NZ medical tourism more attractive during American recession

New Zealand Visa Bureau | 2009-03-10

As America's economy continues to struggle during the recession, Americans without private medical insurance are finding it more difficult to afford medical treatment.

However, while the New Zealand dollar is weakened against the American dollar, medical treatment in New Zealand is becoming a more attractive offer for Americans.

According to Earthtimes, New Zealand offers world-class treatment for medical tourists, particularly for the major operations that are unaffordable in the U.S., and would be hoping to nab a large part of the 750,000 strong American market that looks abroad for hospital surgery.

Bob Light, an American citizen who needed a hip replacement last year, chose New Zealand as his destination, and after paying for an airfare, surgery, hospitalisation, accommodation, recuperative care and a contingency insurance policy, his costs came out at a fraction of what they would in America.

Light told reporters, in saving around $100,000 by travelling to New Zealand for his care, he also received unmatched medical treatment.

"The entire experience was beyond any doubt, the best medical experience of my life," he said.  "Everything went like clockwork.  The hospitals were clean.  The staff and doctors were extremely competent and friendly."

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