Medical Tourism Agencies: Pros and Cons

As medical procedures have become less expensive in other countries, many people have started to travel abroad to take advantage of the savings. To help them find the best surgery and surgery center for their needs, patients look to medical tourism agencies for advice. These agencies offer information on medical facilities, service providers, medical professionals, medical/travel insurance overseas, and local areas of interest. However, before working with these agencies, there are some pros and cons that you should consider before deciding if this is the right step for you. 

Types of Medical Tourism Agencies

Medical tourism agencies come in many different shapes and sizes. For example, some agencies focus exclusively on providing specific medical procedures, while others offer a more comprehensive range of services, including the service, location, and area. In addition, some agencies only work with certain medical facilities or doctors, so it is essential to do your research before choosing an agency to work with. The types of agencies available include:

Travel Agencies: Like the traditional agency that plans vacations, medical tourism travel agencies offer services that include the surgery center and the travel destination. They are familiar with travel logistics and book international travel where the surgery center is located.

Medical Travel Planners: These planners represent a specific medical provider abroad and work to get patients into the facilities. Patients can use a medical travel planner if they have a particular surgery they want to be performed (i.e., the best liposuction in Mexico). These medical travel planners will use their database of surgeons/facilities to help find the best service for their unique needs.

Provider Groups: These are foreign medical providers with international and US-based medical facilities and work only with medical travelers.

Pros of Using a Medical Tourism Agency

While a bit of research will uncover that surgery abroad will be less expensive than that in the United States or Canada – where do you start searching for the best medical facility? How do you determine if the facility you want meets all your requirements? If these are questions that you may ask when seeking surgery abroad, then maybe a medical tourism agency is the right choice for you. The pros to using this type of service include:

  • Travel Planning: medical tourism agencies offer a wide range of services, from planning your medical procedure to booking plane tickets and hotels.
  • Guides: medical travel guides can benefit those who have never visited the country before or do not speak the language. They will help their clients with all aspects of medical procedures, recovery, and post surgeries.
  • Experience: these agencies should have a long list of satisfied customers, referrals, and surgery centers that they can recommend. A trusted and well-used agency will help answer any questions about surgery abroad and what steps are needed.

Cons of Using A Medical Tourism Agency

While using a medical tourism agency has clear advantages over doing this research on your own, you should keep in mind some downsides when choosing these types of services. Some patients feel limited by working with an agency because they cannot decide where exactly they want surgery performed (i.e., which hospital) but must work within the confines of the medical tourism group’s relationship with medical providers. Additional cons include:

  • Payment in Advance: often, medical tourism agencies will require some form of pre-payment for their services. This can range from a small deposit to the total cost of the trip.
  • Limited Options: Agencies typically have relationships with certain medical facilities and doctors that may not meet your needs or expectations. You may find that an agency’s available information limits you.

So, should you use a medical tourism agency?

The answer to this question depends on your specific needs and situation. Do your research, ask lots of questions and see if this type of service is the right fit for you. Some patients find comfort in using an agency that performs all the steps and makes the process seamless from the day you book until the day you come home post-op. 

Other people prefer to do the research on their own and reach out directly to facilities that provide excellent services and all-inclusive pricing. Facilities like ours, VIDA Wellness & Beauty, \may not book your flight like a medical tourism agency would, but we will pick you up from the airport and be there every step of the way. Our state-of-the-art facility and board-certified surgeons are some of the best surgeons in Mexico and offer an array of services with all-inclusive pricing. 

Interested in learning more about how Vida Wellness can help you? Schedule a free virtual consult right now by clicking here. 

Read this post: Is Plastic Surgery Safe in Mexico? 

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.