Superlative and affordable medical care is drawing more and more people from around the world to seek medical treatments abroad. Why not, when medical bills, transportation and lodging cost less than the deductibles and fees for surgical and hospitalization care in your own country.
As we all know, the cost of medical procedures is rising at a dramatic rate within the United States. Medical malpractice insurance for physicians and surgeons has driven medical costs for consumers through the roof. So, it's not surprising that Americans are fighting back, and in an unusual way. A growing trend called medical tourism finds more Americans seeking medical help outside of the country. Now, if you're reading this article, it's likely that you have at least heard of the concept, though Europeans and Asians have been practicing medical tourism for decades.
Traveling to another country to have a wide variety of procedures done has grown increasingly popular as costs for procedures continue to cause financial hardship and strain on Americans. If you haven't really seriously considered traveling to another country to have your procedure done, you should. Traveling outside of national borders saves patients thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on various surgeries and medical procedures. In some cases, choosing to have surgery abroad costs about a tenth of what you'd pay for the same procedure in the U.S.
However, the low cost of these procedures in other countries is not due to a lack of expertise or training, nor facility equipment, but because of the different ways these countries or private practices run their health services departments. International private healthcare systems have price transparencies that are not overburdened by malpractice insurance and pressures from third party payers such as health insurance companies.
People believe that going outside of the United States for surgeries is risky business, but did you know that many of the most technologically advanced medical centers are located outside of the United States? The growing trend of attracting international patients around the world has evened the playing field, so to speak, and patients around the world have more choices when it comes to choosing surgeons and physicians to treat them and their conditions. Especially in the medical field, borders are dissolving.
In addition to lower costs, the concept of medical tourism also offers patients a wider selection of techniques and experiences than many local health care services do. Surgical and medical facilities outside of the United States, including those in Asia, e.g., India, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia, and North American cross border countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Latin America; and Eastern Block/European countries such as Hungary, Norway, Poland, are increasingly luring medical tourists with the best trained physicians, higher service standards and yes, the opportunity to save money.
For example a heart surgery requiring the replacement of one or more heart valves costs around $200,000 in the United States. The same procedure is performed for under $15,000 in India or Malaysia – that cost includes the services of a highly skilled and trained heart specialist, transportation and accommodation fees and a few extra days to enjoy the sites of your planned vacation as well.
Other procedures follow suit. Facelifts can cost $20,000 in the U.S. but are available in other global destinations for around $2500. Dental bridges costs around $5500 in the US but cost only around $200 in India. The list goes on.
Orthopedic surgery is a procedure that is gaining popularity among baby boomers for treatment abroad. Hip or elbow replacement surgery is common for those who have suffered from arthritis or other forms of bone and joint damage. Hip or elbow joint replacement involves removing damaged bone tissue and replacing it with a ball-type joint made of a special metal alloy. Hip resurfacing is not a replacement of the hip joint, but a type of surgery that allows most of the original hip joint to be saved. In this procedure, performed not only in the United States but around the world, the surface of the head of the femur, the part of the upper thighbone that fits into the hip socket, is covered with a plastic shell - type covering. Hip resurfacing is usually suggested for active patients less than 55 years of age.
World-class medical facilities offer not only skilled surgeons for this type of procedure, but also physical therapists to aid in recovery as well as superior patient support capabilities until patient discharge. Everyone demands excellent standards in healthcare, and global medical facilities are also being held to high American and western standards. If you or a loved one is considering medical tourism, take the time to research the subject.
Medical tourism is the wave of the future, and may compel changes within American medical practices. Until then, take advantage of the best the world has to offer in the way of skills, treatments, procedures and healthcare. Make the most of the growing number of healthcare methods in the 21st century and take back control of your own healthcare.
PlacidWay is the health information portal that offers medical vacation planners all the information they need to make informed choices and decisions. Finding information on affordable health centers from around the world, alternative treatments, and wellness programs has never been easier.
Making the right choices relies on knowledge, and PlacidWay offers that and so much more. Visit PlacidWay.com at www.placidway.com for additional information on the topic of medical tourism or health vacation planning.PlacidWay 2008-11-30 Articles/Press Releases