Something to be considered by serious medical tourists would be options for long stay medical tourism. This would be something more than a quick vacation for a face lift or other elective procedure, even more than a longer medical vacation such as needed for joint replacement or heart surgery. One might think of a chronic or advancing condition that could be treated more cost effectively at an overseas hospital or medical facility.
Chiang Mai, Thailand comes to mind as an ideal destination for the long stay medical tourist. There are a couple of top quality private hospitals in Chiang Mai that are patronized by the large expat population in this northern Thailand resort city. One is JCI certified Chiangmai Ram Hospital and the other is Lanna Hospital Chiang Mai while although not JCI certified does routinely receive high praise from expat patients. Both hospitals would be excellent choices for anyone seeking excellent health care at a fraction of western prices.
Chiang Mai is a popular destination for both tourists and foreign residents for a number of reasons such as it’s more temperate weather influenced by the surrounding mountains, the interesting Lanna culture of northern Thailand, and the availability of many services tailored to western tastes. So this city makes a good base for normal medical tourism.
In addition, a niche medical tourism interest can be found for Alzheimer patients at the Swiss run Baan Kamlangchay. The special care required by Alzheimer seems a natural for success in Thailand due to the warmth and hospitality with which all services are rendered in the country. This disease in particular would fall under the category of long stay medical treatment. Although the visa process may be a bit complicated, it is feasible to stay for many months through a combination of tourist and medical treatment visas. This might be a good way to sample the services and then consider changing to a retirement visa so the stay can become permanent if desired.