The emergence of low cost airlines over the last 10 years has really opened up a huge number of opportunities to save money. This not only applies to picking up more affordable holidays – people have used these budget flights to find incredible deals on everything from cars to furniture. But in recent years there’s been a new kind of money saving tourism which is becoming more popular – medical tourism.
Primarily based on cosmetic procedures such as cosmetic dentistry or cosmetic surgery, people are finding that they can save a small fortune by travelling overseas for bigger procedures. The cost of treatment can vary wildly from country to country, and even from city to city in the UK. For example, the cost of teeth whitening in Glasgow is a far different price to what you’d pay for the same treatment in Essex. Travelling just a few hundred miles can often mean hundreds of pound in savings.
Several central European countries are gradually becoming extremely popular for cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic surgery, with people flying from all over the world to have various treatments. Hungary, Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic are all proving popular with Europeans and North Americans, to the point where many local practices in the UK and USA are referring patients to European clinics that they have endorsed or funded themselves.
If the standard of care being provided in these clinics and hospitals is up to scratch, which for the most part appears to be the case, then it’s hard to argue with people looking to save huge amounts of money. With many procedures running in to thousands of pounds, even a saving of 30% can make it feasible to travel and stay abroad rather than have the treatment at home.
Personally, I’m all for medical tourism as long as proper research is carried out by the patient before committing to a procedure. What do you think? Is medical tourism a good idea?