European Renal Association, European Dialysis and Transplant Association and American Society of Nephrology together have declared that chronic kidney diseases affect more than 850 million people worldwide as of 2018. This is twice the number of diabetics and more than 20 times the number of people with cancer. 10.5 million people among them suffer from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
While none of these treatments cure end-stage renal disease, a kidney transplant offers the closest option to a normal life because the transplanted kidney can totally replace the failed kidneys.
National health care systems and programs, while providing kidney transplants, are overwhelmed with requests for this surgery and therefore many people wait and sometimes die in line for the kidney transplant. Therefore, many patients instead of waiting in a line for kidney transplant donor prefer to have kidney transplant operation as a private medical service either in their own countries or abroad.
This article is dedicated to a comparison of kidney transplant costs in key health tourism destinations.
Kidney Transplant Cost in the USA (avg. €230,000)
Currently, there are over 93.000 people waiting for a kidney transplant surgery in the USA. The waiting time for a deceased donor can be reached to 5 years, and in some states, it is closer to 10 years. Patients are prioritized by duration on the waiting list, their blood type, immune system, and some other factors.
People deciding for a private kidney transplant procedure have to be prepared to pay €230,000 ($260,000) on average, which for many is extremely high. Kidney transplant cost doesn’t include just the kidney and operation but also pre- and post-operational care, cost of hospital stays and insurance.
Kidney Transplant Cost in India (from €9,800)
India is known for its medical specialists and relatively low prices, including kidney transplant costs. It is possible to have your kidney transplant surgery done for as low of a price as €9,800. However, in the case of India the flight may add a significant sum to this number; it is wise to keep it in mind when you plan to have a kidney transplant operation there.
Kidney Transplant Cost in Turkey (avg. €32,000)
Turkey is another popular health tourism destination. Good quality of medical services is met here by affordable prices. Kidney transplant costs also are quite low, especially having in mind that transportation, as well as accommodation, remains cheap due to its geographical proximity to both Europe and the MENA region. Kidney transplant surgery cost is €32,000 on average. However, in the case of Turkey it is good to keep in mind that due to local law, kidney transplant donor should be one of your relatives.
Kidney Transplant Cost in the Philippines (from €10,000)
The Philippines until recently wasn't a very popular health tourism destination. However, it does change now, and many patients choose this country to have medical treatment such as kidney transplant operation done. The prices are quite affordable in comparison to many other countries and for a kidney transplant surgery start from €10,000 and reach to €30,000 according to your health insurance package. Additionally, private health care in Philippines is thought to have a high quality. We may expect that more and more patients suffering from kidney failure will choose clinics in Manila.
Kidney Transplant Cost in Pakistan (from €8.800)
Pakistan became a popular medical tourism destination recently after India banned the selling of organs. With its flexible law regarding the matter of private medical services it sets prices low. Kidney transplant cost may be as low as €8.800. With this affordable cost, Pakistan welcomes popularity especially among UK citizens who do not want to wait more for kidney transplant procedure while on dialysis. Because, according to NHS (National Health Service), the average time a patient spends on the waiting list for a kidney transplant is 2 and a half to 3 years in the UK, although it can be shorter or longer than this.
Kidney Transplant Cost in Germany (from €75,000)
Germany is known for its dedication to quality, no matter if in engineering or medical services. In this country, we can find top-end facilities and specialists, but the price is not very easy to be afforded. Kidney transplant cost in Germany is estimated to start from €75,000. Therefore, it is an option for patients with kidney failure who pay attention to quality rather than a bill when it comes to kidney transplant operation.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.