Travel Tips

Medical Tourism: Why More Americans Are Traveling for Affordable Healthcare

medical tourismAmerican spends more on healthcare than any other nation so perhaps it’s no surprise that more than 900,000 uninsured or under-insured Americans will travel outside the U.S. for medical care this year.

Consider this, a heart bypass is $11,400 in Malaysia, but costs $144,000 in the U.S. A hip replacement costs $6,500 in Colombia, compared to $50,000 in the U.S. And it’s not just about the cost of the treatment, it’s the care offered. In Panama, you’ll find stem cell treatments for conditions like arthritis that’s not offered in the States.

Even though costs are lower, quality of care is thought to be the same. Many doctors were trained in the U.S. and work at places affiliated with major hospitals like Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic.

It’s not just about the cost, it’s also the aftercare that takes place after the surgery is done. In Panama, the Hospital Punta Pacifica offers aftercare with a private nurse and recovery time at a nearby resort like the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower.

As medical care abroad continues to trump most American providers in cost and service, it’s no surprise that medical tourism has become one of the fastest-growing segments in the travel industry. Watch Peter Greenberg’s CBS This Morning report to find out who are these medical tourists, where are they traveling and what procedures are being done.

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