When Patients Grab Their Passports

Photographer: Fabrizio Bensch/Landov

Some 7 million people travel abroad each year seeking medical care. Close

Some 7 million people travel abroad each year seeking medical care.

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Photographer: Fabrizio Bensch/Landov

<span>Some 7 million people travel abroad each year seeking medical care</span>.

The U.S. may be a leader in medical innovation, but the nation's notoriously high health care costs are enough to make patients want to hop a plane out of the country.

And many do.

Costs for certain procedures can be 90 percent cheaper in India and other countries, which are adding U.S.-accredited hospitals to attract foreigners. The idea isn't as radical as it may seem: Some 7 million people travel abroad each year seeking medical care, fueling an industry worth as much as $40 billion, according to Patients Beyond Borders, a publisher of international medical travel guidebooks.

So where is everyone going? We've put together a piece looking at the world's top travel destinations for medical tourism. We start in Taiwan, which has 22 health care facilities certified by Joint Commission International, the U.S.-based quality and safety accrediting organization. That's only six fewer than all of China. Click below to see the other hot spots for everything from dental care to heart surgery.

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