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Popular Destinations for Combining Healthcare Treatments and Relaxation

Image Source: Anastasiya 99 / Shutterstock

Given the exorbitant prices of medical care in some nations, numerous individuals are opting to travel overseas for top-notch healthcare at more affordable rates, all while indulging in lavish vacations with the money saved.

This has led to the surge of a burgeoning industry known as ‘medical tourism,’ where tens of thousands of people venture from their home countries annually for medical procedures. The global market is anticipated to increase from about 14 billion dollars in 2021 to over 50 billion within the next ten years, as outlined by Fortune Business Insights.

For instance, the expenses for medical treatments like orthopedic surgeries and dental care in the United States, such as total hip replacements and dental extractions and implants, are significantly higher compared to other countries.

Here are a couple of enticing locations where you can enjoy your vacation while undergoing medical treatments.


Renowned for its vibrant culture, intriguing past, and diverse attractions like the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, and the Carpathian Mountains, Romania is now gaining recognition for its advanced medical facilities.

Doctor Oana Taban, a trained medical specialist, innovative entrepreneur, and CEO, is a prominent figure in the field of dentistry.

In 1999, Oana established what is now a leading network of dental clinics across the country, Dent Estet, affiliated with the national entity, MedLife, offering a range of healthcare services including general surgery, gynecology, ENT, oncology, assisted reproduction, pediatrics, as well as lab services and imaging.

Oana’s philosophy echoes, “My extensive dental practice background, first as a practitioner and later as an administrator, not only helped me realize the importance of top-notch dentistry but also enabled me to introduce Western treatment methodologies, expertise, and technology in our dental facilities.” By introducing contemporary American techniques in implantology, aesthetics, orthodontics, and pediatrics to the Romanian market, I have successfully nurtured a team of professionals capable of delivering specialized dental care to patients of all age groups.”

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to undergo dental treatment at the Dent Estet clinic on Boulevard Aviatorilor in Bucharest where I interacted with Oana and her husband, Cristian, the executive director. Their innovative approach and the well-coordinated team they had assembled left me deeply impressed.

The clinic’s setting on a sophisticated boulevard near downtown, with a bright and refreshing interior layout, added to a comprehensive clinical evaluation involving not just dental x-rays but also facial and oral photographs taken in a studio-like space. Following an examination, I was presented with a detailed 13-page treatment plan comprising photos and details of the necessary stages.

Upon identifying signs of periodontal inflammation and gingival bleeding, the clinicians recommended a tooth extraction. The procedure was remarkably painless, to the extent that I was unaware it had concluded and had to inquire.

The warm and proficient service offered by a team of doctors including Daniela Georgescu and Vlad Platon instilled in me the confidence to consider returning for further treatments.

Together, the Tabans have nurtured a successful dental network providing a wide spectrum of treatments that is rapidly expanding nationwide. Reflecting her dedication to continuous learning, Oana also serves as the president of the Romanian Association of Dental Office Managers. “As a leader, I feel compelled to share my expertise to elevate the dental services market.”

I also had the privilege of undergoing an imaging test at one of MedLife’s clinics and hospitals to assess a hip issue. The MRI scan was comprehensive, followed by a thorough consultation with Dr. Horatiu Zorila, who offered an excellent diagnosis and recommendations.

Ana Maria Mihaescu, former regional manager at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, and a MedLife board member, emphasizes that Romania provides top-notch healthcare services across all specialties. “Medical professionals here are extensively trained across various disciplines, and the equipment is cutting-edge.”

Established in 1996, MedLife is one of the largest healthcare providers in Romania, operating 230 clinics, 15 hospitals, 4 maternity hospitals, 37 standalone laboratories, 200 sample collection centers, and 14 centers of excellence. The network also collaborates with 170 medical facilities nationwide.

Regarding vacation opportunities in Romania utilizing the financial savings from cost-effective medical treatments, the choices are vast.

Bucharest, once nicknamed the ‘little Paris of the East’ due to its elegant architecture and spacious boulevards, is brimming with charming cafes and restaurants, featuring a lively ‘Old Town’ neighborhood.

