10 Best Countries for Medical Tourism

In the last decade, medical tourism has hit the tipping point as a viable alternative to overpriced domestic procedures. Why buy a $3,000 dental crown treatment in the United States when you can get the same thing–plus a flight, hotel, and fun tourism opportunities–for less in Hungary?

Here are the 10 best countries for medical tourism, ranked by appeal, specialties, and popularity:

10. Lithuania

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If you’re interested in latest-craze stem cell treatment, look to the Baltics for treatment. Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which helps cancer patients and people with blood diseases, is all the rage in Vilnius, the capitol of Lithuania. They also do more mundane treatments, like gastric bypass and back surgery.

9. Turkey

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Every year, nearly 200,000 people head to Turkey for eye treatments like Lasik surgery. Once your new peepers are intact, tourism companies bus you around to see beautiful sites, like the Blue Mosque. Sounds like a deal!

8. India

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Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, and meditation have long been staples of Indian health tourism. Now, millions of people are also taking annual “dental holidays” to India because quality procedures can be as much as 10 times cheaper than at home. For example, a root canal only costs about $100.

7. Israel

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Israel is famous for its low-cost cancer treatment centers. Once that marrow transplant takes, you can recover with special therapies that use Dead Sea mineral salts. Much of the population speaks English–an added bonus.

6. Costa Rica

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Costa Ricans are famous for growing old gracefully. Now we know why: Costa Rica is leading the world in what they like to call “age management” in beautifully-located “medical spas.”

5. Hungary

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Austrians and Germans have been crossing the border here to get work done for years. German influence and an influx of former healthcare professionals have contributed to Hungary’s state-of-the-art medical technology. Dental procedures, from crowns to root canals, cost 40-60% less than western prices. Apparently, the anaesthesia is world class–but you probably won’t remember.

4. Egypt

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Prices for plastic surgery in Egypt are 60-70% lower than corresponding treatments in the US or UK. A thigh liposuction, for example, is done for a mere $260 in Egypt. The same procedure can cost up to $2,000 in the US and $3,000 in the UK.

3. South Africa

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South Africa specializes in medical safaris. You visit the country for a safari, make a stopover for plastic surgery, and get the chance to see lions and elephants. The first human heart transplant was performed here in 1967, so quality shouldn’t be of concern.

2. Malaysia

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Malaysia’s quality of care, low prices, and beautiful beaches attract customers seeking a range of treatments. You can get your knee replaced, face lifted, and cataracts removed, then spend hours recovering on the serene beach.

1. Thailand

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Thailand’s King Bhumipol’s father, Prince Mahidol, made it his life’s work to modernize the healthcare system in Thailand. During his time, he convinced the Rockefeller Foundation to fund an American medical education for a group of Thai men and women, leading to the creation of one of the world’s best medical systems. Phuket, Thailand is world renowned for “aesthetic” plastic surgery procedures such as otoplasty and blepharoplasty-your ears and eyelids will look stunning.

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Comments

  1. Christian's Gravatar Comment by Christian on March 3rd, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    This is nice. I could use a little Costa Rica right about now :)

  2. Rowan Trayler's Gravatar Comment by Rowan Trayler on March 3rd, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Malaysia was fantastic! Quality of care was incredibly high with modern hospitals and world class doctors. Medical Tourists should consider going to Malaysia for treatmnet.

  3. dale lobo's Gravatar Comment by dale lobo on March 9th, 2009 at 5:28 am

    of late,India is making news for a number of things.India is the birth place of most alternative medicine techniques including the celebrity favorite YOGA.to read more about India and its relatedness to medical tourism visit http://www.healthtourismnews.com/2009/03/07/patient-outsourcing-through-medical-tourism/ and other posts form http://www.healthtourismnews.com

  4. Angela's Gravatar Comment by Angela on March 12th, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    thank you for information ~
    The winner is Thailand wow

  5. Dent Inn Dental Clinic's Gravatar Comment by Dent Inn Dental Clinic on November 13th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Nepal is coming up in dental tourism. Highly recommended tourist destination – plus a high standard of dentistry.

  6. Prom's Gravatar Comment by Prom on November 20th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thailand medical facilities are surprising plush in high technology, cleanliness, and professional staffs. I didn’t get to do much for sight seeing, but the medical care part was just outstanding! Highly reccommended for those seeking quality. English speaking staffs is a big plus!

