US healthcare costs have reached an all time high over the last decade. While medical procedures aren’t getting any cheaper, quality of care seems to have lost its place as the pinnacle of the healthcare industry. Patients are no longer the focal points of US hospitals, clinics, and medical practitioners. Many patients have taken it into their own hands to seek medical care elsewhere throughout the world. The US is now heading towards being the largest supplier of ‘medical tourists’ worldwide.
Today, there are an estimated 8 million patients who are seeking cross-border treatment and make up a medical tourism market of approximately $40 Billion (USD), according to Patients Beyond Borders. It is expected that over 1 million of those patients will be US citizens traveling abroad to seek care elsewhere for a variety of reasons.
Why are so many Americans embarking on medical vacations across the globe? The fact is, almost 50 million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured and would opt to receive treatment in another country versus paying the high costs of the American healthcare system.
Most recently, there has been a huge increase in US patients seeking care in top healthcare destinations such as Brazil, Turkey, S.E Asia, and Europe. Though many of the treatments and care offered in these countries are offered here in the US, the main driving forces behind medical tourism are focused on cost of care and quality provided. Not only do these other countries offer the same procedures at a cheaper price, they also work towards creating a suitable business environment for the healthcare industry.
As these countries vigorously market themselves as medical destinations flaunting top quality care, state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and most importantly low costs for out-of-pocket procedures, the US is battling its own healthcare crisis and struggling to contain rising costs. Why not take a page from our global partners’ book?
Though the US still ranks amongst the top global providers of medical care, there is a wide market of medical patients that the US could and should direct their way in order to regain the top spot as the worlds leading healthcare provider.
Take a look at the infographic provided, which breaks down the current worldwide medical tourism market…