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The rise of luxury medical tourism: How a growing number of British patients are heading abroad for treatment

From dental checks to cosmetic surgery, to life-saving procedures, medical tourism is now seeing healthy growth as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

By LLM Reporters  |  February 27, 2022
Doctors performing abdominoplasty surgery in the hospital.

Private healthcare is of a high standard in the UK, and for the right price, you can undergo both elective and essential medical treatments whilst enjoying minimal waiting time and personalised service. But nevertheless, a growing number of Brits are opting to travel abroad for their treatments instead, with nations like Turkey, the U.S, Thailand and India all welcoming in an influx of medical tourists each year. As well as traditional medical treatments, the surge can also be attributed to patients looking to undergo cosmetic surgery, and from hair transplants to liposuction, facelifts to tummy tucks, you can now enjoy a side of sunshine, rest and relaxation with any elective cosmetic procedure you desire.

This, perhaps, is one of the many reasons an increasing number of Brits are looking elsewhere for treatment, with the chance to combine their procedures with a few days of lounging on the beach or seeing the local sights beforehand an obvious draw. But there are plenty of other arguments as to why swapping treatment on home soil for an overseas alternative is a good idea, too.

It is, of course, wise to do your research and read up on surgeons’ experience and get to grips with medical negligence law before making a decision on when and where to have your treatment, but as long as you are making an informed decision, it could turn out to be a great choice to go abroad.

If you’re planning to undergo a medical procedure in the near future and are feeling indecisive about the great ‘home or away’ debate, then look no further – because here, we take a look at all the reasons jetting off on a luxury medical tourism getaway might be the best trip you choose to take all year.

Hospital da Luz (of Light), Oeiras. Big sign with the logo of the private hospital. Emergency and general entrance
While there’s no denying that many of the UK’s private hospitals offer excellent service, you may still find that, when travelling abroad for your treatment, the experience is superior. Image credit: DeepPixel/Bigstock.com

Superior packages

Opting for overseas medical treatment might sound like the more complicated choice, but many companies will take the stress out of organising your trip by taking care of your travel and accommodation arrangements on your behalf. And yes, you can even opt for First Class airfares and five-star hotels for a price, so a luxurious getaway is guaranteed.

What’s more, you can even liaise with your chosen company to arrange an extended break – so if you’d like to arrive a few days early to squeeze in some time to explore, or to put off your departure at the end so you have more time to recover, then you can do so.

A higher standard of service

While there’s no denying that many of the UK’s private hospitals offer excellent service, you may still find that, when travelling abroad for your treatment, the experience is superior. In countries where doctors and surgeons are under less pressure and have more relaxed schedules, they can afford to spend more time talking to you and answering your questions pre- and post-treatment, while in hospitals, you can expect private rooms and comfortable beds, with a range of facilities and amenities to ensure your stay is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Radiography of patient jaw on screen display in dentist office
It’s easy to see just why luxury medical tourism is booming around the world, and in 2022, we can expect to see the number of patients opting to travel abroad for treatment continue to grow

Greater availability

Even in the UK’s private hospitals, patients will often find themselves having to wait longer than they’d like for treatment, and waiting lists, no matter how much you’re prepared to pay for surgery, continue to grow. Abroad, on the other hand, waiting lists tend to be much shorter, which means you can be jetting off for your treatment within a short time of first deciding to book. In some cases, you can even receive treatment on the same day you land in the country, so if you’re eager to get things done as quickly as possible, then medical tourism could be a great choice.

Better prices

Even if you’re someone for whom money is no object, the prospect of paying a lower price for superior treatment remains an attractive one. After all, who wouldn’t jump at the chance of getting more for less? This is particularly true for those living in countries like America, where healthcare and cosmetic treatments can come with an eye-watering price tag, but even for those in the UK, it has an appeal. Hospitals abroad will be able to provide upfront quotes for your procedures and for the entire travel package, making it as easy as possible to make a decision.

It’s easy to see just why luxury medical tourism is booming around the world, and in 2022, we can expect to see the number of patients opting to travel abroad for treatment continue to grow. If you’ve been sitting on the fence for a while, then perhaps now is the time to jump, and enjoy a lavish trip overseas while you’re at it.