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First medical tourism awards tout top treatment trips

April 23, 2014

Published on Apr 23, 2014

By Barry Neild


(CNN) -- When they can see the world, save cash and get that surgery you wanted, it's no wonder that increasing numbers of travelers are hopping on a jet in search of cut-price healthcare.

The worldwide medical tourism industry is said to be growing by up to 25% each year as patients with passports head abroad for procedures costing as much as 80% less than at home. Partly fueled by 1.2 million Americans, it's a sector now estimated to be worth up to $55 billion.

But where are the best destinations for medical tourism?

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Last month, the UK-based International Medical Travel Journal staged its first annual award ceremony recognizing what it says are the top facilities offering treatment to visitors.

While many of these establishments offer care for potentially life-threatening cancer or heart problems, patients are just as likely to be seeking cosmetic work to their face, teeth or torso.

IMTJ's managing editor Keith Pollard says the awards, staged in Dubai, are the industry's first independent stamps of approval on medical tourism providers.

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