Top 20 Countries for Health Tourism

You probably know that many people around the globe are seeking high-quality health services at a lower rate. That’s because of the continuous upsurge in health care costs, particularly in the most developed countries. More than eight million individuals travel beyond their nation’s borders every year, looking for more affordable health care.

Note that this booming travel trend is called health tourism. The trend is fueled by people who are not able to receive the quality health care they need in their home countries at an economical price. Fortunately, many countries have developed extensive and latest health care facilities with minimal cost, reducing the financial burden on patients.

So, before you grab your passport, make sure you do some research on which countries provide the best health care experiences. Whether you are looking for a surgical procedure at an affordable cost or top-notch medical services, here are the top 20 destinations for health tourism:

1. Brazil

Did you know that Brazil is one of the leading destinations in the world for individuals looking for cosmetic treatments? The country boasts more than 4,500 fully-licensed cosmetic surgeons. And this makes Brazil one of the most popular destinations for cosmetic surgery. As Brazil is the hub of plastic and cosmetic surgery, it offers high-quality cosmetic and surgical services.

You can avail these services at reasonable rates, which is excellent. Note that costs for plastic surgery in Brazil can be up to 60 percent lower than in Western countries. Moreover, surgeons in Brazil can handle almost any procedure you can think of to offer a multitude of services.

2. Malaysia

While most patients in Malaysia belong to the United States or Canada, the country is another popular destination for foreign travelers from Asian countries. Thanks to a large English-speaking population in Malaysia, many Americans and Canadians consider it to be the ideal country for medical care. Malaysia has more advanced medical facilities than rival Singapore and offers treatments and surgical procedures at a lower cost. That is great news for foreign patients who either live or are visiting the country.

3. Thailand

Have you heard of the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok? The institution is one of the most famous hospitals in the world among health tourists. Most foreigners have been traveling to be treated in this hospital’s latest facilities for over two decades. Thailand is a leading health tourism destination for patients from Canada, the US, the Middle East, Laos, Europe, and Vietnam, among others.

4. Turkey

Annually, more than 700,000 foreigners choose Turkey as the best health tourism destination. Over the past decade, Turkish medical facilities and doctors have achieved world-class status because of hefty investments in the sector.

Also, note that Turkey is well-known for eye health specialists. The most expensive ocular procedure in the country will cost you about USD 5000, which is considerably lower than in most countries.

5. India

India is the land of Ayurveda, as well as yoga therapy. That’s one of the reasons why the country attracts medical tourists from around the globe. Health tourists from many countries visit India for cost-effective and reliable medical treatment. Some of these countries include Canada, Britain, and the U.S. India is especially famous in fields of fertility, cardiac, orthopedic, and oncology problems.

Bangalore’s Fortis Hospital boasts state-of-the-art surgery options for global health tourists. This hospital works directly with Western medical travel agents and helps patients continue their follow-up medical care at home. That makes India a great destination for patients seeking affordable healthcare services.

6. Costa Rica

Costa Rica ranks high in both cosmetic surgery and dentistry, above Canada and the US. Around 40,000 people visited the country last year solely for health tourism, and 15,000 of these travelers came for dental care. Did you know that Costa Rica is also building a name in the fields of cancer therapy, eye surgery, and bariatric surgery? The launch of advanced medical institutions, Costa Rica, is sure to rank among the top countries for health tourism.

7. Czech Republic

There is no doubt that the Czech Republic is an excellent option for healthcare in the European Union. The country offers many of the highly developed and sophisticated European services but at a low cost.

Most of the clinics are located in the nation’s culturally rich capital, Prague, often known as the City of Bridges. Almost all cosmetic surgery clinics in the Czech Republic have the latest medical technology and equipment.

8. America

The steep cost of healthcare in the US does not seem to hold back foreigners who have deep pockets. The availability of the latest medical technology and training opportunities for physicians and nurses are the driving motivators for the growing number of foreign patients traveling to the US for medical care.

