Medical Travel

Medical Travel

Medical travel instruments

Medical travel

With the increase in medical travel, rehabilitation breaks and cosmetic & dental procedures abroad, quality standardization and accreditation of facilities are of the utmost importance.

Medical Travel Awards

The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards applauds outstanding achievement in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry worldwide. Divided into 19 categories, services, facilities and destinations worldwide are judged by a panel of medical travel experts and honoured each year.

In 2019 the IMTJ winners included:

  • Best quality initiative: Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara
  • Best marketing initiative: China Medical University Hospital
  • Best use of technology in medical tourism: Dental Holiday by Smile Clinic
  • International cosmetic surgery clinic of the year: Bagatin Clinic
  • International dental clinic of the year: FMS Dental Hospitals
  • International cancer centre of the year: Apollo Speciality Cancer Hospital  – Chennai
  • International eye clinic of the year: Hangil Eye Hospital
  • International hair clinic of the year: Advanced Hair Clinics
  • Specialist international patient centre: China Medical University Hospital
  • International hospital of the Year: Centro Médico Teknon, Grupo Quirónsalud
  • Health and medical tourism: Cluster of the year: Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council
  • Health and medical tourism: Destination of the year: Korea Health Industry Development Institute

The Medical Travel Awards in 2020 is scheduled to take e place in Madrid in September.

Medical Travel

For more medical travel information, click here

The definition of medical tourism refers to people seeking to obtain medical treatment overseas. This originated, initially, from less-developed countries where facilities were not available. With the growth and development of low cost airlines opening new gateways, technological & medical advancement and more skilled medical professionals, medical tourism has expanded. The consumer has today a wider choice.


Following Covid-19, the landscape of medical travel will change.  The medical travellers will consider choice against revised criteria such as how safe is the destination to travel to and to stay for a period of time.  The medical safety from various perspectives will be key to the decision process for medical travel. Ian Youngman looks at the future for global medical travel.

Travelling abroad with a disability – Barrier- free Travel

According to the Association of British Travel Agents, (ABTA), under European law (regulation 1107/2006), all passengers who have a disability can receive assistance when they fly, free of charge. Travel operators are obliged to meet accessibility standards.

Garry Nelson of AllClear, a specialist in medical travel insurance gives some top tips to minimise risk and maximise your holiday enjoyment:

Plan ahead – whether you have a mobility issue, a visual impairment or any other disability, you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you get the right service for you. If you have a wheelchair, for example, ask whether the aeroplane, boat, bus or train has wheelchair accessible areas, and if you have a carer, where he or she will be seated.

Speak to your healthcare provider – if you feel the journey might be uncomfortable for you, speak to your GP or medical healthcare provider and see whether they can suggest anything to help make the journey more comfortable. If you take medication for your condition, ask for a prescription to cover the time you’ll be away, as well as a little extra in case your flight is delayed. Ask about taking medication when crossing time zones. If your airline requires a ‘fit to travel’ note, or a letter from your doctor authorising you to carry certain medications, arrange this with plenty of time to spare.

Research accommodation – it’s important to thoroughly discuss all your requirements with your travel company, and don’t feel you need to stick to staying in hotels. Many lodges on safari, for example, feature fully accessible and adapted rooms, and even some tented camps are suitably modified.

Follow the FCO advice – the Foreign & Commonwealth Office ( provides travel advice on some 225 countries or territories and gives best advice on where/where not to travel. The Travel Health Pro and NHS Fit To Travel websites are other useful sources of information.

Remember, you will not be covered on your travel insurance if you travel to a country or area where the FCO advises the public not to travel.

Help for hard of hearing – for travellers hard of hearing, airlines should provide telecommunication devices for the deaf, or text telephones.

Find the right medical travel insurance – Specialist travel insurance will provide reassurance that if anything should happen while you are on holiday, you’ll be fully covered. It is vital that you declare everything so your insurers have accurate information on all pre-existing medical conditions.

Obtain an EHIC card – an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) can provide low cost, or even free, healthcare if travelling within the EU. A card can be ordered at no charge via the NHS’ website. It’s important to note that this card IS NOT a substitute for comprehensive medical travel insurance.

Know your destination – Do some research on your holiday destination – just in case. What is the availability and affordability of private healthcare? Does the country offer a free healthcare system? Is English widely spoken in hospitals? Are there any specific health risks or diseases associated with a country that you should be aware of?  What vaccinations are required? And is there good availability of standard prescriptions? The chances are you won’t need to consider any of these things while on holiday, but it can’t hurt to be prepared.



Danubius Health Spa Resort, Slovakia


Danubius Health Spa Resort in Irma, Slovakia, features over 60 medical and spa treatments and is situated directly on top of the healing springs of Piestany. This 5-star hotel uses the healing springs to deliver a host of wellness treatments and other services. The facility also features a centrally-located mud pool.

In addition to the treatments carried out by the healing springs, the health spa also features beauty and fitness services. Beauty, cosmetic, and relaxation treatments are available on behalf of French cosmetic brand Clarins, and personal training and fitness consultations are also available.

Danubius Health Spa Resort received the 2017 International Thermal Medical Bath of the Year Award by the International Medical Travel Journal.

Visit: for more information.



Imperial Dental Specialist Centre, Malaysia

The Imperial Dental Specialist Centre is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The centre specialises in dental, skeletal, soft tissue and neuromuscular issues of the craniofacial area.

The Imperial Dental Specialist Centre won the 2016 IMTJ award for international dental clinic of the year.


Apollo Hospitals, India

Located in various destinations in India, Apollo Hospitals has consistently led game-changing developments in healthcare by bringing to the people, the latest innovations in key medical specialities and superspecialities on par with the West.

Apollo Hospitals won the 2016 IMTJ award for international stem cell treatment centre of the year.

The Joint Commission


Hospitals/Clinics Listing


  • Medical Travel

    Medical Travel

    With the increase in medical travel, rehabilitation breaks and cosmetic & dental procedures abroad, quality standardization and accreditation of facilities are of the utmost importance. Medical Travel Awards The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards applauds outstanding achievement in the medical travel, …

Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand


Established in 1980, the hospital provides for more than 1 million patients per year, including over 400,000 international patients from 190 countries. It was the first hospital in Asia to obtain a JCI accreditation (2002) and the first Asian hospital to receive JCI disease-specific accreditations for its stroke and heart programme. It has been accredited several times since then.

This 580-bed facility provides a wide range of tertiary healthcare services, including 19 operating rooms equipped for most general surgery and surgical specialties. Some are minimally invasive, including cardiothoracic, orthopedic, urological, ophthalmological, laser, transplant, and otolaryngological (ear, nose, and throat) surgeries.

Bumrungrad International is one of Thailand’s many JCI-accredited hospitals, Bumrungrad