Angina or chest pain is a symptom of an underlying cardiovascular disease. It is most commonly associated with coronary heart disease. It is characterised by heavy pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest. The discomfort usually radiates to the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, and back. Southeast Asians who are at risk of suffering from angina and its underlying heart problems include those who have unhealthy cholesterol levels or are suffering from hypertension, diabetes, or obesity.
All chest pain should be brought to the attention of a doctor because some cases of angina may lead to a heart attack. Patients suffering from angina may need to undergo stress testing, electrocardiogram (EKG), chest x-rays, and other advanced diagnostic procedures such as coronary angiography, cardiac catheterisation, and computed tomography angiography. Since angina treatment involves treating the patient’s underlying heart disease, some patients may require cardiovascular surgery or cardiac rehabilitation.
To effectively manage an existing heart disease and its associated symptoms, patients are advised to consult directly with a cardiovascular specialist.
Fortunately, several top-notch cardiovascular specialists can be found in Southeast Asian countries, specifically Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. These are the top three countries that offer comprehensive medical tourism services in the region.
For specialised cardiovascular care, Thailand is definitely the top choice. Cardiology is one of the country’s top specialties, along with cosmetic surgery, orthopaedics, dentistry, and reproductive medicine. The reason lies in the country’s highly advanced technology and its world-class medical infrastructure. This enables healthcare providers in Thailand to make definitive diagnoses of all cases of angina and perform advanced cardiac procedures to effectively treat any underlying condition.
Despite its rising standards and having the first Asian hospital to gain a Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, Thailand’s out-of-pocket fees for medical travellers are 40 to 60 percent less than in the US and Europe.
For those who wish to consider other options, Malaysia is also a good choice. In fact, 2015 was a record year for the country’s medical tourism industry, which attracted more than 850,000 medical tourists. The Malaysian government invests RM20 million each year to improve its medical facilities and promote the said industry. These efforts are led by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council in a bid to place Malaysia alongside pioneering medical tourism destinations like Singapore.