The Top 10 Countries with the Cheapest Healthcare

What are the countries with the cheapest health care? Cheapest, mind you, and not necessarily the best. The countries with the best health care are mostly in Europe, as universal health care first came to fore in Germany. The Scandinavian countries are also known for being welfare states that would take care of practically all your medical needs. They do require hefty contributions, however, in the form of mandatory cuts in your salary and pay.

The cheapest health care, on the other hand, can be received from the countries that offer the most affordable medical rates, aside from the most attentive staff. As a matter of fact, medical tourism has been booming all around the world, with some countries practically packaging itself as prime destinations for those in need of a doctor’s attention.

And the hospitals in these countries know the importance of medical tourism as well. It is now common for hospitals to have lobbies that are as plush as five-star hotels, with its comfortable sofas, ambient lighting and branded coffee shops. Hospital staff have also been trained to speak more than one language to help with the coordination of foreign patients.

Up to half a million Americans, plus several more millions from other countries, have gone abroad to seek cheaper medical help. The most popular medical tourism spots are in East and South Asia, Central Europe and Latin America.

Countries in the Western Asian region are fast catching up, however. Jordan has been trying to package itself as a regional medical tourism hub and they have invested a substantial amount towards their health infrastructure.  Israel is another emerging hub. It has been packaging itself as the land of milk, honey and fertility, leveraging its access to the Dead Sea and its waters that are rich with salt and minerals. The black mud is also said to have medicinal effects and the dry air has been suggested to have minerals.

Israel and Jordan are still bubbling just below the following nations. Here now is a list of the top ten countries with the cheapest health care.

10 Thailand

Try to Google some of Thailand’s sex change patients. By simply looking at their pictures, no one would have ever known that the women in the pictures used to be men before. That is how effective the country’s sex change operations are, and is a reflection of the high quality of work of the cosmetic procedures in its hospitals. Thailand is one of the pioneers in the field of medical tourism. Its private hospitals in urban areas are almost always crawling with foreign patients, obviously attracted to the cost of health care there that is a mere fraction of the prices back in the western world. Aside from cosmetic procedures, the country has also made a name for its orthopedic treatments, dental work, and heart surgeries.

9 India

The country has the advantage of having a workforce that can converse easily in English. This, along with the amazingly low prices even after you factor in the cost of an airplane flight and hotel accommodations, has attracted European and American patients. The country has seen a particular surge of Americans the past few years. India offers a wide range of medical procedures and surgeries. Plus, it can also offer traditional treatments, specifically the Ayurvedic method. This is an alternative medicine method that makes use of herbs, massage and yoga.

8 Singapore

Singapore was one of the first countries to take advantage of the medical tourism boom. It has one of the best health care systems in the world for its citizens and permanent residents, and it has expanded its expertise to service even foreign patients. Patients looking for relatively cheap medical care but with first world surroundings will do well to consider Singapore. It is clean, has a very efficient public transportation system that allows easy access to and from hotels and hospitals, and it can deal with just about every major medical issue, including stem cell treatments.

7 China

This is for those brave enough to ignore medical scandals ranging from tainted drugs to unethical organ harvesting. China is popular for its experimental therapies for all kinds of disorder and injuries.

6 Poland

Known primarily for dental tourism, Poland is popular with British patients. It also offers spa treatments, like thermal baths and salt caves.

5 Hungary

This is another popular destination for Western tourists, specifically dental patients from Austria, Germany and Sweden. The country’s accessibility is a main factor why those in Western Europe prefer it. Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic have jumped into the bandwagon, however; so expect some competition to heat up in these Eastern states.

4 Mexico

Medical services in Mexico have high satisfaction rates. Along with the low cost, this has prompted U.S. insurers to offer policyholders coverage in Mexican hospitals. It is popular for those who want cosmetic procedures, dental work and eye surgery.

3 Costa Rica

Costa Rica has slowly but surely making its mark in medical tourism. It is near the U.S. and Canada, and they have competent skills in dental work, and in plastic and cosmetic surgeries. It also offers recovery retreats for medical tourists in the process of rehabilitation.

2 Brazil

Brazilians are known to be tall and tan and lovely. Well, at least, the girls of Ipanema are. But Brazil is a country obsessed with beauty. After all, it is the land that gave us Giselle Bundchen, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima. The country has over 4,500 licensed cosmetic surgeons, the most number based on per capita in the world. They can do everything, from facelifts and weight loss programs to bariatric surgery and rhinoplasty.

1 Cuba

You might have seen it in the Michael Moore documentary entitled Sicko. Cuba may be a pariah in the eyes of the U.S. government, but it certainly has some of the most dedicated and best-trained doctors. Latin Americans and Europeans have known about it for a long time. Even the President of Venezuela goes there for his cancer treatment.

More in LifeStyle