Medical Tourism in Israel
Have you ever needed a medical procedure and the waiting list was just too long? Perhaps you need cosmetic dental work and the costs at home are just prohibitive? Maybe your medical insurance doesn’t cover your treatment? Because of these and many other reasons, there the field of medical tourism is one that seems to be growing exponentially. While medical tourism is nothing new, in the past it tended to be patients from less developed countries travelling to countries like the US to get treatments unavailable at home. Now the trend appears to be the opposite. For the reasons mentioned before and other, the flow has reversed with more and more medical tourists coming from the US and other western countries.
According to the 2014 Medical Tourism Index, Israel ranks third amongst the leading health tourist destinations in the world with a rating of 74.17 after Canada and the UK. This is no mean feat considering how small the country is.
So why Israel?
Israel has one of the most advanced medical systems in the world where cutting edge treatments, and standard treatments are provided by some of the best medical professionals in the world using advanced equipment in top quality hospitals and medical facilities. Possibly due to Israel’s history certain areas of medical treatment enjoy world leadings status – especially in the fields of trauma surgery, heart surgery and others.
Medical costs in Israel are significantly lower (and often with higher standards and success rates) than in countries such as the United States, Russia and other developed nations thus bringing complex medical procedures with reach of almost everyone. For example, IVF treatments that in the US could cost as much as $20,000, in Israel cost about $3000. Bypass surgery in the States costs around $120,000 compared to $30,000 in Israel. Even when taking into account travel and hotel costs as well as other incidentals, treatment in Israel can be 35% cheaper than in the US. When we add to lower costs, less waiting time – then the benefits of Israel as a health tourist destination become clear.
There are other reasons that aren’t directly related to medical treatments but that are, for many medical tourists, quite important:
- Israel’s climate is sunny and warm for most of the year making a recuperation stay here a pleasant one.
- As a major world tourist destination, Israel has a lot to offer the medical tourist and those accompanying them (family, friends etc.). A history spanning over 6000 years and three major religions, a rich and diverse ethnic makeup, sandy beaches and the Mediterranean Sea, shops, restaurants, bars, clubs – everything you need for a great vacation before or after your medical procedure.
Latest estimates from Israel’s Ministry of Health show that 50,000 medical tourists come to Israel for treatments every year and this figure is expected to grow. Of these the majority come from Russia and Eastern Europe. Having said that, there are increasing numbers of medical tourists from the United States and EU countries who choose Israel for their medical treatments. The 2014 Medical Tourist Index, estimates that medical tourism in Israel generated some $260 million dollars in 2014 alone.
Popular treatments for medical tourists
We already said that Israel has an excellent health service with first class doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Equipment is generally some of the most advanced in the world and treatment regimens are cutting edge. Israel offers a full range of medical treatments and procedures from obstetrics and gynecology to dermatology, from cardiology and cardiac surgery to bone marrow transplants, from plastic surgery to vascular surgery.
Over the past few years, Israel has been attracting increasing numbers of medical tourists in certain fields including:
- Bone marrow transplants – especially from countries where such treatments are unavailable or have low success rates.
- Heart surgery & Cardiac catheterization
- Infertility treatments
- Orthopedic surgery
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis and Psoriasis
- Cosmetic surgery
- Dental surgery
In all of these fields, alongside lower costs and high availability, Israeli hospitals and medical professionals have a proven success rate that is amongst the highest in the world.
Tips for the medical tourist
Here are just a few helpful tips that may help you make your final decision. We can’t cover everything and these tips are just that, tips to point you along the way.
- When it comes to choosing a health center – ask your insurance company or treating physician. They may have information about facilities and specialists in Israel that are best able to treat your complaint.
- Use a medical professional tourism broker. They should have all the information you need to know to arrange your trip and will often take care of all the details for you.
- Check out Medical Centers on the internet. They all have English sites and can give a good indication of the treatments they provide.
- If you plan on arriving before your treatment or staying on after – check out hotels and rental apartments for yourself and anybody accompanying you. Many medical centers have their own hotels which is convenient, but they can be very expensive.
Raphael short term apartments
Raphael Hotels offers excellent accommodation for the health tourist and their companions. With over 60 apartments located at six prime locations across the bustling metropolis of Tel Aviv, you are sure to find the perfect apartment for your stay either before or after your treatment. We offer a range of apartments from one room studio apartments to apartment’s suitable for up to eight people. All are fully furnished with shower and kitchenette, cable TV, fast Wi-Fi internet and ready for use. Most also include daily housekeeping. And the price is right so that you can be sure of enjoying a luxurious stay at a reasonable price – and a lot less than a hotel room!
What should I bring with me for my medical treatment?
There is no one single answer to that question. We suggest that you talk to your treating physician and the hospital that will be providing the treatment. They’ll tell you exactly what you need to bring with. This can include full medical notes, current treatment regimes, current medications, allergies, previous medical history and more. You may also be asked to take tests.
Will the staff speak my language?
A good medical center will ensure that the people treating you and dealing with you will speak your language so that they can explain and answer all your questions. Some hospitals provide a ‘patient liaison agent’ who is responsible for your stay and will make sure that there are no language barriers.
Will I have a private room?
Yes, of course.
How will I get from the airport to the hospital?
That will depend on a number of things. If you are arriving before your hospitalization date, you can get a taxi from the airport to your hotel. If you are not mobile or need assistance, we recommend that you arrange appropriate transport in advance. Your hospital will be able to advise you on this.
Will my discharge notes be in my language?
Yes they will. You’ll get complete set of case notes and suggested after care treatment regimes in your own language.