Most popular destinations for medical travel

Medical tourism is a growing industry all over the world, but some countries are more renowned for their expertise in particular areas than others. Such popularity can signify a more advanced level of medical speciality meaning that – although it can be tempting to choose a clinic based on location alone – it is important to consider whether or not it will offer the maximum level of care.

So, where is best for what? We caught up with Ugur Samut, CEO and co-founder of MEDIGO – the leading online booking platform for safe medical travel – to find out.

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Hungary: Dental

Throughout history, Hungary has offered natural balms for ailed bodies in the form of mineral springs and spas in its capital, Budapest. Now, its medical specialities have become more specific, taking in dental patients from all over the world.

“A report by Healthcare Europa states that the country’s dental clinics account for 80% of all foreign patients to Hungary, not to mention 40% of the world’s dental tourists. Many patients visit from neighbouring German and Swiss cities, as well as Russia and the UK.”

The country’s quaint European charm is also beginning to attract American dental tourists.

Spain: IVF

The high cost of treatment and long waiting lists for IVF procedures in the UK mean that more and more people are going abroad to seek assistance with their fertility issues, and it seems Spain is the place to be.

“Spain has much more lenient laws compared to neighbouring countries when it comes to IVF, and the large proportion of donor eggs brings the cost of treatment down significantly. Their expertise in this field is second to none.”

Spain also has more gynaecological clinics than any other European country.

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Thailand: Cosmetic surgery

Although Seoul in South Korea is widely considered to be the world’s plastic surgery capital, Thailand is the most popular destination for minor cosmetic treatments.

“Nobody can deny Thailand’s reputation for cosmetic procedures. Customers who seek treatments here often combine treatment with a holiday – particularly Australian medical tourists because of the close proximity.”

In addition, Thailand is a very affordable medical destination, with many procedures costing 40% to 60% less than the same treatment in America and the EU.

Germany: Stem cell treatment

Despite its controversial nature, clinically-approved stem cell therapy is widely practiced in many countries – with Germany claiming the crown as the most popular location for this particular form of treatment.

“The country’s advanced healthcare facilities use the latest technology to treat conditions that include muscle tears, arthritis, and long-term orthopaedic problems, and its hospitals are always among the first to introduce new stem cell treatments with proven successful patient outcomes.”

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Turkey: Hair transplants & laser eye surgery

Although it is relatively easy to access hair and eye treatments across Europe, it seems that many people still feel the need to travel for the best treatment.

“The world-class health and medical treatments, spa and wellness, and cosmetic surgery are why many medical tourists gravitate towards Turkey. Indeed, it is estimated that 32% of Turkey’s patients are medical tourists. Package deals for laser eye surgery and hair transplants are most popular.”

Interestingly, the Turkish government actually offers flight discounts and other benefits for medical travellers visiting the country.

Of course, medical travel isn’t appropriate for everyone and it requires extensive research. If you are considering seeking treatment outside of the UK, always discuss your plans with your GP or dentist, who can advise on the best options for you.

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