What is Medical Tourism and How Does It Work?


Medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular, with over 14 million people worldwide seeking assistance abroad yearly. The reasons for medical tourism vary greatly, with some seeking better care, others hoping to give birth or undergo rehabilitation, and some patients seeking to save their lives. Regardless of the trip’s purpose, all medical tourists need proper help preparing for their journey. In this article, we’ll provide some tips to ensure efficient preparation.

Planning Your Medical Tourism Trip 

Deciding on a medical tourism destination is only the first step to recovery. Next, you need all relevant information on the topic, whether you have plastic surgery, laser vision correction, or the fight against cancer. Keep your search open to more than one country in the initial stage. Afterward, you should seek out a reputable clinic and a qualified doctor.

A treatment plan should be drawn up before you leave your country. Below are some of the main points you must consider before you go for treatment abroad.

  • Your attending physician should be aware of what procedure you will undergo.
  • You need to schedule a visit to a doctor before and after departure.
  • Consult your doctor about a possible medical care plan after returning home.
  • What options for patient care are offered by a hospital abroad?
  • The duration of the recovery period before you can go home.
  • Availability of prescribed postoperative treatment in your country. 
  • The need for repeated visits and the preparation of appropriate documents (entry visa, etc.)

Among the directions of medical tourism there are:

  • Oncology. In clinics in Israel, Germany, Turkey and Spain, therapy is carried out according to international standards. Doctors are guided by evidence-based medicine and constantly improve techniques, using minimally invasive surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy. The clinics have everything necessary to diagnose oncology: PET-CT, genetic and histological laboratories.
  • Rehabilitation. Qualified rehabilitation specialists based on specially equipped clinics successfully cope with brain and spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc. Depending on the type and severity of the disease, rehabilitation can either wholly restore the damaged functions or significantly improve the patient’s well-being and quality of life. The indisputable advantage of foreign restorative medicine is robotic rehabilitation.
  • Cardiology. Top-notch medical facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art surgical and diagnostic equipment and expert medical professionals. These facilities utilize the latest technologies to perform complex procedures such as angioplasty, bypass surgery, and heart transplantation with minimal patient risk.

When deciding on a medical tourism destination, it is essential to prioritize the doctor’s competence and the clinic’s reputation over the appeal of a country’s exotic attractions. Keep in mind that traveling during tourist season may result in higher flight and accommodation expenses.

Preparing for Your Medical Tourism Trip 

If you decide to organize treatment abroad yourself, then you will have to go through several key stages:

  • Choosing a clinic. It is necessary to select the most suitable place for you in terms of budget, doctor qualifications, convenience, and climate. Choose a country where the state strictly controls the medicine and the clinic has an international JCI certificate.
  • Doctor’s choice. You must have confidence in your choice and speak with the doctor directly. Make sure he answers all your questions thoroughly. 
  • Approval and schedule an appointment with a doctor. Contact the clinics to find out what documents and certificates you must bring, including your medical history and previous exam results. Be sure to confirm when you can see the desired doctor and the length of stay in the country. 
  • Organizational issues. Ask for an official invitation from the hospital to get a visa, if necessary. Collect certificates and documents and translate them into the language of the selected country (many hospitals accept papers in English). Think through the logistics. If you are going to have outpatient treatment – book accommodation.
  • Treatment, rehabilitation period, return. After passing all the necessary procedures, your doctor will give recommendations and tell you how to contact him. 

Recovering from Your Medical Tourism Experience 

Specific treatments may require follow-up monitoring after returning home. It may involve additional procedures, such as removing stitches or prescribing medication. Here are the steps you should take after returning home:

  • If you have organized your treatment abroad, contact your doctor for follow-up.
  • Prepare all the necessary information about the procedure for your attending physician at home. 
  • Be sure to participate in the rehabilitation program and other procedures so that your body can recover as quickly as possible.

Aftercare for Medical Tourism 

After returning home, patients must have a comprehensive plan to receive the necessary care. The duration depends on the treatment performed. E.g.:

  • Patients who have undergone complex cardiac therapy require a long rehabilitation period.
  • A patient with a minor dental operation can return to work almost immediately.

Patients should determine what kind of care will be provided abroad, what services are included in the cost of their procedures and what will be needed upon return. Some clinics charge a significant fee for follow-up treatment in addition to the basic price. Travelers should also know if follow-up treatment is planned at the same facility as the procedure.

Selecting the Right Medical Tourism Provider

Suppose you’re new to planning medical tourism. In that case, finding a clinic or doctor and completing the paperwork can be overwhelming. Seeking assistance from specialized agencies to guide you through the process is recommended. There are many medical tourism providers, each with varying accreditations, sizes, and coverage areas:

  • Firms that offer medical services within a country are called local intermediaries. Their number increases with a country’s popularity, leading to greater competition. Generally, patients have to pay for the services of these companies separately.
  • International departments for hospitals are often represented by companies affiliated with the medical center. They use the medical center’s name and logo to provide services. These types of companies are commonly found in European Union countries and Israel.
  • Large multi-profile Internet platforms contain various medical centers with different forms of ownership. Marketplaces mainly advertise and market services for hospitals and other intermediaries by posting their information on their websites.
  • Large companies. One of the most reliable structural units of the medical tourism market. They offer services in one or multiple countries and do not limit patients to one specific location. Instead, they provide the patient with the best medical opportunities worldwide. The hospitals pay for the services of such companies, which does not affect the patient’s treatment fees.

AiroMedical is a global medicine platform that offers reliable and up-to-date information about hospitals and doctors. We directly interact with 479+ leading clinics from 16 countries worldwide and maintain a vast database. Our coordinators are experts in selecting a clinic, specialized doctors, and treatment programs for you. They promptly respond to patients’ requests, provide advice, answer questions, and offer support. We prioritize providing high-quality informational, psychological, and organizational assistance to patients during their journey to recovery. If you have a medical problem, contact us and let us help you.



  1. Medical tourism global market report 2023. Research and markets. Published February, 2023. https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5735386/medical-tourism-global-market-report#:~:text=The%20global%20medical%20tourism%20market,least%20in%20the%20short%20term.
  2. Volvak N. Treatment in Germany (advantages and benefits). AiroMedical. Updated December 05, 2022. https://airomedical.com/blogs/articles/treatment-in-germany-advantages-and-benefits
  3. Volvak N. Treatment in Turkey (advantages and benefits). AjroMedical. Updated December 05, 2022. https://airomedical.com/blogs/articles/treatment-in-turkey-advantages-and-benefits

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