One in three open to traveling for medical treatment, poll finds

Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:22am EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Looking for an affordable face lift without breaking the bank? Want to combine a tummy tuck with two weeks in the sun? You're not alone.

Nearly a third of people surveyed around the world say they are open to the idea of medical tourism - traveling abroad to enjoy cheaper medical or dental treatment, according to a new Ipsos poll of 18,731 adults in 24 countries.

Indeed, 18 percent said they would definitely consider it.

"The concept of medical tourism is well accepted in many countries," said Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs.

"With the exception of Japan there are at least one third of consumers in every country we covered that are open to the idea," he said in an interview.

Whether for economic reasons or perceptions of superior treatment elsewhere, for treatments ranging from cosmetic to life-saving surgeries, Indians, Indonesians, Russians, Mexicans and Poles were the most open to the idea of being medically mobile.

Thirty-one percent or more people in each of those countries said they would definitely consider traveling for a medical or dental treatment.

Conversely, people in Japan, South Korea, Spain and Sweden were least likely to be medical tourists.   Continued...