Today, we’re diving into a fascinating topic: Why U.S. patients are choosing to travel abroad for medical treatment. We’ll explore key factors in the U.S. medical tourism market, the motivations and concerns of U.S. patients, and their common characteristics.

In this interview, Gilliam Elliott, the founder of Medical Tourism Business, will share his insights from his extensive professional experience, and Laura, the Outreach Coordinator for MTB, will be facilitating today’s discussion by posing questions to Gilliam. Let’s get started!


Laura: Gilliam, could you start by explaining why medical tourism has become a popular option for U.S. patients?

Gilliam Elliott: Certainly, Laura. One of the primary reasons U.S. patients gravitate towards medical tourism is for cost savings. Healthcare in America is extremely expensive, and medical tourism offers a way to significantly reduce these costs. Additionally, patients also seek out specialized or unique procedures that may not be readily available in the U.S. But the driving force is definitely the potential for saving money.

Laura: That’s fascinating. How much can U.S. patients save by traveling abroad for treatment?

Gilliam: Traveling abroad for medical treatment can result in substantial cost savings, ranging from 40 percent to 80 percent, including travel and accommodation costs. This can amount to a tremendous reduction in overall medical expenses.

Laura: Can you give examples of treatments that U.S. patients commonly travel abroad for?

Gilliam: U.S. patients travel for a wide range of treatments including dental procedures, cosmetic surgeries, and orthopedic procedures like knee and hip replacements. Essentially, they seek care for both elective and necessary treatments.

Laura: What are some concerns that U.S. patients have about traveling abroad for treatment?

Gilliam: The major concerns include the quality of care and safety. While the cost savings are attractive, patients want to ensure they are not compromising on the quality of healthcare. They also look at the safety of their destination, both in terms of the medical facility and the surrounding area.

Laura: How do medical tourism facilitators assist patients throughout this process?

Gilliam: Medical tourism facilitators are crucial. They help with everything from obtaining passports and visas to booking flights and arranging accommodation. They also ensure the secure transfer of medical records to overseas healthcare providers and assist in coordinating appointments and any necessary entertainment.

Laura: What are some common characteristics of U.S. medical tourists?

Gilliam: Interestingly, it’s not only the uninsured but also the underinsured who travel abroad. These individuals might have insurance, but it does not fully cover their medical needs. These patients are also very cost-conscious and well-researched, aiming to maximize savings without sacrificing quality.

Laura: What are some preferred destinations for these patients?

Gilliam: American patients travel to a variety of destinations including Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Thailand, and Turkey, depending on the type of care they seek and the savings they can realize.

Laura: As a facilitator, what steps do you take to ensure top medical treatment for your clients?

Gilliam: It’s essential to work with accredited healthcare providers and conduct site visits to ensure facilities meet high standards. Facilitators should also communicate with past patients and perform thorough due diligence.

Laura: Finally, how do you protect your medical tourism company from liability?

Gilliam: It’s crucial to have solid agreements in place, such as hospital agreements and patient waivers, to clarify the roles and responsibilities. Additionally, ensuring that liability and complication insurance are in place can protect both the company and the patients in case of unexpected events.


Thank you, Gilliam, for sharing these insights. And thank you to our viewers for joining us. If you’re interested in starting or growing a medical tourism company, check out the links below for more resources and our certification program. Have a great day, everyone!

Reach Your Full Potential in Medical Tourism with MTB

At MTB, we are dedicated to supporting professionals and organizations in the medical tourism industry as they strive for success. We are a leading provider of certification, contracts, marketing, and support. We offer comprehensive programs, expert guidance, and valuable resources that are designed to help our members achieve their goals and reach their full potential in the global healthcare market. With a focus on excellence and innovation, we help our members stay ahead of the competition and navigate the complex and dynamic world of medical tourism.

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