Here is a list of notable health care destinations in Southeast Asia. Some of these countries are leading the world in medical tourism, while others are just entering the market. Regardless, the region as a whole stands to build a strong and sustainable industry around healthcare
The Land of Smiles has been one of the most successful countries in the world at developing and promoting medical tourism. The combination of world class medical facilities and beautiful vacation potential makes Thailand a premier destination for overseas medical care. Some of their most popular procedures include elective cosmetic procedures, weight management surgeries and orthopedic surgeries. One of the most widely reported benefits of medical care in Thailand is the phenomenal level of care. Many patients report fantastic experiences with highly professional and friendly staff. On top of that, Thailand boasts 70 to 80 percent cost savings from the US or the UK. The savings are more than enough to cover a few extra weeks recovering on Thailand’s beautiful beaches with a tropical drink in hand.
The Lion City has carved out a respectable medical tourism industry, attracting close to 500,000 foreign patients annually. Currently, the World Health Organization ranks Singapore as having the best medical infrastructure in Asia and the sixth best in the world. In true Singaporean fashion the government has gotten on board and is making a sweeping, coordinated effort to grow and promote the industry. Singapore is attracting primarily Asian tourists, but as the country grows and develops it certainly has the potential to be a worldwide medical hub.
While Malaysia may not be at the same scale as powerhouses Thailand and Singapore, the country still attracts nearly 250,000 foreigners a year seeking medical care. It may just be a secret jewel for people who know about it. While the country still doesn’t possess the technological development for advanced procedures, Malaysia has a highly specialized burn center as well as great preventative care services. A comprehensive health screening by highly-trained and skilled doctors can be a seventh of the cost in the US. With these kind of savings Malaysia won’t be a secret for long.
India offers top medical care in a number of cities across the nation, including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai. Overall the country is one of the fastest growing medical tourism destinations in the world, reporting 30 percent patient growth annually. India attracts most of its foreign patients from the US, Canada and Europe looking for less expensive cardiovascular and orthopedic procedures. A heart valve replacement, normally quoted at around USD150,000 in the States, can be done in India for USD9,500. With pricing that attractive India’s medical tourism is growing so quickly the government has started investing money to improve infrastructure and help support the industry.
Although not technically Southeast Asia, South Korea stills needs to be mentioned. Considered one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, South Korea has built medical facilities and infrastructure that can compete head to head with any other developed nation. Surprisingly they have also managed to keep costs lower than most comparable countries. South Korea specializes in highly technical surgeries, such as spinal and brain, as well as a wide range of cosmetic procedures, for which they have built a globally recognized reputation. This country may not be the least expensive option but they compete to top the quality of more expensive countries. So if you have been putting off a long needed vacation or perhaps prolonging an inevitable medical need, procrastinate no longer. Southeast Asia has become a veritable paradise of vacation potential and affordable medical care. After all, recovering from a hospital visit with a little vacation time is not a bad way to live.