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Travel Tip: Medical Tourism Explained

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For the past several years, we’ve been hearing about the brave new world of medical tourism—or traveling abroad for medical procedures at a fraction of the price without sacrificing quality of care.

Traditionally, countries like Thailand and Singapore have been known as medical tourism destinations. Well, now you also want to look at Malaysia. In 2011, more than 300,000 international patients came to Penang for treatments, including cosmetic and dental surgery.

Hospitals in Taiwan have been on the cutting edge of transplant surgery, cancer treatments and preventative programs.

In fact, preventative screenings are the next big thing in international care. They’re usually non-invasive, so you can combine a thorough health screening with a vacation. Seoul National University in South Korea is known for its comprehensive screenings, which includes full blood workups, MRIs, and hearing and visual exams.

Bottom line: No matter where you travel, consult your doctor, and make sure the facility has been accredited by the Joint Commission International, or is affiliated with a U.S.-based institution.

Talk to an on-site coordinator who can walk you through the entire procedure, including—and this is important—post-care follow up.

For more information, visit the Medical Tourism archives.

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