With the high cost of health care in the United States, many Americans are increasingly turning to health tourism, also known as medical tourism, to get some of their medical needs taken care of. This is true not just for uninsured Americans, but even for people with health insurance who might find that their out-of-pocket expenses for medical and dental procedures in the US exceeds what they might pay on health tourism expenses for the same procedure, even with airfare thrown in. Even people from countries with nationalized health care such as Canada and the United Kingdom have been opting for health tourism, as sometimes there are long waiting lists in those countries for certain procedures. The top health tourism destinations in the world offer world class health care at a fraction of the price you might pay in the United States. Top countries for medical tourism include Brazil, India, Costa Rica, Thailand, Panama, Singapore and Hungary.

Top health tourism destinations

Brazil: Brazil is a favorite health tourism destination for people, especially for those looking to get low cost plastic surgery. This is a country where people spend much of their time outside. Brazil is well known for its beach scene, and hence the emphasis on looking good. Brazil has many world class facilities for cosmetic surgery, and their plastic surgeons are renowned.

India: For medical tourism India is one of the top destinations in the world. Health care in India is among the best in the world for those who can afford to pay for it (for the masses who do not have access to India's top medical facilities it's a different matter). In addition to a booming health tourism industry in India, one advantage the country enjoys is that English is widely spoken there, making it easy for patients from many Western countries to communicate with health care providers there. Medical tourism in India covers the gamut of services from small procedures and dental treatment to major medical procedures such as bypass surgery, organ transplants, heart valve replacements and almost anything else. Furthermore, costs can be up to 90% less than having the same treatment in the United States. You can even take a "health vacation" in India where the package includes not only surgery and post-surgical treatment, but also sightseeing thrown in, all for a very reasonable cost.

Costa Rica: Like Brazil, Costa Rica is one of the top health tourism destinations in the field of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery in Costa Rica for procedures such as breast enhancements and facelifts can cost less than half of what they would cost in the United States. Costa Rica plastic surgeons and other medical staff also frequently speak English, even though the main language is Spanish, making communication easier for many medical tourists from Anglophone countries. Dental tourism is also big in Costa Rica; a Costa Rica dentist often changes 60% less than a dentist in the United States, making Costa Rica dental work very alluring especially to Americans without dental insurance.

Thailand: Thailand is another of the top health tourism destinations. Thailand medical infrastructure is excellent in the hospitals geared toward health tourism, and medical tourism packages can include not only health tests and treatment, but also hotel stay and cruises! Thailand medical tourism facilities will treat a wide variety of ailments, including serious procedures like heart valve replacements.

Other top health tourism destinations include Hungary, Singapore and Panama. The list of options for reasonably priced medical tourism options is always expanding, and chances are you can find a great facility to take care of your treatments needs somewhere in the world at a very modest cost.