Medical Tourism for International Educators

No matter how finely tuned your body might be, how young, toned, athletic and healthy you are, your body is still a machine that moves you through your work day and around the world on your teaching and travel adventures. There is likely some medical or cosmetic procedure out there that you want or need to be your best self, professionally and personally. Who wouldn’t like their teeth to be a little whiter, their chins fewer in number, or the pain in their shoulder or knee to permanently go away?

As an international educator, aren’t you fortunate! Living the life of a teacher abroad puts you in the perfect spot to take advantage of the latest trends in medical and cosmetic/plastic services and quality after-care. Over 40 countries are marketing their medical services and attracting international patients to Medical Tourism (a.k.a. Medical Travel or Health Tourism). The foremost and major benefits of Medical Tourism may be the huge reduction in cost of treatments, reasonable and brief waiting periods for appointments, and quality service followed by superlative convalesce assistance and care. The Health Tourism marketplace includes spa and wellness treatments for those who seek alternative treatments such as acupuncture and aroma therapy, biofeedback and hypnosis, massage therapy, music therapy, and ayurvedic care.

Medical Tourism includes medical and dental procedures of every possibility. Consider the availability of such procedures as: cosmetic and plastic surgery, joint replacements/resurfacing/repair, spine fusion, liver/kidney/bone marrow transplants, LASIK or cataract eye surgery, heart procedures (bypass, valve replacement, angiography, stenting), cancer treatments, weight loss surgery, hernia repair, laparoscopic gallbladder removal, diabetes treatment, vasectomy reversal, invitro fertilization, stem cell therapy, and dental care such as veneers, restoration, implants, crowns, and root canals.

A comparison of costs shows that medical and cosmetic care abroad is healthy for your wallet as well. For example, compare the cost of a knee replacement in the U.S. at up to $50,000 to the $10,000 you are estimated to spend in India. Or, angioplasty, at up to $57,000 in the U.S. compared to $9,000 in Thailand. How about comparing a face-lift in the U.S., up to $15,000, to the $8,000 it would cost in Mexico. Similar cost effective treatments, in everything from teeth whitening to liposuction, can be found in a country near to where you are teaching. Popular packages of care such as dental care in Ecuador or Guatemala, total hip or knee replacement in Costa Rica, or gastric bypass in Mexico can be found online. Wellness care is so affordable so as to be possible on a yearly basis, out-of-pocket.

Medical facilitators can be found to assist with language/culture barriers, transfer of medical information, and can provide the convenience of one-stop shopping for the person who requires their services.

There is, of course, thorough homework to be done if you are considering Medical Tourism for yourself or for a loved one. However, you’re right at the forefront of availability while being a teacher abroad. Aren’t you fortunate!

Take care and stay well!

5 Responses to Medical Tourism for International Educators

  1. Roundtrip says:

    Medical tourism has been on the news a lot lately in the U.S. Since I haven’t been able to find a decent teaching job abroad, I would love to find a job abroad working in some area of medical tourism. I would think there would be a need for companion assistance for single or widowed travelers going abroad for surgery alone. I had surgery in another state six weeks ago, but because I have no children or a husband, I had to go it alone and then stay in a nursing home/hospice alone for a week. I’ve never been so lonely. I’m back home now and feeling great, but if I ever needed to go abroad for a form of surgery, I’d definitely look into finding a service that provided a companion to assist in the travel, hospital time, and recuperation time. I guess misery loves company! Hahaha

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  2. RaeRee says:

    I just had knee arthroscopy performed this past week, BEFORE I went abroad to teach. The procedure was covered by my US insurance and I had the sick days to do it. Now I don’t have to worry about recovering in a country with a possibly inferior post-op situation. I am so glad I did it.

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  3. Anhar says:

    This is far better (being based OS, as an international teacher) than any weekend getaway to a resort. The doctors are good, often trained in Western countries, the cost is low, compared to Australia and the US. If you want you can get everthing nipped and tucked! Start small and work your way up.

    I agree with Randy about, do your research and make sure it is cheaper as the doctors are wising up to the fact that expats can pay more so they quote higher. Perhaps get a local you know to get a quote first and then go back with you when you want to organise the proceedure for yourself. This way it is harder to apply the “expat tax”. Do not go to really cheap dodgy doc and you can tell if your are aware what to look for, and make sure you check out the credentials and even see the album of before and after work.

    The hospitals that are set up for this in places like Thailand are fabulous. Again you have to do your research. Would you just let any mechanic fix your car? A male teacher friend had a neck lift and lipo in Thailand at a reputable doc and was very happy with the result at a third of the cost in in Australia.
    Lasik surgery in Malaysia is about RM 2,000. Again this surgery is one third the price of the same surgery in Australia.

    Dont expect to be able to get a malpractice suit going if things go wrong as you would in the US.
    Like everything buyer beware.

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  4. Randy says:

    I had liposuction in Romania with good success and no complications. I also had a face lift in Ecuador for about 1/3 what I would have paid in the States and that went well. In both locations I used a doctor that came well recommended by parents from the school and the school nurse.

    My husband had some dental work done in Mexico by a dentist he picked from a phone book and that was a mistake. I think the key is to find a doctor and/or clinic that comes well recommended. I have heard some horror stories not just about procedures performed overseas but also in America. Did you ever stop to think why medical malpractice insurance is so high in the States? I don’t think any location is exempt from poor doctors.

    Do the research before having a procedure done any place in the world.

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  5. Brooke chaplin says:

    My cousin just came back from being “sliced and diced” in Costa rica. She had her legs lipoed, a tummy tuck, a breast reduction, and a face lift…all for $13,000. She had problems with a lot of fluid build up–a gallon a day and still the clinic put her on a plane and sent her back to the States where she finally had to check herself into the hospiital with complications from the surgery which won’t be covered on her U.S. insurance. So now she will be out of pocket thousands of dollars to clean up the Costa Rican mess.
    So where is the savigs if you have to pay out of pocket when you get home for the botched job overseas? It’s not like you can sue the place overseas. So spend some time before you spend the money to run off to get cut up in a foreign country.

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