5 Best Countries for Medical Tourism

5 best countries for medical tourism include India, Turkey, UAE, Thailand, and Spain.

  1. India is renowned for its advanced medical facilities and skilled specialists, offering a wide range of treatments at affordable prices, attracting patients from around the globe.
  2. Turkey boasts modern clinics and experienced healthcare professionals, providing quality care at competitive rates, particularly in cosmetic surgery and hair transplants.
  3. UAE (Dubai) offers luxurious healthcare amenities and state-of-the-art hospitals, making it a preferred destination for premium medical treatments and wellness services.
  4. Thailand is a hub for medical tourism, with its modern hospitals and a wide range of medical services, coupled with a vibrant culture and tourist attractions.
  5. Spain stands out for its top-tier healthcare infrastructure and expertise in various medical specialties, providing high-quality care to international patients seeking medical treatments combined with a rich cultural experience.
Top 5 Countries for Medical Tourism

The most common reasons for medical tourism include:

  • Disappointment with medical facilities or healthcare back home
  • Lack of affordable or personalized treatment packages
  • Inadequate medical insurance
  • Increase in the popularity of medical services in developing countries.
  • No waiting-list
  • Access to the latest technologies and advanced medical equipment.

Millions of patients travel to different countries in search of adequate medical treatment. Whether it’s for getting a Botox or fighting a life-threatening condition – most people prefer going abroad for medical treatment. 

The primary reason for anyone seeking medical treatment in a foreign country is the lack of proper facilities back home. A patient may also be looking forward to obtaining a higher quality of treatment.

However, there has been a drastic increase in patients traveling from developed countries like the USA to third world or developing countries like Turkey or India. Factors like exceptionally high costs, controlled market, drug pricing, insurance billings, malpractice lawsuits, etc., have contributed significantly to this trend. 

Therefore, affordability and easy access to treatment has become a huge factor driving the medical tourism industry. 

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Some of the best countries for medical tourism include:

1. INDIA

  • India is a popular medical tourism destination that welcomes millions of patients from Bangladesh, Iraq, Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan, and even developed countries like the US. 
  • It is home to 22 JCI accredited hospitals working around the clock to provide comprehensive and quality treatment to all patients. JCI accreditation guarantees that the hospitals are well suited to conduct all medical procedures according to international standards.
  • Another factor that makes India popular among patients from neighboring countries is the excellent price-quality ratio for various treatments. Many procedures like cardiac surgery, transplantation, etc., are available at costs that are ten times cheaper than those offered in the US. In addition, manufacturing and production prices for licensed analogs of American drugs are extremely low, contributing to the availability of affordable treatment in India
  • Hospitals in India employ skilled and renowned doctors who have worked and trained in the west with many reputed institutions. All doctors, nurses, and other medical staff in Indian hospitals can speak fluent English that helps patients to interact, and address their queries or concerns conveniently. Some hospitals also offer translator services for patients who are only comfortable with their first language. 
  • The process to obtain a medical visa to travel to India is hassle-free. The Indian government has introduced special e-visas for patients looking to spend a shorter time in the country. 
  • India is best known for transplant surgery, oncology, hematology-oncology, cardiac surgery, and gastroenterology. 
 
2. TURKEY
  • The Turkish healthcare sector has set a new benchmark in the medical tourism industry by offering affordable and world-class treatment. The year 2020 recorded as many as 700,000 patients traveling to Turkey from the Middle East, North Africa, North America, Europe, and Russia. 
  • Turkey has more than 300 hospitals that have close relationships and affiliations with various American and European organizations. Some of these include Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering. 
  • Hospitals in Turkey boast skilled staff with extensive international level skills and expertise. Doctors who have studied and trained in foreign countries implement their experience and knowledge in their home country. 
  • Affordable and personalized treatment offered in Turkey is another key factor responsible for a large influx of patients from abroad. Treatment packages in Turkey cost half of what is offered in Europe or the US. These packages are inclusive of many facilities like patient transfer, accommodation, language assistance, etc. 
  • Unlike in other developed countries, patients in Turkey don’t have to wait before undergoing any treatment. This is a good explanation for international individuals accounting for 32% of patients in the entire country. 
  • Turkey is best known for treating neurosurgical, ophthalmological, oncological, cardiac, and orthopedic conditions.

 

3. UAE

  • The Medical tourism index (MTI) ranks UAE as the 13th-best medical tourism industry in the world. Over the last few years, UAE has emerged as a hub for international patients from both east and the west looking for affordable and personalized treatments. 
  • It is a convenient location for foreigners to undergo almost any procedure as it is well-connected with every corner of the world through several national and international airports. 
  • UAE, especially Dubai, is known for its dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff trained in different parts of the world. The doctors’ and surgeons’ experience, skill, knowledge, and expertise match the standards of those working in countries like Europe and the US. 
  • The country also provides treatment through alternative medicine and therapies, including yoga, homeopathy, acupuncture, and Ayurveda. 
  • Dubai invites patients from all over the world seeking various procedures like cosmetic surgery, orthopedic surgeries, ophthalmology, dental treatments, dermatology, and fertility treatments. 

 

4. THAILAND

  • Surrounded by tropical beaches, ornate Buddhist temples, and magnificent ancient ruins, Thailand has made it to the list of the top medical tourism destinations. It receives millions of patients from the USA, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Vietnam, and Laos.
  • According to IMTJ, by 2019, Thailand had 66 JCI accredited medical centers that offer state-of-the-art technologies and competent staff with the experience to handle most of the complex surgeries. 
  • Treatment in Thailand comes at a significantly lower price in comparison to other countries. Patients can save up to 50 to 80% of the cost by choosing Thailand over Europe or the US.
  • Doctors and surgeons in Thailand have decades of experience in handling various treatments and conditions. They usually receive their training in Singapore and other western countries and are well-versed with the English language. 
  • Thailand can accommodate international patients on short notice without going through any waiting lists. It is beneficial for patients who need to opt for surgery or treatment on an urgent basis.
  • The country is a popular tourist attraction that combines a patient’s medical trip with a short holiday. The calm and peaceful environment also helps patients with a speedy recovery.
  • Thailand is widely famous among patients looking forward to treatment in orthopedics, oncology, plastic surgery, dentistry, and ophthalmology.  

 

5. SPAIN

  • According to WHO, Spain has the seventh-best healthcare system in the world. Doctors in Spain perform as many as 2.4 million surgeries every year. 
  • Many patients choose European countries over Spain for various treatments because of no significant cost difference. However, the place is still a popular destination for international patients from Great Britain, France, and the USA. 
  • Spain has 22 JCI accredited hospitals specializing in neurosurgery, oncology, orthopedics, hematology, and plastic surgery. Renowned facilities like Teknon Medical Center offer comprehensive treatment for conditions related to neurology.
  • Patients can also travel to Spain for advanced treatment in pediatric oncology. Recent clinical trials and advancements have helped oncologists deliver an 84% cure rate for conditions like Ewing’s sarcoma and lymphoblastic leukemia. 
  • Doctors and surgeons in Spain follow a holistic approach to treatment and patient care. They are actively involved in all stages of the treatment, right from the evaluation to post-procedure recovery. 
  • The scenic beauty of Spain is another factor that is helping in the growth of the medical tourism industry. 

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Simran Bahia

Written By Simran Bahia

Simran Bahia is an experienced content writer with extensive research experience in Immunology and Reproductive Biology. Simran received her Bachelors in Life Sciences from Delhi University, followed by a Master's in Immunology from the Amity Institute of Virology and Immunology. Combining her love for science and writing, Simran enjoys putting a spin on standard methods of medical writing.
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.
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