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  • Under the knife – medical costs abroad

    Inside a Bangkok hospital

    Inside a Bangkok hospital ©Jude Adamson/Flickr

    The frustrating growth in medical costs in the US over the last decade or so have brought a boom in medical travel. Many of the procedures are so incredibly expensive that not even insured Americans can afford them.

    But less sophisticated services are also a lot cheaper abroad leading people cross the borders to go under the knife. There are well equipped, modern facilities with qualified physicians and personnel all over the world, so why not?

    United States travel deals

    Medical costs in the US and abroad

    For quite some time medical travel was a characteristic of two main groups: those who had no health insurance in the US and those who were very rich and went abroad to get some kind of plastic surgery. Nowadays it is a general practice to travel abroad for medical services.

    Doctors performing a surgery

    Doctors performing surgery ©Army Medicine/Flickr

    Some insurance companies require from their clients to pay 30% of a procedure, so if a surgery costs $60,000 in the US you will have to pay $20,000 yourself. Now if that same procedure cost $12,000 if you travel to Mexico for instance, you would still save a lot of money. And if – for some reason – the insurance company decides that your insurance should not cover a procedure, you would have to pay for everything.

    Basically your saving is very easy to calculate, you take the price of a surgery in the US and deduct from it the costs of the same surgery abroad as well as your travel expenses.

    Services and facilities

    Medical travel in all its forms has become a billion dollar business in the past years. There are now lots of companies (360 Global Health, MedVoy, Planet hospital and more) that specialize in bringing together North American patients with physicians and facilities all over the world.

    Inside a Bangkok hospital

    Inside a Bangkok hospital ©Jude Adamson/Flickr



    These companies work with the best clinics everywhere that make any medical travel experience similar to a vacation. Whether your recovery time is a day or a week, you may expect to have a room with flat-screen TV, catered meals and so on. Sometimes there is a nurse available for every two patients and everyone would treat you like you’re in a 5 star hotel.

    But going under the knife abroad is also a question of the destination in most occasions. About 90% of all patients going abroad have themselves a few days of sightseeing before getting their surgery. Rio de Janeiro nightlife is very popular among patients and so are the beaches of the beautiful Honduras.

     

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