5 Booming Medical Tourism Destinations To Look Out For

Medical Tourism Destinations
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  • 12 Dec, 2016

Medical tourism brings in a net $60 billion annually in developing countries each year. About 750,000 US citizens travel abroad each year for medical care and around 63,000 UK citizens travel abroad each year for medical treatment as well. 2% of the Canadian population, and about 1% of the German population also follow the same suit each year.

1) India


Procedures in the dental field in USD ($) for India are by far cheaper than the treatments available in the US. In India, a complete set of dentures is tagged at about $800 US dollars, implants with crowns at about $600, veneer at about $140, a root canal at about $80, and cleaning and bonding runs about $25.

India has become quite a “hot spot” of its own as it is now viewed as one of the fastest emerging tourist destinations in Asia. With its existing JCI accredited 27 hospitals in 5 cities and with around 70 more in the works to become accredited in the future, India alone receives about 1,80,000 – 2,00,000 medical tourists annually. As of October 2015 medical tourism is an annual $3 billion industry in India. India is one of the lowest cost and highest qualities of healthcare in the developing world. Procedures in India cost, on average, about 10% of what they would in the USA. Travel visas to get medical care in India are relatively easy to obtain while cost is low. For example, a heart bypass in India is around $7,000, while in the US one would pay about $1.3 million for that same service. Language barriers are also no issue as most medical experts in India speak fluent English.

2) Thailand


Procedures in the dental field for Thailand in US dollars are relatively reasonable as well. A full set of dentures run about $900, implants with crowns $1700, veneer costs about $240, root canals cost about $120, fillings are about $50, and cleaning and bonding run about $80.

Thailand has about 52 JCI accredited hospitals across the country. It receives about 700,000 medical tourists seeking treatment annually. Many tourists arrive from places like Qatar, Bahrain, Omen, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. As of 2013, GCC countries let people enter Thailand for up to 90 days without even requiring a visa for medical treatments. Japan, China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh are also all big contributors to Thailand’s massive growing medical tourism industry.

Thailand has more affordable, yet sophisticated healthcare treatments available. This advanced treatment drives people to seek healthcare there at a more affordable rate. 60% of all medical treatments done in Thailand are either cosmetic or dental and the rest 40% are for orthopedic or cardiothoracic procedures.

3) Mexico


Medical procedures in the dental field in Mexico in US dollars are also relatively reasonable. However, costs are a little higher in Mexico than India or Thailand. A full set of dentures runs $1200, implants with crowns with $900, veneer costs about $365, a root canal runs around $315, a filling costs about $40, and a cleaning and bonding is about $70.

Mexico is a great North American location for Canadians and Americans to visit as it is the closest foreign medical destination currently available on the continent. Being in North America makes it much more accessible to people because they can fly there relatively quickly. This means Mexico is at most a 2-6 hour flight away for Americans and/or Canadians.

There are 9 JCI certified institutes in Mexico City primarily offering oncology, dentistry, cosmetic surgery, and gastroenterology procedures. Many healthcare professionals in these JCI certified institutes have studied in either the US or the UK. There is virtually no waiting period for care in this country, as compared to that in the US or Canada.

Costs are exponentially cheaper as well. For example, a heart bypass surgery in Mexico can be done for $27,000 and in the US it’s about $144,000. Though Spanish is the main language in Mexico, most healthcare professionals speak fluent English as well.

4) Malaysia:


Medical procedures in Malaysia are slowly gaining an edge over Asia’s long-established destinations such as Singapore and Thailand. There are currently 8 JCI accredited hospitals in Malaysia. The number of medical tourists visiting Malaysia has escalated from 6.41 million people in 2011 to almost 8.5 million people in 2015. Most medical tourists here come from Indonesia, where quality is healthcare is much more scarce. Countries like Kazakhstan, Libya, and Oman have government-to-government contracts to send medical tourists to Malaysia for treatment.

5) Costa Rica


Procedures in the dental field in Costa Rica in US dollars are much more reasonable than it is in the US for such treatment. Medical tourism in Costa Rica has been strengthening in the recent years as many people come here to seek better care. A full set of dentures runs about $1,000, implants with crowns is around $800, veneer is about $350, root canals cost about $250, fillings are about $60, and cleaning and bonding is even less.

Medical procedures in Costa Rica focus quite heavily on plastic surgery, but other procedures are available as well. About 36% of the tourists today are after dental work (especially implants), 15% for obesity-related surgeries, and 12% for plastic surgeries. Costs in Costa Rica run about 25-60% of what they would be in the US. For a heart bypass surgery, one can save $75,000 over US costs. A legitimate visa for 30-90 days can be obtained depending on where one is traveling from. The USA does not require visas to travel to Costa Rica for medical treatment either. Sophisticated healthcare professionals provide excellent care, and draw more people to visit Costa Rica for treatment.


Places like India, Thailand, and Mexico have some of the best medical tourism hospitals available. These are also some of the best places for dental tourism. These places can provide some of the highest-quality, best medical tourism destinations for foreign travelers seeking care abroad.

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