Thousands of Canadians travel abroad for Medical Tourism

It has happened to many of us, especially those who don’t have comprehensive benefits from our employer. We go into the dentist’s office for something routine and come out with a recommendation for something that will cost thousands of dollars.

Some Canadians refuse to pay the price, choosing instead to partake in medical tourism. They can jet to a much cheaper part of the world and get the work done for a fraction of the price. Essentially, they combine a vacation with a needed medical procedure. Depending on the work needed to be done, potential savings could be as much as $5,000. Even more.

Most medical professionals argue against the practice, saying the last thing you should cheap out on is your health. They have all sorts of horror stories from past clients who regret going abroad for treatment.

But there are thousands of Canadians who have had great luck getting dental work, plastic surgery, or laser eye procedures done in cheaper countries. The work is often done by an American or Canadian trained doctor in a facility with state of the art equipment. The savings come from low wages paid to support staff and reduced fixed expenses.

Many of these clinics use the internet to market themselves to more affluent customers, and they are strategically located a short distance away from major hotels. They’re serious businesses that want to earn repeat customers. The larger ones have thousands of reviews, which are mostly positive.

Don’t let your doctor scare you. Medical tourism can save you a lot of money while creating an excuse to visit an exotic locale


List of Hospitals in Singapore

The following is a list of hospitals and medical institutions in Singapore. It is classified according to the following categories:

General Hospitals – provide acute tertiary healthcare, with comprehensive medical facilities, in-house specialists and allied support services.

Specialist Hospitals and Institutions – provide specialist treatment and healthcare. These include medical centres housing independent specialist clinics and doctors.

Community Hospitals – these are usually semi-public hospitals catering to rehabilitation, geriatric care and coalescing patients. They are usually funded by charities or religious groups, with assistance from government funds and/or public healthcare professionals.

List of General Hospitals
Changi General Hospital (CGH)
Gleneagles Hospital
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
Mount Alvernia Hospital
National University Hospital (NUH)
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital
Parkway East Hospital (former East Shore Hospital)
Raffles Hospital
Sengkang General Hospital
Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)
List of Community Hospitals
Alexandra Hospital – due to restructuring changes, this hospital offers limited services starting from Aug 2015.
Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital Ltd
Bright Vision Hospital
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital And Nursing Home
Ren Ci Long Term Care (Hougang)
Ren Ci Community Hospital
Ren Ci Nursing Home
Sengkang General & Community Hospitals
St Andrew’s Community Hospital (SACH)
St Luke’s Hospital
Yishun Community Hospital
List of Specialists Hospitals & Institutions
Adam Road Medical Centre
Institute Of Mental Health (IMH) (former Woodbridge Hospital)
Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre (IMC)
KK Women’s And Children’s Hospital (KKH)
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS)
National Dental Centre of Singapore (NDC)
National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS)
National Neuroscience Institute (NNI)
National Skin Centre (NSC)
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC)
Thomson Medical Centre (TMC)

Kerala wants to promote Dental Tourism

Kerala has long considered Ayurveda, backwaters and culture (ABC) as its USP.Dental specialists in the state now want to add letter D to it in an attempt to tap the potential of dental tourism. A group of dental surgeons have set up a `Dental Holiday Knowledge Centre’ in Fort Kochi, to promote the concept among tourists.
India, Singapore and Thailand account for 90% of the medical tourism in Asia. “India ranks far below Thailand in dental tourism even though cities like Kochi have the necessary infrastructure to provide exceptional dental care at much cheaper rates,” said Dr Seby Varghese, founder of Dentela Foundation and secretary of Indian Dental Association, Nedumbassery. According to the research undertaken by Sindhu Joseph, an assistant professor with Kannur University , who has specialised in tourism management, 24.5% of the total medical tourists visiting Kerala can be credited to dental tourism. “Around 40% of all medical tourists visiting Kerala also look for leisure. As of now, the leading source of information regarding dental service in the international market is word of mouth. If you exclude NRIs the figure is 24.5%,” said Sindhu.
“I came to India specifically to see my daughter, who was staying in Fort Kochi.She has had previous experience with Dr Seby Varghese. I need some work done on my front teeth so I took her word for it and visited his office”, said Deborah Moe, a tourist who visited Kochi from the US this year.
Dr Seby says dental tourism has not been given an adequate platform to promote itself. “Most promotional opportunities like travel mart are dominated by large medical corporations who only promote themselves,” said Dr Seby .
He said dental tourism should be promoted like ayurveda. “In Thailand, dental tourism is uniquely promoted by the government. It has high online visibility and significant promotional presence in road shows and conventions. In Kochi, we have one of Asia’s leading dental lab facilities, which is catering not just to the market demands in Kochi but to foreign nations as well. We have the infrastructure, all we need is the promotion,” said Dr Seby .
Doctors say dental implants, tooth alignment and smile makeovers are the most frequently requested procedures. Getting dental implants done in Thailand can cost up to Rs 1 lakh, while the same can be done in Kochi for just Rs 55,000.
“The work I had done on my teeth was exceptional,” said Deborah.
The knowledge centre in Fort Kochi, which is set to open in October, will only admit clinics and centres that are approved by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH). “Ayurveda marred its reputation due to malpractices by a few institutions, we don’t want the same to happen to the dental health industry ,” said Dr Seby.

