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Working out the full cost of treatment abroad

Low treatment costs are the main reason that most people travel abroad for treatment. With prices as low as 20% of the cost of treatment in the UK, there are significant savings to be made. However, you need to be careful to include all the costs of your trip when making a comparison.

The full cost of your treatment overseas not only includes the cost of the treatment or operation, but also all of the other costs of your trip, including:

  • Flights and transfers
  • Hotel accommodation and meals
  • Insurance*

*Standard travel insurance will not cover you for treatment overseas and so you will need to pay extra for specialist healthcare tourism insurance.

Remember, if you decide to take a companion along many of these costs will double. You also need to factor in the same costs for repeat visits for further treatment if required.

Keeping flight costs down

One advantage of treatment within Europe is the availability of low cost flights from budget operators such as Ryanair and easyJet. If you book well in advance, and can be flexible on your travel dates, you can often find flights to Europe for as little as £25 - £50 using comparison sites such as skyscanner.net. If you can book early and be flexible, you also significantly reduce the cost of long haul flights. The cheapest online flight to Mumbai for example is £285, compared to the standard BA price of around £600.

Local cost of living

The cost of accommodation, meals and transport can soon add up, so the local cost of living is an important factor. Hotel comparison websites will give you a good idea of local accommodation rates, while guides such as Lonely Planet will give you an idea of other local prices. While you may pay far more to get to India, local costs are much less than they are in Europe. Combine this with the low treatment prices and it could work out cheaper overall to have surgery in Mumbai than in Madrid.

Using a medical tourism broker

A medical tourism broker or agent will provide a complete package, including all the different elements listed above, making it much easier to directly compare total treatment costs. Despite the work that they do on your behalf, it may actually work out cheaper to use a broker than to arrange the package yourself, as brokers have access to bulk deals and prices that are not available to the general public. Some brokers will provide a complete package for an all inclusive price, including airport transfers, accommodation and sightseeing trips

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