The Ultimate Guide to Medical Tourism: 50+ Resources

By Hannah Watson

With the cost of healthcare in America on the rise and long waiting lists for treatment in some socialized healthcare systems, those in need of medical treatment have begun to look elsewhere for their procedures. This trend, which is growing especially fast among the uninsured and underinsured in America, can mean savings of sometimes around 80%. People are taking advantage of American-trained physicians in high quality, luxury hospitals in countries such as Thailand, India, and Costa Rica and may include anything from lifesaving surgical procedures to cosmetic surgery to complex dentistry. These resources will help you find out more about medical tourism through articles, blogs, online guides, videos and podcasts.

Background and the Basics

Learn how the trend of medical tourism has caught on in recent years and what it is all about with these articles.

  1. Medical Tourism: Everybody’s Guide to Affordable World-Class Medical Travel. Learn about why medical tourism is such a growing trend and find out about one man’s decision to get dental work done in Mexico.
  2. Medical Tourism. Time Magazine explores the ways in which medical tourism has evolved and gives examples of world-wide facilities offering medical treatment to foreigners and current guidelines put in place by organizations such as the AMA.
  3. Medical Tourism Growing Worldwide. This article provides information on why medical tourism is growing and also provides information on the qualifications of the physicians and health care facilities that participate.
  4. Medical tourism agencies take operations overseas. CNN Money takes a look at medical tourism from a business perspective in this article.
  5. Employers make a push for ‘medical tourism’. Another CNN Money article, this one explores why employers are offering to help fund overseas treatment for their employees.
  6. Medical Tourism: Seeking Affordable Healthcare Overseas. This article looks at the development of medical tourism, benefits and risks, and impacts on economic health.
  7. Medical Tourism. This article–and accompanying photos–follows two young foreigners in Thailand who are seeking medical treatment and offers a peek into what it’s like to participate in medical treatment in Bangkok.
  8. Medical Tourism: The Big Picture. Healthbeat blog takes a close look at medical tourism in this post that informs about benefits, risks, and how it may affect healthcare of the future.
  9. Vacation, Adventure and Surgery?. This piece from 60 Minutes was written in 2005, but provides an excellent look at exactly why people are choosing to get their procedures done abroad.
  10. Saving on Surgery by Going Abroad. This in depth look at getting surgery overseas also offers photos and videos.
  11. Booming trend is standard operating procedure. This article provides background and explanation behind the trend and includes video as well.

More Specifically

From the top five destinations for medical tourism to insurance coverage of overseas procedures to a round-table discussion of professionals in the industry, these articles take a closer look at some issues of medical tourism.

  1. Top 5 Medical Tourism Destinations. Learn which five destinations are the most popular for medical tourism and why with this article from NuWire Investor.
  2. Operating profit. The Economist explores not only why medical tourism is taking off, but the implications this trend may have for health care treatment in America as well.
  3. Crossing the healthcare border. Read this interview with Josef Woodman, the author of Patients Without Borders to see what he says about medical tourism.
  4. Q&A: Preparing for a Surgery Abroad. From NPR, this primer lets you know what you should do prior to having surgery done overseas.
  5. Healthy Travels. Learn about some of the companies behind the medical tourism industry with this article from Entrepreneur.com.
  6. Medical Tourism: The Insurance Debate. As many people are participating in medical tourism as a way to cut costs for procedures, insurance agencies are beginning to cover treatment abroad. This article takes a brief look at the insurance companies’ involvement in this trend.
  7. As Medical Tourism Grows, Hold On We’re In For a Wild Ride. Bob Watcher writes about how medical tourism is currently affecting and will continue to affect health care in the US in his post on The Health Care Blog.
  8. Medical Travel. This round-table discussion brings five professionals together to look at medical travel and how it is shaping health care.

Online Guides

These online guides cover everything you could want to learn about medical tourism and are a great place to begin your research.

  1. Medical Tourism Guide. This site offers an overview of medical tourism as well as some helpful information on researching a doctor’s credentials, pros and cons of medical tourism, and some cosmetic surgery myths.
  2. Discover Medical Tourism. Find out what procedures are commonly done abroad, where clients typically go for treatment, and more on this guide that covers everything from surgery to alternative medicine.
  3. OnlineMedicalTourism.com. Learn about popular procedures done abroad, get hospital listings, and read about a number of topics related to medical tourism at this site.

Blogs

Read these blogs for the latest in news and more to find out the latest trends and information about medical tourism.

