There are numerous healthcare treatments for which medical tourism isn’t just an option, it’s the best or only option. This is usually because of the two key factors that have made medical tourism such a thriving industry: short or non-existent wait times and savings.
However, urgency and costs aren’t always the main impetus. Certain things like spa and beauty treatments, comprehensive health checkups, and dental care are popular as easily-accessible complements to a holiday overseas or as convenient add-ons to more serious procedures for either medical tourists or their companions.
Thailand is well-known for vacationers receiving “elective”-type procedures. I’ve partaken myself, having received a cutting-edge eye exam, LASIK consultation, and new eyeglasses while vacationing in Bangkok.
But in Thailand’s bustling capital city, it’s the affordable dermatology treatments seemingly on offer everywhere which are the most common add-on. State-of-the-art clinics of all shapes and sizes provide everything from beautifying aesthetic procedures to purely medical ones, at big-time savings. Just like travelling in Thailand, dermatology treatments there provide you with endless options.
In other leading health and wellness destinations that are famous for their world-class skin care clinics – such as South Korea – non-surgical facelifts, microdermabrasion, and Botox injections are highly popular complements/add-ons for Westerners visiting from overseas. It makes sense, especially when you consider just how many medical tourists visit Seoul seeking beautifying cosmetic procedures.
A dermatological procedure like scar removal, for example, can improve the appearance of acne scars, burns, and imperfections caused by other trauma. And in India, the leading cosmetic skin care centers offer expert laser skin resurfacing for acne scar removal for a fraction of the cost in the US – and they’re accustomed to treating foreign tourists.
Patients receiving bariatric weight-loss surgery at top hospitals in the UAE can conveniently add on dermal fillers, even in the same hospital. And many others get out of town, combining their executive health checkups with an adventure holiday, perhaps to return to the city for non-invasive facial mesotherapy or other age-defying facial rejuvenation treatments.
It’s true: costlier treatments requiring high levels of expertise are sometimes the primary reason for dermatology patients to travel abroad. But more often than not, foreigners receiving care in overseas skin care clinics are medical tourists of another ilk, or their companions, or leisure tourists with time on their hands.
It’s just another benefit resulting from the booming health travel industry, which delivers well beyond its two key factors.