Top 5 medical tourism destinations and how to get there

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Medical tourism is growing to be extremely popular, even from developed countries, such as the US, where there seems to be no dearth of medical treatment and care. Medical Tourism involves traveling to another country to obtain treatment, whether medical, dental or cosmetic. Reasons behind these types of trips are many, common ones being expensive healthcare costs, inadequate medical insurance, lack of specialist-driven procedures, no access to the latest technologies or seeking alternative treatments that are not available/approved in the host country.  

Some of the top specialist areas for which patients leverage medical tourism are: 

  • Cosmetic surgery,
  • Dental treatments,
  • Cardiovascular diseases, 
  • Orthopaedics, 
  • Cancer, 
  • Reproductive and gynecological issues, 
  • Health screening and advanced tests

medical tourism

Top medical tourism destinations: The Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021 

Coming to a decision about the best country to visit when it comes to medical tourism is specific to your condition and to the treatment that you are looking to obtain. The Medical Tourism Index (MTI) provides a comprehensive guide for patients wishing to learn more about the medical travel industry. 

A study has been conducted to offer more insight into the top medical tourism destinations. The 2020-2021 issue explored three factors as the drivers of medical tourism, placing special emphasis on COVID-19 and how it has changed the medical sector. These are destination environment, medical tourism industry & safety and quality of facilities & services.

The top 5 medical tourism destinations are 


Being the second-largest country in the world and attracting millions of American tourists every year, it is highly reputed for offering high-quality specialized treatment in various fields and exceptional healthcare facilities, making it one of the top medical tourism destinations. Treatments range from diagnostic tests to surgeries and even addiction treatment programs.


Healthcare services in Singapore are not only of high quality but are also affordable, attracting thousands of medical tourists every year. A patient may save up to 40% of what they would have spent on healthcare services in the US. Considering its popularity as a medical tourism destination, Singapore recently set up International Patient Service Centers, which act as mediators between patients from abroad and healthcare providers in the country.


Having one of the most developed healthcare systems in the world, Japan continues to make advancements in order to deliver high-quality medical services. Two of its specialties are cancer treatment and cosmetic surgery. Low-cost of healthcare facilities is also a main driver of medical tourism in the country.

A small comparison: hip replacement surgeries that cost $30,000 in the US are done at $4,126 in Japan, allowing patients to save 70% of treatment costs.


Being one of the most popular touristic destinations, Spain is also ranked 4th as a medical tourism destination by the MTI because of the combination of first-class healthcare services, low cost and a beautiful travel experience. Common reasons for visits to the country include advanced orthopedic, cosmetic and dental procedures.

madrid spain

United Kingdom

World-famous medical institutions such as the London Orthopedic Clinic, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and the Cambridge Complex Orthopedic Trauma Center found in the UK attract millions of medical tourists every year. Besides its high-quality healthcare services, treatment in the UK is also more affordable than in the US


Despite not being in the top 5 of the MTI 2020-2021, Germany deserves a special mention when it comes to medical tourism destinations. Considered by many as the ‘Hospital of Europe’, it boasts high-quality treatment that is usually made available much earlier than in other countries. It is home to many leading medical implants and pharmaceutical companies, facilitating access to the newest equipment and expertise, which means that its physicians are much more experienced and knowledgeable about recent treatments being developed. 

Flying to top medical tourism destinations in air ambulances

Advancements and new technologies in the medical field demonstrate progress with regard to the availability and accessibility of healthcare services. Even if treatment for a particular condition is not adequate or available locally, it can be obtained in another country across the globe. 

Further facilitating access to advanced treatments, Medical Air Service enables patient transportation via air ambulances. Medical tourists are often weakened by their condition which hinders traveling to another country via commercial flights. Some common restrictions are the requirement of constant medical supervision and care, inability to sit upright, the requirement of medical equipment, the flight being too stressful or the airline’s refusal to accommodate the patient. 

These problems can be solved via the air ambulances offered by Medical Air Services. Comparable to flying ICU, they can transport even patients requiring intensive care since they are fitted with the latest medical equipment and are staffed with doctors and paramedics instead of the cabin crew. As such, traveling to top medical tourism destinations is easier and stress-free thanks to the air ambulances of Medical Air Service. 

ambulance jet

Flying home after your medical treatment abroad 

An aspect of planning a medical trip to another country that is often disregarded is the transport home after the intervention. Generally, a surgery or any other form of treatment, mandates some recovery time. The patient needs time, strength and care to be able to recover completely from the medical intervention. The amount of time needed depends on the operation performed and is advised by your doctor. 

While some choose to recover in the destination country itself, others prefer to travel home in order to regain their strength closer to their loved ones and in familiar surroundings. Comfort and support being key in fastening the recovery process, these are important factors that must be taken into consideration. Moreover, having to stay abroad for months can be quite expensive. 

While traveling is not recommended soon after surgery, our air ambulances are valuable assets in these situations as well. Used for medical repatriation, they can be equipped according to your specific needs and medical requirement, making flying after a surgery possible. For instance, the cabin pressure can be adjusted to mimic the pressure on the ground. These are so-called sea-level flights that can help stabilize a patient’s condition. 

Contact us for an air ambulance to fly to your medical tourism destination 

With our air ambulances being at your disposable on the same or following day of the booking being made and our agents working 24/7 to assist you in the planning of the medical tourism trip, flying abroad even when you are sick or injured is easy. Our experts are available to assist you and to devise the right solution for you.

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