Your Medical Travel Journey (Part 1): The 3 Benefits of International Medical Travel
The concept of travelling for medical treatment dates back thousands of years. While Greek pilgrims would travel from all over the Mediterranean to reach the small territory of the healing god Asklepios, medical travellers of today are jet-setting in huge numbers to multi-million dollar clinics; searching for the best Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine treatments.
It’s estimated that between 920,000 and 1.2 million medical tourists visited Thailand in 2013. So why do patients, living in seemingly modern Western nations, consider travelling overseas for medical procedures, and why have Modern Medical Travel Companies like SkyGen and CosMediTour received such an enthusiastic response from Australians?
There are three reasons why Australians seek medical procedures beyond their local city and shore.
The 3 Benefits of International Medical Travel
#1. Experienced specialists using highly developed technologies
In some cases, patients need to access treatments and technologies that strictly are not available in their home countries. This often results from a handful of contributing factors, including inadequate training programs and even delayed government support for new treatments; such is the case with the adoption of certain stem cell treatments here in Australia.
The restrictive legislation in Australia was recently exposed by the story of Gold Coast mother Kristy Cruise, who travelled to Russia for a stem cell-based treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Her reluctant obligation to travel to Russia was out of complete necessity, after she was turned down by Australian doctors who refused to acknowledge the potential benefits of these treatments. This inspiring story was thoroughly investigated and went to air as one of Channel 9’s most watched episodes of ‘60 Minutes’, where it was subsequently republished by local media all over Australia.
Note: While countries like Russia and Thailand are usually marketed predominantly for their low-cost pricing, a further technological advantage is often inherent in their developed stem cell harvesting processes and technologies. For instance, Bangkok’s iconic modern medicine clinic repeatedly collects five-fold (5x) more viable cells than the systems routinely used and advertised by most Australian stem cell clinics.
#2. Low cost with impressive inclusions
In countries like Australia, establishing and running a medical business can be incredibly expensive, especially when compared with other parts of the world. The demanding costs associated with running a medical practice include staff payment and on-costs, real estate lease, equipment and technology infrastructure, medical indemnity insurances and much more. It’s unfortunate and yet entirely critical to a clinic’s success, that these costs be passed on to the end-consumer; the fee-paying patients who are treated at these elegantly-situated clinics overlooking harbours and similar waterfronts, heavily publicised on radio, television and on billboards demanding advertising costs well into the six-figure range.
An important and yet modestly overlooked fact: World leading corporations and modern medicine conglomerates are using their experience in the international marketplace to build multi-million dollar medical facilities in medical travel hubs, such as Thailand. Here overhead expenses and the need for paid advertising is significantly reduced, enabling the cost savings to be passed down onto well informed patients who are willing to travel for regenerative medicine, stem cell therapies and other modern medical treatments.
CASE STUDY: Real World Pricing Comparison (Australia vs. Thailand)
An Australian patient suffering Grade 3 knee osteoarthritis and suffering from chronic knee pain would be expected to pay around $9,000 (AUD) for a single intra-articular stem cell treatment at an Australian clinic. By comparison, $8,700 (AUD) could see the same patient receive a whole 7 day treatment plan at a modern medicine icon such as IntelliHealth Plus in Bangkok. In comparison to a standard $9,000 Australian treatment this, already reduced, Intellihealth Plus treatment price includes an extra (second) knee joint treatment, an additional intravenous (whole-body) stem cell infusion, additional daily localised medical laser therapy, daily atomised oxygen therapy and a two-month pack of take-home joint support supplements.
#3. Luxurious recovery and recuperation options
Let’s face it: certain international destinations are better suited to relaxation and comfort than others. If the official figures are anything to go by, Thailand would have to be one of the most attractive locations for Australian holiday makers, with over 568,000 Australians visiting in 2013 alone.
Thailand’s dependable economy and attractive exchange rates gift travelling Australians a much higher return for their spending dollar. Thailand’s rich cultural history, performing arts, cuisine, and peace-inspiring Buddhist temples create a realm of undeniable happiness, wellness and positivity. Coupled with the generous and welcoming character of the local Thai people, it’s nearly impossible for Australians to resist seeking out Thailand for their next long-awaited getaway.
With the cost of luxurious five star accommodation suites available for less than $90 AUD per night, most Australians and their travelling companions are delighted to take up the opportunity to combine their necessary medical treatments with a well-deserved luxury holiday. Following years of our observation, this appears to be the consensus especially amongst younger medical travellers, effortlessly invoking jealousy whilst posing for a ‘selfie’ by the pool-side or famous roof-top bar.The Key: Knowledge, understanding and an experienced facilitator
SkyGen’s patient fulfilment team has observed countless medical tourists embark on immensely satisfying journeys in their pursuit of modern medicine. As an avid educator of its clients and the remaining 1.3 million Australians needlessly living in pain from osteoarthritis, SkyGen’s prerogative is to provide unmatched information, guidance and support to the Australian public. Whilst some members have even been involved in the growth of Australia’s largest medical tourism provider CosMediTour, SkyGen’s co-founders, affiliated specialists and customer service staff are consistently leveraging their personal experiences and knowledge in their provision of a whole new tier of quality to the Australian medical travel market. As a thoroughly educated and modern nation, Australians have the right to share in our combined knowledge of modern medical treatment options, so they can make the best choices in the pursuit of a pain-free future.
Please follow our SkyGen blog or join our mailing list for the next Medical Travel article, as we shine light on the medical travel process that patients can expect as they embark on their next medical holiday.
*Please read: Although the information provided on this page may describe a particular patient experience and/or outcome, readers must understand that each patient presents with a unique medical history and may be recommended a different treatment/surgery by their surgeon to that described above. Individual results may vary between surgery centre/hospital, surgeon, surgery type and patient. Although SkyGen agrees to share all updates from patients at their request, SkyGen does not endorse any physical activities attempted by patients following surgery which do not follow the explicit instructions provided by their surgeon. SkyGen encourages all patients to discuss the risks of such activities with medical professionals before attempting these themselves.