February 24, 2007

Overseas Surgery: Same Quality, Less Cost

Here in Texas, stories of folk going across the border for medical care and prescription drugs is very old news. The savings has always been striking, and while there have been occasional horror stories of bad drugs or marred nose jobs, the bad reports have been few and far between.
Now, it appears that the idea of going overseas for medical care is a growing national trend, fueled by rising health care costs and an escalating population that is uninsured. The trend already has a name: "medical tourism."
PlanetHospital.Com is one of the services filling this market niche. Others are WorldMedAssist.com , MedRetreat.Com and MedJourneys.Com.

Not only are your medical needs coordinated to the appropriate surgeon or specialist, the companies also provide comforts like a concierge service, an English-speaking guide, and all act as travel agent. "All you have to do is show up," PlanetHospital assures.

Furthermore, the health care itself is high quality. You can find health care providers overseas that are U.S. board certified, and many facilities that are affiliated with prestigious American institutions. WorldMedAssist provides the Anadolu Medical Center as an example; it is a facility in Istanbul, Turkey, that is affiliated with the elite Johns Hopkins.

The savings are huge. Angioplasty costs $11,000 overseas; it is $36,000 here. The difference: $25,000. Carpal tunnel surgery is $9000 overseas and $22,000 here. Savings: $13,000.00.

For an online listing of medical tourism sites, check out OpenDirectory. For more information, read an University of Delaware article on the topic, as well as the ever-expanding Wikipedia entry.


6 comments:

Sholto said...

It is a little more than "turn up", as patients need to understand that they are taking control of their treatment programme rather than their local physician. This is exciting but also rather daunting for individuals.

By the way another provider of medical tourism services is Globe Health Tours who are based out of Europe but are opening an office in Virginia and have staff in India to look after you during your stay

Anonymous said...

Another medical tourism company is Healthbase at http://www.healthbase.com. What differentiates it from its competitors is the vast amount of information it provides through its website and the quality of customer service it offers. The best part is that it works only with those hospitals that have international accreditations like JCI/JCAHO/ISO.

My sister badly needed hip resurfacing surgery but couldn't afford it in the US as she didn't have insurance. She went to India a couple of months back for her treatment and returned home happily - her illness treated. And all this at a fraction of the cost in the US. She hooked up with Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com). They helped her find the right hospital, arranged consultation with overseas surgeons, arranged her medical itinerary and did everything else that was required. They even got her medical loan approved.

GC (God's Child) said...

This sounds like an excellent alternative. Also, while there are horror stories that occasionaly surface about overseas medical procedures, there are also serious horror stories that happen right at home but which are kept out of the media due to the embarrrassment of the patient, and coercion on the part of the medical team's advocates. Medical care is something that requires research and a pro-active attitude wherever we choose to seek it.

Vincent said...

The article is great. The medical services available in countries like India and Malaysia are supelative in quality and suprisingly cheaperin terms on the costs involved. Truly a great alternative!! Medical Tourism India

Columbus Medical Corporation said...

There are significant risks involved with this new outsourcing! In theory is sounds great! Medical Tourism Info

viju said...

Medical tourism gets great results, provided the patient has taken enough care to select the right hospital and right doctor. There are certain indicators that health tourists should look for. For instance, a JCI-accredited hospital abroad.