One type of tourism has managed to thrive despite the poor global economy. The prevalence of medical tourism is on the rise in countries like India and Malaysia.
Think that it is a little extreme to go under the knife abroad? Consider this: depending on the procedure, surgery in Malaysia can cost half of what it does in the US or UK. Many doctors in Malaysia are foreign trained and facilities are world-class. The rate of patient infection at clinics and hospitals in Malaysia is much less than it is in the UK.
Last year 341,288 foreign patients came to Malaysia for its medical services. Projections show a 30% increase each year over the next several years.
Who are these medical refugees? People without insurance, people whose insurance won’t cover a procedure, or those who want surgery for cosmetic purposes. In countries with socialized medical care, the wait list can be several years long. In Malaysia, minor surgery can be arranged and performed in a day or two. If health care costs in the west continue to rise, look for Malaysia’s medical tourism industry to grow with it.