India to come with Medical and Wellness Tourism Policy on International Yoga Day

The Centre is planning to launch a wellness and medical tourism policy on International Yoga Day on June 21 to tap the huge potential of the sector, Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Friday.

A web portal listing the names of the accredited institutions and the services they offer and the rates would also be launched, he said at a press conference here.

The minister was addressing the media after India’s rankings in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) for 2017 rose up 12 points to the 40th position, up from the 52nd position in 2016.

India’s rankings, which in 2015 was 65, have been calculated from 14 parameters among 136 countries.

According to Sharma, the government has also formed a National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board, which has noted cardiac surgeon Naresh Trehan and yoga guru Ramdev as members, to chalk out a strategy for boosting tourism through the segment.

Talking tourism

The rate of foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) around the globe is 3.9%; India’s FTA 10.7%

Japan and China’s rankings rose up five points and two points respectively; on the other hand, the rankings of the United States and Switzerland fell by two and four points respectively.

Bahrain’s Dental Tourism

The Dentist’s Lifestyle Conference and Exhibition is set to promote medical and Dental tourism in Bahrain by positioning Bahrain as the foremost destination among clients seeking cosmetic dental procedures.

The Conference, now in its second edition, will be held under the patronage of his excellency Lieutenant General Doctor Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, president of the supreme council for health.

The conference will take place on April 20 and 21, at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC).

A number of high-profile partners have already signed up for the conference, including US-based company invisaligin clear aligner, Saudi Dental society, Basheer Shakib for dental supplies, and index holding – owner of AEEDC Dubai Conference & Exhibition, which is the largest dental conference in the region. DLS bahrain has also attracted dental companies from Turkey, Europe, and China.

The conference is organised by Tarteeb events management and BDA scientific Events management.

Dr. Mohammed Al Aradi, founder of BDA and the head of marketing and PR for DLS bahrain, said “The conference highlights Bahrain’s burgeoning dental sector and the robust licensing and legal framework which makes it easy for dental practitioners to set up a business here while maintaining stringent quality controls. We hope that this conference will attract further foreign investment in this sector”.

Tarteeb general manager Mohammed Al Muharraqi added: “Bahrain is the ideal destination for clients seeking cosmetic dental procedures as the industry is well developed, the quality of the services offered is world-class, and there are numerous tourist attractions on offer for visitors to enjoy while they have their procedure done”.

The conference sponsors include invisaligin (platinum Sponsor), McLaren Automotive motors; coral pay with their sea floating hotel “The C Hotel” which is hosting all speakers and guests, and At Bahrain Tourism Company, which will organise country tours for the visitors. The conference will include a cinema which will be sponsored by Ram Dental at the venue, an art exhibition, and a mobile dental clinic by Al Mansoori Clinics.

China is developing Special Medical Tourism Zone

Hainan Island will be designated a special economic zone for “medical tourism,” where foreigners will be able to fly to get cheap health care (similar to how offshore entities can go to Guandong Province to have cheap electronics manufactured)>

The zone will also have its own regulatory regime for medical experimentation, notably with stem cells, permitting research that is forbidden or controlled elsewhere in the country.

The move formalizes a four-year-old pilot scheme.

Hainan Boao Lecheng international medical tourism pilot zone, the first of its kind in the country, was approved by the State Council in 2013. It enjoys nine preferential polices, including special permission for medical talent, technology, devices and drugs, and an allowance for entrance of foreign capital and international communications.

The pilot zone also has permission to carry out leading-edge medical technology research, such as stem cell clinical research.

Since being established, about 20 projects with a total investment of 19.8 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) have been set up in the pilot zone, with another 15 projects approved.

Nine investment projects, with a total contract value of 8.4 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), were agreed at the congress in Boao, and five of them relate to the pilot zone.