Top five European countries for medical tourism
Going abroad for cheaper medical treatment is big business. With more low-cost airlines than ever before offering discount flights to almost anywhere across the continent, it’s now possible to easily visit countries that offer medical treatments and surgeries at very low prices. Let’s take a look at the five countries that have become most popular for medical tourism in Europe.
1 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic might not be your first thought when it comes to medical tourism, but there are actually a huge number of reasons why this destinations is reaching popularity. Only a two hour flight from London, the Czech capital of Prague is home to a huge variety of private medical facilities offering high quality treatments and procedures at very low costs. Some estimates suggest that you could save around 60 per cent of the price of surgery compared to the UK.
There are medical travel agencies that specialise in doing all the work for you – booking everything from flights and treatments to accommodation and even sightseeing trips. Doctors are typically English-speaking and many have qualifications from US and UK based centres of learning. And given the very low cost of flights to the Czech Republic, the overall cost is far cheaper.
Health tourism is not only about the low cost of treatment, however, as shown by Spain. Popular destinations like Marbella do have a great array of private clinics, but it is also the element of wellbeing that have really made them a success story. The climate (320 sunshine days per year) and easy access attract patients from around the world – typically to have a minor surgery and spend the rest of their holiday recovering in an ideal environment.
Spain has truly embraced medical tourism with the country now generating more than 12 million Euro in turnover each year. With shorter waiting times than in the UK and a health system that is ranked as the 7th best in the world (the UK is 18th) it’s not hard to see why Spain has become such as an inviting choice.
Turkey is one of the world’s fastest growing medical tourism destinations attracting patients from across Europe. Offering high quality facilities rivalling anywhere in the world, the country is a renowned spot for everything from plastic surgery to fertility treatments. And these are available at prices well below those found across the western world.
Across the country there are more than 1,200 private facilities mostly spread between Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Marmaris. This makes it easy to book an amazing holiday along with medical treatments.
For cosmetic surgeries, Slovakia is one of the countries in Europe that is making a name for itself. The rise of cheap flights to the country combined with the exceptionally low cost of surgery, means that Slovakia might be the most cost-effective way to get treatments such as liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts and nose jobs.
One of the most well-known places for health tourism in the country is the spa town of Piestany. Famous for its geothermal water and sulfuric mud, with its purported therapeutic effects, the town has become the epicentre of medical travel in Slovakia. It is definitely worth experience for its relaxation and well-being benefits, even if you aren’t planning any major treatments.
Hungary and in particular its capital Budapest has invested in high-end medical and dental facilities – in fact the county is home to more dentists per capita than anywhere else in the world. But aside from oral health, Hungary is also popular due to its range of thermal spas. Like much of central Europe, Hungary offers a very good standard of care with much lower costs.
Top five European countries for medical tourism – words Alexa Wang