Medical tourism: which country to choose?

You’ve probably heard about it in recent years: medical tourism is now an opportunity available to everyone. You can organize your holidays in a given place where you can also benefit from healthcare at a much lower cost.

Offered by agencies specialized in organizing such combined trips, medical tourism today concern several medical specialties, such as dental, reconstructive surgery or cosmetic surgery.

Advantages and disadvantages of medical tourism

For EU citizens, the first undeniable advantage of medical tourism is undoubtedly the coverage by the health insurance, if they are realized in a country of the European Union. If this is the case, the reimbursement is equivalent to what the insured can claim for the treatment carried out in its country.

But many procedures are in fact not covered by any health insurance, such as cosmetic surgery, so… The main reason that can lead a patient to opt for medical tourism is that the care received abroad often costs less than home and the patient can thus limit his health expenses and achieve real savings.

But that’s not all because getting treatment abroad can bring other benefits, such as the quality of healthcare or the speed of care.

However, you can easily understand that medical travel also has drawbacks, especially in terms of patient follow-up in the case of a heavy surgical operation, for example.

Among the countries that have largely developed medical tourism in recent years, we can cite (non-exhaustive list):

– Brazil and the Northwest Africa for cosmetic surgery;
– Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic for dental surgery and treatment;
– Poland for the surgical treatment of myopia;
– India and Thailand for cardiac surgery;
– Slovakia for thalassotherapy.

Dental trip: where to organize?

As everyone knows, dental care is not only expensive, but it is also very rarely supported by social security healthcare system. It may therefore be very advantageous to consider receiving such care in another country.

It is widely recognized that Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic are the most popular destinations for dental tourism.

The dental trip to Romania, Hungary or Czech Republic

For many years now, the reputation of Eastern Europe dentists has been established. Indeed, the first advantage of these countries is that it has the largest number of dentists per capita.

An article in tells us in this regard that no less than 1547 French patients went to Hungary alone only in 2011 to receive dental care, most of the time quite heavy surgery procedures such as implantations and prostheses.

In addition, the cabinets in Eastern Europe, especially since they entered European Union, have high technology equipment. The care delivered are generally of high quality and last but not least, the prices are low. Still according to the article, “In France, the laying of an implant costs on average between 1000 and 1500 euros – in Hungary, you will pay two to three times less.”

Although the echoes are less resounding with regard to dental tourism in Romania, we know that Romania dental work is also developing to a very high standard.

Dental tourism: the precautions to take

As with everything in life, it is better to take a lot of precautions when it comes to dental tourism:

– Check if the social security, as well as the complementary mutual if you have one, covers you in the country where you will receive dental care;

– Make a first appointment with a referent dentist of the clinic abroad;

– Check if a follow-up in your country is possible (corollary of the previous precaution);

– Ensure the origin of the products used (compliance with European standards).

Dental tourism has also grown well in Spain, where prices are on average between 30 and 50% lower than in France, for example.

Aesthetic tourism: what you need to know

In many Western countries, health insurance does not support surgery performed for single aesthetic purpose, nor does it pay for cosmetic surgery procedures abroad, nor the classic complications that follow such procedures.

It is not abnormal that more and more people choose to have their nose redone, undergo liposuction or a facelift abroad. Indeed, the costs of cosmetic surgery are very high while more and more countries are offering extremely advantageous rates.

Advantages and disadvantages of aesthetic tourism

Knowing that a breast augmentation costs between 4000 € and 8000 €, against 1400 € to 2600 € in said abroad countries, the choice can be made quickly even taking into account the cost of the air ticket and hotel that such a trip entails.

Thus, the countries of the Northwest Africa (Tunisia and Morocco in particular) are offering more and more aesthetic aimed surgical tourism packages, the overall cost (accommodation in luxury hotels, surgery and organization of tourist activity) proves really interesting.

Often criticized by local plastic surgeons, aesthetic tourism is not synonymous with the danger of death. Complications caused by cosmetic surgery performed abroad are also not automatic. So, rest assured and try as much as possible to collect the opinions and reviews of other people who had experienced this kind of procedures.

Finally, know that in case of serious medical complications following plastic surgery procedures, they are normally supported by the social security and your mutual.