Beaches, Buttocks and Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism is a fast-growing trend in the search for the perfect body, or a money saving medical procedure like replacing a hip or getting your teeth straight.
And for costly medical procedures for the uninsured and underinsured, treatment abroad may be the only answer.
Some studies like the All Medical Tourism report say the cost of surgery in India, Thailand and South Africa can be one-tenth of what it is in the United States and Western Europe. Sometimes even less.
A heart-valve replacement, for example, that costs $200,000 or more in the U.S. goes for $10,000 in India…and that includes round-trip airfare.
A knee replacement in Thailand with six days of physical therapy costs roughly one-fifth of what it would in the States.
Global Health care is the new term, and while saving money is one reason why people travel to far away places for medical procedures, it’s certainly not the only reason.
There are shorter waits, and the chance to spend a relaxing week on the beach, see the sights and recuperate while living it up in a luxury hotel with friends and family.
In most places the care is as good if not better than at home because the health care workers are trained in the US or Europe.
Take Bangkok’s Bumrundgrad Hospital. It has more than 200 U.S board-certified surgeons, a vibrant, informative web site and state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities in a one-stop medical center.
We're also hearing that that insurance companies may someday require their clients to go abroad for certain medical procedures.
Think about it. If a hip replacement or coronary bypass procedure saves the insurance company several thousands of dollars, why wouldn’t they come up with a new twist on the familiar two-tiered "In Network" and "Out of Network" categories.
Except this time “In Network” health care provider is abroad
Far fetched? Maybe. But one painless way of marketing the revolutionary idea could be: See the Taj Mahal and get a new heart valve or else?