The US healthcare system treats almost 800,000 foreign patients per year, according to Patients Beyond Borders. That’s proof enough to show how Americans are advancing in the healthcare sector.

9. Singapore

Did you know that Singapore offers more than 20 healthcare facilities certified by Joint Commission International? And this makes it one of the world’s best health tourism destinations.

While a little expensive, Singapore has some of the most advanced hospitals in the world. The country’s status as one of the freest economies in the world, and a highly developed country, has made Singapore a health tourism hub. This is especially true for both Asians and Westerners for years.

10. Panama

Panama is another top location for health tourism. The country’s private hospitals also offer outstanding medical care, many partnering with major hospitals in North America. International travelers can quickly get plans that include coverage not just in Panama but elsewhere and for a modest monthly rate. Isn’t that amazing!

11. South Korea

South Korea is perhaps one of the most technologically advanced and tech-savvy countries in the world. People travel to South Korea because it offers the best doctors, high-tech equipment, and state-of-the-art technology. In South Korea, foreign patients receive advanced healthcare services with the latest technology from well-trained and experienced staff.

12. Mexico

Did you know that Mexico has 98 hospitals accredited by the country’s Federal Health Ministry? Mexico is close to the US. With many options for receiving high-quality medical treatment, you can expect excellent care at a lower cost. All major cities in Mexico, such as Tijuana and Mexico City, have good quality medical institutions. Moreover, seven hospitals are JCI-accredited, which is another plus.

13. Israel

The MTI (Medical Tourism Index) ranked Israel highest in a recent survey of 25 of the most popular destinations for health tourism for care, services, and best patient experiences. Note that medical tourists come to the country for a variety of therapies and surgical treatments.

Some of these treatments include bone marrow transplants, catheterization, heart surgery, oncological and neurological treatments.

14. France

Thanks to new technology as well as associated processes, medical and surgical treatments in France are of an extremely high standard. Hence, the country offers excellent value for money to most international visitors.

According to the World Health Organization, France is not only a popular tourist destination, but it also has the world’s leading health care system.

15. South Africa

South Africa is another great option for receiving excellent healthcare services as it boasts world-class hospitals and medical institutions. For example, African travelers come to South Africa for therapeutic treatments because of the country’s advanced infrastructure and medical technology.

16. UAE

The United Arab Emirates is another popular destination in Asia for health tourism. The Dubai Health authority has spearheaded health tourism into the UAE, particularly Dubai. Most inbound tourism is from African countries, such as Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda.

17. Taiwan

In recent years, Taiwan has experienced a gradual and steady expansion in health tourism. Taiwan is undoubtedly on the verge of becoming a hub in various medical fields, such as cardiac diseases and orthopedic conditions.

18. Serbia

Did you know that Serbia has a variety of clinics and hospitals that cater to medical tourists in many areas? Some of these services include cosmetic surgery, fertility treatment, dental care, and weight loss procedures. And that is not all; the country is also one of the major international hubs for gender reassignment surgery. That’s why people come to Serbia from all over the world.

19. Germany

Germany is another popular destination for health travelers, mainly from Europe. Germany’s high quality of care, quick access to specialists, and strict ethical standards make it an attractive destination for people who want to improve their quality of life. Medical care in the country has a tremendous cost-to-quality ratio.

Germany may not be the most economical medical destination worldwide. Still, the cost of health care in Germany is considerably lower than in many other developed countries, such as the US and the UK.

20. Finland

Besides offering the cleanest air you can breathe, Finland promises high-quality and comprehensive healthcare, from primary health services to specialized medical care. Moreover, the great thing about the Finnish health care system is that it is open for everyone who comes from outside of the European Union. Popular healthcare services include special child health care and maternity clinics.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the top 20 countries that offer the best medical and healthcare facilities, you can choose the destination that fits your needs and budget. All the countries we mentioned in this list are famous for their expert medical staff, hi-tech equipment, and advanced hospitals.

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