Colombia is an Important Destination for Medical TourismAngie Godinez
Colombia is experiencing a significant increase in medical tourism.
Hospital in Medellín is ranked among the best in Latin America. Foreigners coming to Colombia for medical treatment in 2015 spent approximately $316 million, up from $134 million in 2012.
Bogotá and Medellín are major destinations on the global medical tourism map. Costs in Colombia can be significantly less than costs in the U.S. For example, a heart bypass surgery in the U.S. that may cost $80,000 or more costs only about $26,000 in Colombia. A knee replacement surgery in the US that costs about $40,000 costs only about $15,000 in Colombia.
The salaries of Colombian doctors are a fraction of those in the U.S., even though they are required to have to same level of internationally recognized education and job skills. Foreigners are starting to discover the benefits of having surgeries in Colombia where the costs are much less yet there are highly qualified and skilled surgeons.
Bogotá has a reputation for strength in cardiology. Medellin is best known for Lasik (corrective eye surgery), cosmetic surgery and dentistry. Colombia is also home to some of the best cosmetic surgeons in the world. Over 300,000 plastic surgery procedures are performed annually in Colombia.
The majority of international patients in Colombia come from the United States, Spain, Germany, Venezuela, the Caribbean and Canada. It has been estimated that over 1.6 million in the U.S. already travel outside the country for medical care each year, with this number expected to continue growing rapidly. The government of Colombia has been, for some time now, promoting medical tourism, looking to capture more the medical tourism market.
A recent study by América Economia found that is among the best hospitals in Colombia, indeed in all of South America.
Hospital Universitario de Fundación is a private hospital located in the Medellin suburb of Rio Negro and downtown in the Seville neighborhood of Medellín. The Seville location was founded in 1913 and currently has about 700 beds, 14 operating rooms and six intensive care units. It is one of the largest hospitals in Colombia and Latin America. The hospital also has three specialty centers: Cardiopulmonary and Peripheral Vascular Center, Digestive Diseases Center, and the Organ and Tissue Transplant Center.
Besides being a general hospital, the hospital is well known for transplants. The transplant group in the hospital performed the first bone marrow transplant in Latin America. The hospital also did the first kidney transplant, and the first successful liver transplant in Colombia. The hospital has done well over 3,000 transplants and currently engages in more than 700 a year.