By the end of 2019, experts were predicting that medical tourism would be bigger than ever. With medical costs on the rise in America, people were finding it more affordable to seek treatment in countries with lower healthcare costs.
India is known as a country that provides high quality care at as little as one tenth of the prices quoted in the United States. Therefore, it’s no surprise that medical tourism in India was booming in 2019.
Then 2020 came and brought the coronavirus with it. Much of medical tourism came to a screeching halt.
Now, 2021 vaccines are here and travel restrictions are loosening. Opportunities for overseas medical care are opening up again. But many potential medical tourists are still wondering, is it safe to travel?
This article will review medical tourism in 2021 giving patients the inside scoop on what they need to know.
A Projection of What Was to Be
Coming into 2020, we saw promising projections regarding the growth of medical tourism. Developing countries were looking forward to the revenue the tourism would generate. In response, they were advertising medical tourism destinations not only as ideal places to get treatment, but as vacation hotspots for patients.
India medical tourism companies, and tourism companies in other countries, were putting together packages for patients to make travel convenient. Popular medical tourism countries were pouring money into medical resources to provide the utmost in care for tourists. The world was also seeing a shift in revenue as American providers were losing patients who were flying overseas for more affordable procedures.
The Coronavirus Reality
There is no doubt that medical tourism has taken a hit due to the pandemic. With travel basically at a stand still for a good part of the year, patients had no way of getting the care they needed at their desired destinations. Now that the vaccine is here, there are still issues concerning wary travelers and limited capacity flights.
However, medical tourism companies and providers are taking steps to make it safe for patients to get the treatment they need.
One thing patients may be concerned about is the availability of the vaccination. Even though the vaccine is becoming widely available in America, it is not being distributed as quickly in other countries. Individuals flying overseas may be concerned about the virus’s spread.
When it comes to India, they have little to worry about. Most of India’s providers have been vaccinated.
India has also taken initiative in getting the vaccine to its people. They manufactured their own vaccine rather than waiting for it to become imported from another country. They were also the ‘fastest country in the world’ when it came to administering more than 100 million doses of vaccines achieving the feat in just 89 days.
Even though India’s population is becoming vaccinated quickly, medical staffs are still doing all they can to keep patients safe by doubling up on sanitation efforts. Airlines are also doing their part by keeping vehicles clean and requesting tests or vaccination cards for all travelers boarding their planes.
Patients who are feeling uncertain about the treatment they are getting are encouraged to talk to their provider to find out about the measures they are taking to keep patients safe. They can also talk to medical tourism companies to find out how airlines are keeping the pandemic under control for travelers.
2020 has been a tough year for medical tourism. But as the world is starting to open up, steps are being taken to make overseas treatments safe again. Talk to your provider to find out your options in finding the affordable healthcare you need.