The medical tourism of the 21st century has been focused mostly on relief for high healthcare costs, but even still, huge numbers of people who can afford it still visit the US for medical treatments. Around one million people visited the US last year from all over the world (mostly from the Middle East, the Caribbean, Russia, China and Latin America) to get second opinions and treatments for more complex issues in the leading US hospitals.
Patients from all over the world visit the US looking for high quality service, especially for complex or „last resort“ cases. Though US doctors and hospitals can rarely beat the prices of JCI-accredited hospitals in countries like Turkey, India or Thailand, their specialists are experts in dealing with cases that other hospitals find challenging or even untreatable.
Following the events of the 9/11, due to the increase in screening of Middle Easterners, a significant portion of Arabic patients have moved to countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand. As a result, the US has to share the medical tourism market by offering equal if not better care and services.
Millions of people are attracted to leading international hospitals in massive, famous cities such as New York, Miami, San Francisco and Boston while other destinations such as Cleveland, Ohio, which is the home to the Cleveland Clinic and Rochester, Minnesota, home to the Mayo Clinic, have to try noticably harder to attract people.
Every leading hospital and health care facility is JCI-accredited. Their top hospitals include Baptist Health South Florida, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, Boston Children’s Hospital and Birgham and Women’s Hospital.
The US is well known for the treatment of patients with complex issues. Their leading specialties include neurology and spine surgery, oncology, ophthamology, orthopedics, pediatric and cardiology and heart surgery.
A lot of the patients are drawn to the US for their oncology services. Patients suffering from cancers that cannot be diagnosed or treated in other countries will often look to the US as the place with the latest available technology in the fields of pharmaceuticals and instrumentations which can be difficult or even impossible to find back home.
Furthermore, people who have to wait a long time on the waiting lists on their national insurance plans will seek treatment in the US which is more immediate comparing to the delays they may face at home.
As the result of having a reputation for having some of the best medical research and diagnostics in the world, the US is also well known for second opinions. Many international hospitals in the US that serve patients from all over the world now also offer e-consultations, which features deployment of sophisticated equipment that can diagnose a huge range of conditions with great accuracy over the telephone, internet or even through mobile devices.
Patients from the Caribbean and Latin America are mostly drawn to healthcare centers in South Florida, while locations in Boston and New York draw in wealthy patients from all over the world, including Africa, Russia, China, Middle East and Western Europe. In fact, most of the high end international hospitals in the US have been caring for international patients for decades, offering services such as airport pickup and dropoff, translators, travel planning and hotel shuttles.
Even though the US healthcare is expensive, to many even perhaps to the point of it being unjust and unreasonable, the level of expertise and skill offered by American doctors and surgeons is unmatched by most of the world.