Questions About Medical Tourism?
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 cosmetic surgery and fertility treatments, specialized treatments such as orthopedic and bariatric surgery, and dental care.
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 like The Joint Commission International (JCI) or affiliated with 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 every package, if desired, so that you can have peace of mind.
What are typical cost savings?
Of course this depends on the procedure, but clients can often expect to save from 30 – 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 Passport Medical?
In short, we are the leading medical tourism company in North America. Passport Medical was awarded the “Leadership Excellence in Medical Facilitation” award in 2011 as the top global medical tourism company, and we successfully managed over 800 patients in 2011 alone. We have been a keynote speaker for other medical tourism companies at several international conferences.
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 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 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.