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A booming industry that has increased in popularity over the years, health tourism refers to patients travelling outside of their home country to receive medical treatment elsewhere. Among the main reasons for its growth are the rising costs of healthcare in places like the U.S. and U.K. To understand why medical tourism is taking over healthcare options, it’s important to understand the implications of medical practices in the aforementioned places.

 

The U.S. Healthcare System

Whether applying for an individual or family plan, medical insurance in the U.S. comes with exorbitantly high premiums. Additionally, some plans will restrict the providers you can consult with and limit the services you qualify for.

Oftentimes, private insurance holders in the U.S. must get pre-authorised for procedures, which also only allow visits to in-network physicians and clinics within HMO and PPO systems. This means you’re more likely to be subject to longer waiting periods.

Other common problems U.S. health insurance holders encounter are being recommended health procedures that aren’t medically necessary. Though you may be able to appeal such decisions, you won’t likely get coverage for necessary procedures.

If you’re at risk of a chronic illness that isn’t included in your plan, you can be at risk of serious financial problems and render your coverage useless. Though U.S. support services such as social security, Medicare, and Medicaid are helpful for the most part, the amount of support you receive over your lifetime isn’t usually enough to improve more serious conditions.

 

The U.K. Healthcare System

As compared to the U.S., U.K. healthcare is government-funded under the National Health Service (NHS). One advantage the U.K. healthcare system has over U.S. systems is the 100% availability of coverage for all citizens and the fact that this is collected and funded from general taxes.

However, these systems may also be subject to limitations and long waiting periods and won’t cover cosmetic procedures such as hair transplants or some dental treatments.

 

Consider Medical Tourism

Medical tourism options such as the ones we offer at WeCure make for a viable option for those seeking procedures such as implants or dental veneers. Among the most popular destinations to visit for cosmetic work is Turkey, which is abundant in first-rate medical clinics and internationally accredited professionals. Specialists are also well-equipped to interface with foreign patients.

At WeCure, we facilitate relationships between medical tourists and highly-regarded medical facilities in Turkey. Not to mention, we also offer competitive treatment costs and tailor-make personal healthcare plans. From initial contact to the time you return home, WeCure fully manages your entire medical journey.

 

Conclusion

As the costs of medical care in the U.K. and the U.S. continue to rise, many patients are looking for alternative solutions and in many cases further afield. However, it’s important to scope out options carefully to avoid a low quality of care and potential botched procedures.

By working with WeCure to facilitate your medical journey and procedure, you can receive aesthetic treatments in Turkey for lower prices and world-class work. We connect you only with the most skilled specialists and ensure that you’re taken care of every step of the way.


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Photo by Orest Yaremchuk on Unsplash

Here in the UK, our national healthcare system (NHS) is looked at in envy from people residing in countries such as the USA where healthcare can come at an expensive cost. Not only this but more and more Brits are finding that despite it being free healthcare, not all services are offered publicly, and this is what has led to a rise of what we call health tourism. Simply put, it refers to people who are going abroad to receive healthcare. People travel to all different types of countries for these reasons, however, today, we’re going to be focusing on one country, Turkey.

Geographically situated at the go-to between Europe and the Middle East, it takes roughly 4 hours to get to Istanbul from one of London’s airports. Thousands of Brits go there on holiday each year to resorts such as Antalya and Marmaris, however, the same amount travel there purely for the healthcare that is provided in Turkey. This position also makes it one of the more accessible countries for people from over two dozen countries nearby including Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

An industry official for the healthcare sector in Turkey put the estimated number of health tourists visiting the country in 2018 at nearly 1 million. This generated last year a revenue roughly around the £1.18 billion mark. In fact, the industry has become that lucrative to the country financially that the countries national airline, Turkish Airlines, will even offer you discounted ticket prices for flights to Turkey should you be travelling there for medical purposes. On top of this, there is a very high standard of aftercare in Turkey including transportation to and from the airport.

Speaking of Airports, with the recent opening of the new Airport in Istanbul people from over 40 countries including the UK will find themselves being just a four-hour flight away from being able to access the Turkish healthcare system. This will help the growth of the sector and open the doors of the healthcare system to millions who are in dire need of it.

A big contributing factor to the popularity of healthcare in Turkey is its abundance of geothermal springs known for their healing benefits. In fact, it is the top choice in the whole of Europe when it comes to these pools and ranks in the top seven countries in the entire world. However, this isn’t the only reason, they also have a surprisingly high number of accredited hospitals that specialise in areas such as:

  • Ophthalmic
  • Odontography
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Transplantation

There are more than 50 JCI accredited hospitals spread out across the country of whom satisfy the same standards required by the regulations in EU countries and here in the UK. Some of the most skilled hospitals have even created prestigious partnerships with countries such as the John Hopkins Institute and the Medical Centre of Harvard.

If you put the fact they have some of the nicest springs, and most skilled doctors along with an affordable price, this is the recipe of success that has led to the surge of popularity. These prices can be lower than relative prices over here from private healthcare providers. On top of having to pay an annual premium, for example, if you needed knee replacement surgery, it would cost £10,806 (AXA Healthcare), however, if you were to travel to Turkey you would be paying £3,960! That’s a substantial saving and that’s without even considering any checkup costs, additional tests or annual subscriptions.

Another benefit for us Brits when it comes to healthcare in Turkey is that the waiting times are dramatically lower than over here. It’s all too common of a story for us to hear of someone we know having to wait 6 months for a crucial operation, whereas if you were going to Turkey you’d find on average that it would be less than a month and more towards a fortnight you’d be waiting for. This is extremely important to people who want/need to get their operation out of the way sooner rather than later.

Some of the hotspots within Turkey for health tourists include the capital Istanbul, Antalya and Ankara with most tourists choosing to come during the Summer months due to the northern areas of Turkey being quieter around that time.

The future of the healthcare tourism industry in Turkey also looks very promising, to the point where it’s embedded itself as a crucial part of the 2023 vision plan, which is a series of goals set out by the government they hope to achieve. Currently, in the world, they rank fourth when it comes to healthcare tourism overall, however, this isn’t good enough for them – they’re eyeing that top spot by the year 2023. One way in which they aim to achieve this is by adding to the countries of Africa onto their customer books.

If you’re planning on going to Turkey for health reasons, there are a few things you’re going to want to be looking out for. First is, as we’ve touched upon is the JCI Accreditation whose focus is to improve the quality and safety of care for patients. Next, have a look online for some reviews or testimonies from Brits who have been there in the past to see if they were satisfied with the level of healthcare provided to them. Alongside this have a look at their prices to evaluate whether you’re going to be getting good value for money. Once you’ve taken all these factors into account you will have a reliable shortlist of hospitals to choose from.

 


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