As a sector heavily reliant on international travel, medical tourism has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the final reopening of countries, the medical tourism market is now slowly recovering. Medical tourism companies and medical centers welcoming international patients are resuming their activities and adapting to the new normal. As a result, the number of people seeking treatment abroad is finally increasing again.
While countries are reopening and medical travel is possible, choosing the best country to visit can be difficult. You probably don’t know which country is open and what entry requirements you need to meet. So, to help you decide which country you should visit for medical care in 2021, we’ve compiled the top 5 open countries that are great for medical tourism below.
The first country to reopen for medical tourism is Turkey. This country was one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for many years before the pandemic. People from all over the world come to Turkey for a wide range of procedures, from complex orthopedic surgeries to cosmetic procedures such as hair transplants. Turkey offers many advantages for medical tourists, such as highly qualified medical professionals, internationally accredited medical centers, and affordable treatment prices compared to Europe or the United States.
Turkish authorities are currently reviving the country’s regional tourism and health economy. Thus, Turkey has one of the easiest entry conditions for Covid-19 into the world. Vaccinated international visitors are allowed to visit the country without any restrictions. You also do not have to undergo quarantine when you arrive in the country. All you need to do is get a negative 72 hour PCR result and proof of vaccination. If you’ve been diagnosed with Covid-19, be sure to provide proof of recovery as well. In addition, every international visitor must have travel insurance covering Covid-19.
Thanks to its advanced and affordable health system, Thailand is one of the main destinations for medical tourism in the world. From Bangkok to Phuket, thousands of people flock to this country to combine first-class medical care with luxury vacations. Most of the country’s highly qualified health professionals were educated in Europe or the United States. In addition, the country is home to a large number of JCI accredited hospitals, including the first hospital in East Asia to acquire prestigious accreditations. Whether you are looking for cosmetic treatments, infertility treatments or orthopedic treatments, you can be sure that you will receive affordable but high quality care in the Land of Smiles.
After nearly two years of closure, Thailand is finally ready to welcome medical tourists again. As of November 1, 2021, fully vaccinated foreign visitors from low-risk countries can now enter the country by air without any quarantine requirements. You will need to prove that you are free from Covid-19 by showing a PCR test before leaving for Thailand. Once you arrive, you will need to take another PCR test. While you don’t have to quarantine, you must stay at least 1 night in a SHA + or Alternative Quarantine hotel while waiting for your PCR test result. Another thing you must have to enter Thailand is travel insurance covering Covid-19.
Ukraine may be your first choice if you are looking for a medical tourism destination in Eastern Europe. Although medical tourism in Ukraine is relatively young, it is growing rapidly. A large influx of international patients into the country comes from Western European and Arab countries. Many people are drawn to the exceptional quality of affordable medical care that Ukraine offers. The country’s medical centers are widely known to be equipped with advanced technology and employ skilled health professionals. Dental treatments and infertility treatments are especially popular in Ukraine.
Today Ukraine is open without restrictions to vaccinated medical tourists from all over the world. If you want to visit this country, please make sure you get a negative PCR test result. You must also provide proof of full vaccination with WHO approved vaccines. These include AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson. Plus, you’ll need to purchase medical insurance that covers you for the duration of your trip, but you don’t need to quarantine yourself.
4. Costa Rica
During the last decade, Costa Rica has become one of the best-known medical tourism destinations in North America, particularly among patients from Canada and the United States. Compared to these countries, the cost of healthcare in Costa Rica is about 30-50% lower. However, the quality of medical care is similar. Also, the country’s healthcare professionals operate under the law, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off. What’s more, you can easily combine your medical care with a fantastic vacation.
Before entering Costa Rica, the first thing you need to do is complete Health Pass, a digital form for inbound international travelers. Make sure to attach your vaccination certificate to this digital form. Costa Rica accepts tourists vaccinated against Covid-19 with Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. If you have been vaccinated with vaccines other than those approved by Costa Rican authorities, such as Sinovac, you must purchase travel insurance covering Covid-19. Insurance is expected to cover accommodation for quarantine and medical costs for Covid-19 treatment.
Before the pandemic, millions of medical tourists chose Mexico as their number one destination for medical tourism. Today, the country attracts an even greater number of international patients. Mexico is currently experiencing the largest flows of medical tourists in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The country offers the highest level of medical services. The WHO has said medical centers in Mexico are comparable to those in the United States. From healthcare professionals to medical equipment, you can be sure of receiving affordable, high-quality treatment here. Most people come for dental treatment thanks to the exceptional quality and affordability of dental clinics nationwide.
Mexico is now open to visitors from all countries. If you are planning to visit Mexico, you must register on the Mexico Vuela Seguro Platform. You don’t need to quarantine or test for Covid-19. However, you may still want to prepare proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test for your airline. It is also a good idea that you get health insurance covering Covid-19.
The five countries we have mentioned on this list are the new leaders in medical tourism. They all offer top quality medical care at much cheaper prices than in the United States and Europe. Nonetheless, it is important that you do your research on the best hospitals in the country in order to get the best and safest treatment. If you are unsure of where to start, it may be helpful to get help from medical tourism companies such as MyMediTravel.