A number of Americans around 500,000 of them flocked to hospitals in developing nation last year alone.
Those from the United States sought medical help in the developing countries to elude rising health costs. Those from Europe and Canada want to avoid long waits which clogged their health systems. People from the Middle East also go to Asia to seek better care and service.
Hospitals in Asia like Thailand, India, Philippines and Singapore were favorite destinations in the past for tummy tucks and face lifts. Recently, these hospitals have added heart surgery and back operations to their list.
Most doctors attending to the medical tourists needs are trained abroad particularly in US and Europe.
In US, the health care costs are soaring so high that businesses and insurance companies are seriously considering outsourcing health care. The premiums to be paid by US employers sponsoring health coverage have reached increased to as high as 87 percent in a span of six years.
Approximately 45 million Americans donâ€™t have health insurance coverage, further fueling the need for the inexpensive medical treatment in developing countries.
Critics however donâ€™t find this scenario acceptable. They believe that having a major surgery abroad could be unfavorable for the patient considering there are language and cultural barriers he needs to contend with. (Associated Press)