  7. Craig Coup's Gravatar Comment by Craig Coup on December 28th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I’ve often traveled to Peru for pleasure, I never thought that I would change from having all my dental work done in the states to having it done in Peru. It only took one visit due to a broken molar for me to decide to make the change. The doctors and his team, (http://www.limadentalpartners.com/) put me right at ease and did an excellent job in repairing my molar. Not only did they provide a crown for that one tooth, I’ve now been back a second time for a root canal and an additional crown. Everything from the office, staff and doctors will put you at ease.
    Never traveled to Peru? This is your chance to visit an amazing country with so many things to offer along with getting all those dental procedures done that you’ve been putting off. More than likely, the savings will pay for your trip!

  8. Johnny's Gravatar Comment by Johnny on March 3rd, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Romania is an quickly growing medical tourism destination. I’m surprised it’s not listed, great services, and with it being in the EU the standards of the west apply to all the procedures. I’ve found these guys seem genuine. http://www.qdays.com . And they’re not a clinic, they seem to have access to some great looking clinics in both dental and eye-care medicine.

  9. American fed up with US “healthcare”'s Gravatar Comment by American fed up with US "healthcare" on July 6th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I had an inguinal hernia, uninsured, and the cheapest doctors in the US wanted 10 grand to repair it. After extensive research, I had it done, with wire mesh, the highest quality repair- done by pro athletes, for $2200 in Bogota, Colombia. This was over a year ago.. The scar has nearly faded completely, Ive had no pain, no issues.. Hell- there wasnt even bleeding afterwards, and I was walking in 3 days.

    America is broken. Greed has corrupted our medical system. I will never have surgery done in the states again, unless I have absolutely no choice to save my life.

  10. Way2Lithuania's Gravatar Comment by Way2Lithuania on November 3rd, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Lithuania is one of the best destinatyions for meical tourism for sure. Check it out http://www.way2lithuania.com/en/travel-lithuania/medical-services-and-prices
    quality is the same as in western countries, but prices are like in Asian countries. And Lithuania is really close, there are many direct flights to Vilnius and Kaunas from all over the Europe. That makes sence. Especially cheap flights to Kaunas.

  11. Claude's Gravatar Comment by Claude on December 13th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I feel the same way as “American fed up with US healthcare”, except that is how I have come to feel about healthcare in Britain. Elective surgery is incomparably cheaper abroad, while waiting times on surgery that we may qualify for are so ridiculously long that going overseas is a no-brainer. Even before you factor in the rampant MRSA bugs…

  12. Confused:('s Gravatar Comment by Confused:( on January 6th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Thinking of doing plastic surgery but still don’t know if it’s safe to make it before i ll have children coz operation like rib removing and brest … really don’t know. I mean im not planning to have a family now so shall i wait or it ll be fine? Please, need good advice from elder ppl

  13. stephanie's Gravatar Comment by stephanie on January 19th, 2011 at 3:04 am

    It depends on the type of surgery that you are looking for, but procedures like breast augmentation will not affect your ability to have children, breast feed or put them in harms way. My only advice however would be that for surgeries like tummy tuck and breast lifting, you should wait until after you start a family because chances are after the birth of your first child you will put on weight in those places and reduce the esthetic value from the surgery.

    If there is a specific surgery that you are actually looking for let me know so that I can consult with the doctors and give you specific advice.

    I hope this helps!

  14. Iboga's Gravatar Comment by Iboga on March 14th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Mexico should be on this list. You can find excellent healthcare for standard procedures such as bariatric surgery, plastic surgery, dental treatments and even some therapies which are not available elsewhere such as ibogaine treatment. Please visit this website for more information:

    http://www.ibogaine-treatment.com

    Thanks

  15. Martin's Gravatar Comment by Martin on May 2nd, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I thought Costa Rica was the number 1 place to do this types of treatments, southamerica seems to be THE place to start.

  16. Mokchi's Gravatar Comment by Mokchi on July 31st, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Malaysia sucks. They steal land from Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, and Thailand.

  17. Lisa's Gravatar Comment by Lisa on November 15th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Medical tourism is a great alternative to those seeking high quality health care, compassionate medical personnel and tranquil recovery locales- all for a phenomenal package price!! Please contact me at passporttohealth@yahoo.com if you are interested in more information. Cheers!

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