The city also hosts numerous museums and theaters, including the Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum sprawling across 70 acres on the shores of Herastrau Lake, showcasing houses from different regions disassembled and relocated to the capital. Bucharest is also home to the George Enescu National Museum housed in Cantacuzino Palace, dedicated to the nation’s eminent composer. The museum exhibits Enescu’s compositions, original instruments, furniture, library, paintings, letters, photos, and other memorabilia. Other cultural venues in the city include the National Theatre Bucharest, founded in 1852, the Romanian National Opera, and the Museum of Senses, merging tactile and auditory experiences with optical illusions. The National Museum of Art of Romania situated in the Royal Palace in Revolution Square boasts collections of medieval and contemporary Romanian art along with an international selection.

Beyond the city, vacation options encompass the Black Sea beaches and charming resorts like Doi Mai and Vama Veche, the rugged Carpathian Mountains, and the rich cultural heritage of regions such as Transylvania and the Danube Delta.



Receiving medical care amid the picturesque countryside of southern England, a short distance from London, and within easy access to medieval towns like Canterbury and Rye with their cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses is truly an enticing prospect.


Situated in the tranquil village of Cranbrook, the award-winning Benenden Hospital stands out, established by the non-profit mutual Benenden Healthcare Society, offering a diverse array of medical services ranging from gynecology, urology, and ophthalmology to general surgery, ENT, cosmetic surgery, bariatrics, as well as daycare and short-stay services. Benenden Hospital collaborates with approximately 120 physicians and 100 other clinical professionals, while the parent organization maintains a diagnostic network of around 600 centers and a treatment network of 40 hospitals throughout the United Kingdom.

Originally founded in 1907 as a tuberculosis facility, the Cranbrook hospital is enveloped by expansive greenery and features its therapeutic sensory garden, ‘Edna’s Retreat,’ named in honor of Edna Winter, a staunch supporter of the hospital and its initiatives.

The hospital’s atrium presents a welcoming ambiance with vibrant hues, curved furnishings, and flooring known to alleviate stress and tension.

Heading the exceptional team at Benenden is Jane Abbott, a registered nurse with over four decades of experience serving as the hospital director since 2009, following her tenure as nursing director from 2003. During my recent visit, Jane expressed, “I take immense pride in our compassionate, caring, committed, and devoted team here, with a strong focus on patient welfare at the core of our mission.”

I underwent a hip X-ray and received an assessment and diagnosis from Mr. Raman Thakur, a consulting orthopedic surgeon. Trained in India, Thakur relocated to the UK in 1993 for specialized training, with placements in various hospitals across the nation. Additionally, he completed a fellowship program at the Lennox Hill Hospital in New York, honing his skills in adult reconstructive surgeries. A staunch advocate of continuous education, Thakur imparts advanced trauma life support (ATLS) training at the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Aside from the cordial, proficient, and informed care I experienced, I relished the opportunity to explore the English countryside, a region I had yet to visit. A standout moment was touring the medieval city of Canterbury, approximately an hour’s drive from the hospital. Renowned for its stunning 15th-century cathedral, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its enchanting medieval lanes, Canterbury remains a prominent pilgrimage destination in Europe. The city also boasts its Roman Museum featuring an intricate ancient mosaic pavement still intact. The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge serves as a gallery, library, and visitor center situated in the heart of the historic district.

Even in closer proximity to Cranbrook, merely 37 kilometers away, lies the town of Rochester, renowned for its 10th-century Norman castle and as the former residence of renowned Victorian author Charles Dickens, who spent his childhood in the area and later returned as a celebrated writer. Many edifices featured in Dickens’ literary works remain intact in the town, such as Restoration House depicted in ‘Great Expectations’ and Six Poor Travellers House immortalized in one of his Christmas tales. The Rochester Guildhall, constructed in 1687, currently houses an intriguing exhibition titled ‘The Making of Mr. Dickens,’ accompanied by various artifacts documenting the town’s heritage.

A final tip for seeking healthcare treatments abroad.

Given that certain treatments may impair your ability to drive, why not engage a driving service for assistance? AZ Luxe Ltd, established over five years ago by entrepreneur Abbass Zadeh, stands as an excellent option. Based on my experience with this company, they are dependable and effective, boasting a fleet of premium brand vehicles including Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, and Lamborghini, along with multilingual chauffeurs.

Image Source: Anastasiya 99 / Shutterstock

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