Vacation, Adventure And Surgery?

by 60 Minutes ,  CBS | 2005-09-04

(CBS) This summer, millions headed out to foreign lands for vacation, adventure, tourism, or just a beautiful beach.

But how about hip surgery or a multiple bypass or a facelift?

A growing number of tourists are doing just that, combining holidays with health care, and that's because a growing number of countries are offering first-rate medical care at Third-World prices. Many of these medical tourists can't afford health care at home (the 40 million uninsured Americans, for example). Others are going for procedures not covered by their insurance: cosmetic surgery or infertility treatment, for example.

And as Correspondent Bob Simon reported last spring, the hospitals in these faraway countries are glad to have these medical tourists. In fact, they are courting their business, trying to get more people to outsource their own health care.

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