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What is the Best Country for Medical Tourism?

by Ingeborg

Healthcare costs are on a steady rise for decades now, forcing many people to search for solutions in foreign countries. Some of these destinations probably never crossed your mind when you thought about your medical issues, but many can offer you the same healthcare while sparing you from crippling medical bills. Many Westerners found that they can get the same quality procedures done without ending up with a lifetime debt that often goes into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Countries that you would ordinarily consider to be underdeveloped and on the margins of the technology progress can actually offer you quality care with English-speaking medical staff. Here are some fantastic options to think about.


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India has become the hot spot for medical tourism in the past years. Many Indian doctors have college degrees from western countries like the UK and the US and are now practicing medicine in their home country. Healthcare costs are around 10% of what you would pay in the US without compromising the quality of the staff or the procedures done. Yes, believe it. Bypass surgeries cost $10,000 instead of well over $100,000 in Western countries. Other successful procedures include, but are not limited to, hip replacement, and a bone-marrow transplant. English was the official language in India, so patients from English-speaking territories will have no problems communicating. In case you come from other areas of the world, every hospital in India has translators for every widely speaking language, especially for people from Europe. Indian government recognized the potential of medical tourism and started easing the entrance requirements. The US citizens still need a visa to enter though, which costs $70.


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Turkey is another top destination for medical tourism. Medical professionals from Turkey specialized for look-enhancing procedures like Estepera hair clinic where you can get a hair transplant lead by the top doctors and staff. Plastic surgery, dental practices, and eye surgeries are booming in Turkey as many people flock to take care of their cosmetic and health issues. The most expensive surgery is only a few thousand dollars, which is way below the cost in some western countries. Many doctors in Turkey hold college degrees from reputable European and American universities, so you’ll be in safe hands.


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Thailand has been flooded by medical tourists for decades now with the steady growth of 20% yearly. Cosmetic and non-elective surgeries have been at the core of medical tourism. Plastic surgery costs are a dime on a dollar, and medical staff is mostly trained in Singapore and the US. The vast majority speak excellent English, including nurses and technicians. Thai government builds hospitals that look a lot like Mayo clinics, so you can imagine the quality of care. All the latest technology is implemented in surgical procedures and after-care. Locals recommend staying in Bangkok hospital instead of going into smaller ones along the coastline. Thailand takes special care about medical tourists to ensure a highly satisfactory experience, and hopefully to bring them back or earn a recommendation for future patients.


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Malaysian medical tourism is so well developed that the country has over half a million tourists every year coming for different procedures. Their doctors are famous for helping burn victims with the latest, and sometimes controversial, procedures with great success. IVF is one more successful story coming from Malaysia, where the whole procedure costs 80% less than it would in the US, for example. There are specialized agencies that provide foreigners with full-service packages, from flight tickets to accommodations, help with choosing the hospital and doctors based on their reputations and success in certain surgery procedures, as well as the aftercare. Don’t worry about the language barrier, since everyone speaks very well English, and for those folks who don’t, translators are waiting in each hospital and clinic. In case you find yourself in Malaysia on a vacation, you might as well do your yearly physical exam, since it costs several hundred dollars, including lab. There is nothing not to love when it comes to healthcare in this Asian country. Even with the travel expense, you will still save thousands for every procedure you need.


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Not the cheapest option in Asia, but certainly the best. Singapore’s health system is in 6th place in the world. That tells a lot. Hospitals are a bit more expensive than in Thailand or Malaysia, but they offer stellar service, and top-notch doctors and nurses. Singapore doctors have become famous for having great success when it comes to treating cancer patients. The healthcare bill is still going to be around 70% less than it would be anywhere in the US. Gleneagles Hospital is ranked as one of the best in the world, so you can start by researching the specialists and staff. Get this – one US company had the policy of paying their employees for surgeries in Singapore, paid costs of the procedures as well as the trip expenses. So, if you don’t believe us, believe in corporate America. Singapore is the most developed country for much cheaper health procedures.

Having a medical issue doesn’t have to mean dealing with a ton of debt for decades. You do have an option, many options, that is. Even some western doctors recommend their patients to search for other solutions outside the borders of their country. Foreign doctors are just as educated, experienced, and skilled as their western counterparts. There is no reason to be suspicious or afraid to go abroad and have surgery there. Some western medical systems backed by the pharmaceutical industry will try to scare you off by publicizing horror stories from overseas about medical treatments. The fact is, Singapore for example, has the lowest mortality rate in the world when it comes to cosmetic procedures. So, don’t panic or be put off by the marketing tricks. You can have surgery with phenomenal aftercare, for the fraction of the price. And once you get better maybe you can stay a bit longer and have a vacation. You will still have money left on your account.