Medical tourism has become a bit of a buzz word of late. As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket in the U.S. and routine elective care being expensive in most Western-countries, this has opened up the possibility for developing countries with high quality standards to cater to medical tourists.
I don’t know a ton, but I think The Philippines, Thailand, and India are the leaders in this niche, but I’m sure there are others.
For example, more than half of my Czech cousin’s clients (he’s a dentist) are German. He lives near the German border, learned German, and can treat Germans at a fraction of the cost they’d experience at home.
When in Budapest, Hungary, I remember seeing advertisements targeting the British to come to Budapest for the weekend and get their elective dental things taken care of. This could be a root canal, crowns, or even cleanings.
Why does this work?
Imagine. Let’s say a root canal in London costs $3000. Let’s say a root canal costs $1000 in Budapest. Having your root canal treated in Hungary would essentially be free. The flight and accommodation and dental care would still be cheaper than having the root canal in London.
Luckily, I’m quite healthy and have no need for any expensive procedures. But I did need a teeth cleaning. I planned to have this taken care of in Thailand, but when I changed my plan to head to The Philippines I figured I might as well just wait until The Philippines.
When I got to Cebu I went to two dentists and both charged 400 Pesos ($9.50) for a cleaning. In all three cases, those were the minimum prices. If the teeth were excessively dirty it would cost more.
It made sense that the cleaning was more expensive in Cebu. I had it done in the center of the city where rent is higher and the clientele wealthier.
Still, it was a bargain for me. I went to RnB Dental Clinic (They’ve got soul…I guess) and the cleaning went perfectly. My teeth are well-maintained so it only cost 400 Pesos and I was good to go! Below some pictures.
So, as with anything in the medical world, you have to be careful. But I hope I’ve opened your eyes to other possibilities when it comes to medical care – possibly combining a medical procedure with the pleasure of traveling!