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Medical Tourism Explained For Digital Nomads & Anybody Else - Digital Nomads Forum

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What's the best travel insurance for Digital Nomads? It's your body, your stuff, and your well-being. Protect it!
#381
Hey guys,

My friend on Facebook recently asked me about medical tourism because his families medical insurance increased from $717 USD to $1192 USD per month...that's insane! So here's what I told him, I think this info would be beneficial for many people interested in understanding medical tourism. Please keep in mind, I'm not a doctor, I'm just sharing what I know.

Ok so here's the lowdown on medical tourism. Basically in many western countries (USA being one of the worst) the cost of healthcare is relatively extremely high! Relatively in comparison to other countries that where you can have the same quality of healthcare for a fraction of the cost.

When we think of going to a random country for medical care (especially those that are poorer than our home country) we often think the health care will be worse etc, that's why it's cheaper. Well the truth is, our home countries just have messed up health care economics.

Here's an example. I recently left Canada to begin travelling the world starting in South East Asia. I went to a Canadian travel clinic, consulting with a doctor and got a few vaccines I would need. One of them was $460 CAD to get in Canada so we said no! Through research I found that we could get the same vaccine in Bangkok, Thailand for about $25 CAD. That's a fraction of the cost! At first we were sketched out that we would get poor healthcare and this was a bad idea, but we went through with it, and guess what! The healthcare we received in Bangkok, Thailand was just as good quality (if not better) than what we get in Canada (Canadian health care is fairly high quality!). The facilities were clean and sterile, the nurses and doctors were clearly well educated and experienced. The whole experience was an eye opener. There was nothing to fear.

So there are some downsides to medical tourism of course. The main one being, you need to travel usually via plane to get the health care. Different countries will offer different levels of quality of medical care, so depending on what you need, you potentially could travel far. In terms of finding out where you need to go. There is a massive amount of information available online that can help you determine where you can go to receive affordable health care.

So for many, medical tourism makes a lot more sense than paying $1200 USD per month for medical insurance, that's absolutely insane!

This applies to dental work and many industries as well FYI. Let me know if you have any questions :)
#4528
Thanks a lot for this useful information. I totally agree with you especially on the part when you say that the healthcare quality in Thailand is of very high quality. Hospitals like Samitivej, among others are quite first-rate. I've also been to Thantakit Dental Center in Bangkok and I was pretty impressed by their facilities. My dentist was fluent in English, provided quality care, and treatments are obviously at par with the western standards IMO. The best part is it's way more affordable to avail medical and dental treatments in Thailand. I don't mind traveling if it's cheaper and being able to get a brief holiday is also great. :)
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