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Defenders of organized medicine are fond of saying that the United States has the best healthcare in the world, but I challenge that. I don't think we have the best healthcare in the world, I think we have the most expensive healthcare in the world. In fact, in terms of results for dollars spent, I think the United States ranks very near the bottom of the list of all industrialized nations. We get less actual health than anyone else for each dollar that we spend.

EUROPE: Medical tourism keeps hospital budgets healthy - by: Hugh Williamson, Financial Times

Heinz Zurbrügg is a doctor with a difference. Besides being a surgeon with 3,500 open-heart operations to his credit, the 48-year old Swiss medic is an ambitious businessman.  "Medical provision in our clinic is of course top quality," he says, referring to the Meoclinic luxury hospital in central Berlin where he is chief executive. "But we also have all the added extras for our foreign patients.

TRAVELING FOR TREATMENT - by: FRED DE SAM LAZARO, PBS

One of Thailand's most profitable tourist attractions is in the heart of the capital's business district. It's a hospital, though it doesn't look like one.

Three months ago George Marshall fretted about the choice offered by his doctor in Britain. Diagnosed with coronary heart disease, the violin repairer from Bradford was told he could either wait up to six months for a heart bypass operation on the National Health Service or pay £19,000 to go under the scalpel immediately.

Surgeries, Side Trips for 'Medical Tourists' - by: John Lancaster, Washington Post Foreign Service

Affordable Care at India's Private Hospitals Draws Growing Number of Foreigners. Three months ago, Howard Staab learned that he suffered from a life-threatening heart condition and would have to undergo surgery at a cost of up to $200,000 - an impossible sum for the 53-year-old carpenter from Durham, N.C., who has no health insurance.

BODY TALK: NIP AND TUCK: THE TRUTH - by: Helen Foster, Mirror

Many celebs have given their beauty a boost. If you're considering cosmetic surgery too, here are the answers to all your burning questions. STARS as diverse as Dannii Minogue, Patsy Kensit and Anne Robinson have admitted to giving Mother Nature a helping hand in their quest to look their best. But these days, cosmetic surgery is no longer the preserve of the rich and famous.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons say increasing numbers are choosing to travel to East Europe or Africa for cheap treatments. Procedures can often be hundreds of pounds cheaper than in the UK.

What's called medical tourism – patients going to a different country for either urgent or elective medical procedures – is fast becoming a worldwide, multibillion-dollar industry. The reasons patients travel for treatment vary. Many medical tourists from the United States are seeking treatment at a quarter or sometimes even a 10th of the cost at home.

India eyeing share in medical tourism pie - by: M. Somasekhar, The HINDU

A NICE blend of top-class medical expertise at attractive prices is helping a growing number of Indian corporate hospitals lure foreign patients, including from developed nations such as the UK and the US.

Over The Sea, Then Under The Knife - by: Frederik Balfour and Manjeet Kripalani, Businessweek

Patients worldwide are heading to hospitals in Asia for affordable, high-quality surgery Shaun Reese's bad knee had been nagging him for months. He had torn a ligament a couple of years earlier that never healed properly, and the pain was getting worse. But the 48-year-old building contractor from Wyoming didn't have health insurance, so he kept putting off dealing with the problem. Then a friend suggested he fly to Thailand for some sun -- and a spot of surgery on the side.

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