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  • Mary Schreiber Swenson Phd.

Post-Pandemic and the Paradigm Shift in How People are Now Seeking Their Healthcare Choices

Following the health-centric hardships brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, the importance of wellness has now become all-together ingrained into the psyche of the global population. As consumers continue trending toward the purchase of treatments mainstays, like over-the-counter pills and treatments, as well as pre-preventative products, health clearly remains paramount across the international marketplace. However, the continually rising cost of healthcare – particularly in the United States, where healthcare spending accounted for a massive 20 percent of the country’s GDP in 2020 – has forced many global consumers to place their hopes in the efficacy of these small-scale wellness purchases, unable to afford the sky-high price tag of larger medical procedures or treatments needed to target their health problems at the root.

Enter medical tourism and travel for treatment, where citizens of countries across the map seek out medical care for their issues from outside of their native borders for quality and pricing purposes. While medical tourism originally referred to people from developing nations traveling to first-world countries for care they’d otherwise not have access to, skyrocketing costs have caused first-world citizens to begin seeking care elsewhere themselves, as major medical advancements in recent years and an increased number of Centers of Excellence have propelled a number of developing nation’s into viable and trustworthy destinations for travel for treatment.

“As prices for healthcare in popular medical tourism destinations like the United States keep going up, not only are international patients being discouraged from seeking treatment within the U.S., but American citizens themselves are being priced out of the healthcare system as well,” says MyMedChoices CEO ​​Mary Schreiber Swenson, Ph.D, a leading expert in the travel for treatment sector. “As such, we’re seeing many U.S. natives participate in travel for treatment to receive the quality care they need at an affordable cost.”

Take dental care, for example, a sector unfortunately overlooked by major nations like the United States. According to recent data, some 28 percent of surveyed working U.S. adults reportedly do not have any type of dental insurance, while another 51 percent of consumers reportedly only visit the dentist for serious issues surrounding their teeth due to the perceived cost attached and lack of insurance coverage. Though a clearly unaffordable pursuit in the United States for many, medical tourism has provided an attainable alternative to many Americans, with major dental destinations like Mexico just a short plane or car ride away from most.

While U.S. dentists regularly charge between $1,000 and $1,500 on average for common procedures that require immediate medical attention like root canals, Mexican dental professionals offer the same service at up to 80 percent less in cost. Elective and cosmetic dental procedures are likewise incredibly more affordable in Mexico than in the United States, with porcelain veneers carrying a price tag of at least $2,000 per tooth in the United States, while the cost of one porcelain tooth of the same quality in Mexico stands at a much-more affordable $330.

Big-time medical surgeries also get a major price-cut on the international marketplace; A coronary artery bypass graft procedure (CABG), one of the United States’ most common surgeries, can cost as little as $5,000 when traveling for treatment, while the identical procedure performed in the United States can run up to $63,000 in cost.

“The savings opportunities offered by travel for treatment and medical tourism, as opposed to standard in-country care, are immense,” continues Schreiber Swenson. “Whether as run-of-the-mill as a regular teeth-cleaning, or as life-altering as an open heart surgery, medical tourism cuts the price tag of most treatments to a fraction of a cost without sacrificing quality, making countries like Mexico, Turkey, India, South Africa, Costa Rica, and other emerging nations increasingly attractive alternatives for modern medical care.”

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