International Hospitals: Your Full Guide to Finding Hospitals Abroad
Are you working abroad? Planning on traveling to the far corners of the earth? Dream of retiring to a faraway beach bungalow? These are all tempting ideas for many. But before you become an expatriate and start living abroad, there is some information you should know about international hospitals and health care outside the U.S. Expats should always learn what medical services your health insurance will cover before going abroad. You should always have your insurance card as proof of insurance as well as a claim form in case your health insurance policy provides coverage outside America. Although many health insurance providers will pay customary and reasonable costs at international hospitals, not many will pay for your medical evacuation back to America. Medical evacuation can very quickly run you $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.
Related: International Hospital Search
How Healthcare Works for Expatriates Abroad
Your current plan may cover you for some medical treatments in other countries, depending on what type of health insurance you have. Ask your insurance provider what they cover and what they don’t if you seek medical attention while traveling.
If you plan to stay abroad for an extended period, you’ll need international health insurance.
Planning to work overseas? Thinking about making a permanent move? Either way, having an international insurance plan is the best way to protect yourself.
Healthcare systems vary by country. In some cases, healthcare is socialized (government-managed through public hospitals and public doctors). In other countries, private doctors and private hospitals provide the care. Some countries offer a combination of both.
Countries that have socialized medicine include Canada, Spain, Great Britain, and Finland. These governments offer medical services to their citizens and residents, but not to visitors. Emergency services are available for foreign patients, but you will need your own health insurance to cover the costs.
Foreign travelers often seek out international hospitals for non-life threatening treatments. These include cosmetic surgery, gender reassignment surgery, and infertility treatments. Some of these treatments may be covered under your insurance policy, and some may not.
You’ll need to research your specific health plan to see what they will pay for and what your out-of-pocket costs will be.
Check out this post for more information on how to purchase global health insurance.
How to Find the Right Hospital in Any Country
Different hospitals have physicians and surgeons that specialize in varying areas of medicine. Before you check into a hospital, do your research to know if the hospital has healthcare providers in your area of need.
It’s also important to check with your insurance provider to understand how much you will have to pay for those treatments. Private hospitals usually cost more than public hospitals. In some countries, private hospitals will turn international patients away if they can’t afford to pay, while public hospitals will not.
Best International Hospitals in the World
Wondering which health systems around the world provide the best care? Statista and Newsweek partnered together to identify the top 10 hospitals in the world. Here are their top 10 picks:
- The Mayo Clinic, USA
- The Cleveland Clinic, USA
- Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
- Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA
- Charite, Germany
- Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
- Toronto General Hospital, Canada
- University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan
- Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland
- Sheba Medical Center, Israel
Be aware that visiting a hospital in some countries may put you at risk of being convicted of a crime. For instance, doctors in Abu Dhabi may contact police if they suspect one of the laws in Dubai has been broken.
Having the right healthcare plan is essential – especially if you’re traveling or living abroad – so do your research before your next trip. Check out these resources on the right for more information on international hospitals around the world.
For more information on country-specific hospitals, see our list of the top international medical centers in each of the following countries.
International Hospitals and Healthcare
Native citizens and expats alike have greater expectations of international hospitals and healthcare services in the majority of areas of the developed world. Where socialized medical systems exist, this tendency is particularly strong. And because of this, there's an increasing fascination with international hospital certification. Supplying healthcare, particularly of an acceptable standard, is a complicated and challenging procedure. Worldwide, healthcare services may be supplied either from the public sector or from the private sector, or with a mixture of both. Similarly, the site of healthcare delivery may be found in international hospitals or through general physicians working in clinics. Aside from using international hospitals and healthcare services to recover from emergency health issues, or to avoid becoming ill, to begin with, people may also make use of them to get a number of other services, for example, cosmetic surgery, gender reassignment surgery, or infertility treatment. For all these reasons and more, International Citizens is providing an inventory of the best-ranked international hospitals in travel destinations and areas with a high density of expatriates.