EMAILED ON July 11, 2019 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

The rise of ‘medical tourism’: Doctours is now expanding its services

As the cost of healthcare continues to skyrocket in the US, many patients are left with few affordable treatment options in their neck of the woods.

High costs have led many Americans to thumb the highways, hitching rides out of state (and often out of country) to the best facilities that offer the lowest prices.

Now, as TechCrunch reports, Doctours, an LA-based online platform for booking trips and treatments for medical and dental care around the world, is expanding its similar services to 35 countries.

It’s basically a healthcare travel agent

Patients who travel to other countries for healthcare are referred to as “medical tourists.” 

Doctours helps streamline the process for those patients, comparing procedure costs, connecting with doctors and booking everything from in-vitro fertilization to stem-cell therapy to dental work and Lasik.

According to company founder Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, medical tourists can save anywhere from 30% to 80% on procedures outside the US.

Market vitals are more than stable

Doctours is entering a lucrative market: In 2017, an estimated 1.4m Americans traveled internationally for medical care, with an estimated 14-16m medical tourists worldwide, a number expected to grow by 25% per year.  

According to the American Journal of Medicine, medical and dental tourism is a $439B global market.