Joe McClain - Nov 29, 2010
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Have you ever thought about traveling to another country for surgery? Then, you are not alone. Medical tourism industry is likely to grow with a turnover from $40 to $100 billion by the year of 2012 according to McKinsey & Company. What countries are the most popular among medical tourists? brings the top five leading medical tourism destinations announced by Hotel Resort Insider.


Panama provides relatively low-cost medical facilities. Surgeries in Panama are more affordable than in the US. The costs are 40 to 70% lower than in the US, although they are more expensive than those you can get in Southeast Asia. Panama is an Americanized country that is a modern and safe destination for medical tourists. Medical help in Panama is provided by specialists trained in the US. Even the official currency of Panama is the US dollar. Economy of Panama counts on indispensable income coming out of medical services.


Brazil has become a popular destination especially for cosmetic surgeries. Brazil’s medical industry was brought into the centre of attention by Ivo Pitanguy. This well-known Brazilian plastic surgeon managed to boost the local medical tourism so that it now takes the second place after the US, considering the total amount of undergone plastic surgeries. Brazil is expected to experience a huge wave of financial investments and soon will become the centre of medical tourism in the world. The number of hospitals that provide general medical treatment is higher in Brazil than in any other country outside the US.


The medical industry of Malaysia has recently made a significant progress in its development. The number of foreign incomers to Malaysia increased from 75,000 in 2001 to 297,000 in 2006 only thanks to its advanced medical service. There is a large scale of medical help including cosmetic, cardiac and dental surgeries one can undergo in Malaysia at lower prices than in the US. The medical investors and tourists are attracted to Malaysia by its rising economy, high literacy level and political stability. Wide network of clinics and hospitals is a priced economy builder of the country.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has become largely recognized as a popular medical destination among patients from North America, mostly for its high-quality yet affordable medical care. Another reason for Costa Rica's popularity is that the place can be conveniently reached from the US in seven to ten hours. A recent report shows that more than 150,000 foreigners visited Costa Rica in search of medical services in 2006. Recently, foreign investment has been pumped into the local medical industry.


Medical tourism in India is high in quality and low in cost, according to a survey on Indian medical tourism by the National Center for Policy Analysis. Most of the hospitals in India that are certified by the Joint Commission International utilize high-end medical technology and highly skilled physicians. The Indian sector of medical tourism has experienced a leap in the number of patients from 150,000 in 2002 to 500,000 in 2006.

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