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An uninsured patient from the Western US traveled to Trinidad last week for prostate cancer surgery -- to be carried out by a highly experienced surgical team from Florida. The case was managed, the host facility was selected, and the surgical team was assembled by Mobile Surgery International (MSI). Although the patient personally paid the costs for his actual surgery, and related out-of-pocket costs, he was able to do this at a significant discount over the cost he had been quoted in the U.S. In addition, he was able to purchase a specialized surgical complications and travel insurance policy from the specialty division of U.S. Risk Underwriters, Inc. It covers complications related to procedures for cancer, cardiovascular, and additional disorders that other policies for 'medical tourists' exclude.
"Recent years have seen the development of a 'medical tourism' trend in which patients travel to overseas medical centers for certain types of surgical procedures at low cost," stated Arnon Krongrad, MD, chief executive officer of MSI. "However, we believe that this particular operation in Trinidad may represent the beginning of a new trend -- in which patient and surgeon agree to 'meet' at a mutually acceptable location for cost effective, high quality, surgical procedures."