network of healthcare facilities. If you are interested in a particular procedure, let us know. We will quickly provide a list of facilities and doctors who can accommodate your needs, and the price associated with the treatment.

What types of services does Passport Medical International provide?

We offer a range of services to make your medical tourism experience as seamless and stress-free as possible. These include: coordinating the healthcare experience, airport pickup, help with flight and hotel booking, and putting you in contact with a tour company specializing in medical tourists if desired.

When will I be able to travel after my procedure?

Every procedure is different, and your time away, and recovery time, will be dictated by the type of procedure chosen. With certain elective treatments, you may be able to fly the same day, while other procedures may require considerable respite. We work closely with your attending physician to plan the appropriate care and length of stay.

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