  1. Health Tourism. Take a look behind the scenes of medical tourism with this blog that focuses on the business of medical tourism as well as the trend as a whole.
  2. Medical Tourism Blog. It doesn’t appear that this blog is being updated any longer, but it does provide helpful information for those looking to read about medical tourism and some of the options available.
  3. Premiere Medical Travel Blog. Written by Dr. James McCormick, this blog focuses on the news and information about developments in medical travel.
  4. Medical Tourism Blog. Learn about hip surgery, organ transplant, and more on this blog from WorldMedAssist.
  5. Medical Tourism News and Views. Find the latest in news and information about particular procedures done abroad in this blog.
  6. The Bridge. From BridgeHealth International, learn about some of the people prominent in medical tourism as well as news and information at this blog.
  7. Wellness & Medical Travel. From 10 Steps to Planning You Medical Holiday to the current environment in specific countries catering to medical tourism, this blog keeps you updated on traveling for medical reasons with an emphasis on Asia.
  8. Medical Tourism Blog. This rather new blog focuses on medical treatment in Latin American countries and offers advice, tips, and reviews.

Associations and Groups that Facilitate Medical Tourism

While there are a number of groups willing to help patients looking to combine health care treatment and travel, here is a sampling of those available.

  1. Medical Tourism Association. This association is the first organized to help both physicians and patients who are participating or anticipating medical procedures abroad.
  2. Medical Tourism. Working to connect physicians and patients for international health care, this group works to provide an opportunity for connections between care providers and clients in an independent and confidential manner.
  3. MedRetreat. Not only does this company work to provide world-class international health care, their site also provides plenty of information to help make the decision to have your medical procedures done abroad.
  4. Healthbase. Healthbase uses only top-quality physicians and hospitals in their network and also rely on customer feedback to ensure the caliber of care.
  5. Healism.com. This group offers plenty of information about medical tourism and even offers blogs, forums, and FAQs to help you get the most information possible when making important decisions about your health care treatment abroad.
  6. Medical Tourism Corporation. Find out about the process, get free estimates, and read this company’s blog before making the decision to get your treatment over seas.
  7. MediTravels. Explore medical care in several countries, find information about the procedures, and more with this company that works to make health care treatment abroad work for you.
  8. MedTourism Review. While this site does require that your contact them directly for specifics on providers, it offers a huge amount of information on medical tourism as well as a look at treatment in six countries.
  9. WorldMedAssist. Specializing in end-to-end assistance for clients, this group relies on high-quality physicians and hospitals, excellent service from the planning stages to coordination with service providers, and even travel arrangements.
  10. IndiaHealthVisit.com. Offering travel specifically to India for health care treatment, this group also provides plenty of information about receiving medical care in India.
  11. BestMed Journeys. This company specializes in travel to India for medical care and also provides video blogs, forums, and more to help ensure you are an informed participant in your medical journey.

Podcasts and Videos

From personal accounts to new reports to discussions and interviews on the radio, these podcasts and videos offer perspectives on medical tourism.

  1. Insurance Industry Watches ‘Medical Tourism’. This podcast from NPR explores medical tourism and why the insurance industry is so interested in it.
  2. Contact Talk Radio. Listen to this stream about Josef Woodman and his experience with medical tourism that lead to his writing his book on the topic.
  3. Podcast interview with Josef Woodman, author of Patients Without Borders. Here is another interview with Josef Woodman, a popular speaker on the topic of medical travel.
  4. Medical Tourism Industry. This video from ABC Money Matters details why people are choosing to travel abroad for their health care procedures.
  5. Medical Travel – Limited Health Insurance? Cheap and best cardia. Watch this video to learn why two men chose to go abroad for bypass surgery and an extensive dental procedure.
  6. Ask an expert: Medical tourism. This selection of video clips offers information and answers to many popular questions about medical tourism.
  7. Thailands Medical Tourism. Learn about traveling to Thailand for medical treatment from this video courtesy of CBS News.
  8. Medical Tourism. This podcast offers a cautionary warning to those considering plastic surgery abroad to ensure they are selecting a treatment facility that will not leave them regretting to go abroad for their surgery.
  9. Medical Tourism Podcast. Listen to this podcast for an overview of receiving medical treatment abroad along with the specific criteria used by Medical Tourism Corporation for selecting top quality care providers.
  10. Medical Tourism–It’s No Vacation. Examine the ethical issues surrounding medical tourism and learn some downsides to medical tourism in this podcast provided by CedarEthics, a bioethics and Christian-based blog.
  11. Medical Tourism. From The Powerful Patient radio program, listen to this podcast that explores medical tourism, including employers paying for medical treatment abroad.
  12. Podcast interview with International Medical Travel Association President, Dr. Steven Tucker. Dr. Tucker is the Medical Director of West Clinic Singapore and an American-trained oncologist, and he discusses the future of medical travel and his hopes for International Medical Travel Association’s shaping of this future.

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