Friday, November 13, 2009

Medical Tourism: Everybody's Guide to Affordable World-Class Medical Travel

Last year, more than 180,000 Americans packed their bags and headed overseas for nearly every imaginable type of medical treatment: tummy tucks in Brazil, heart valve replacements in Thailand, hip resurfacing surgeries in India, addiction recovery in Antigua, fertility diagnosis and treatments in South Africa, thalassotherapy in Hungary, or restorative dentistry in Mexico.

Currently, at least 28 countries on four continents cater to the international health traveler, with more than 2 million patients visiting hospitals and clinics each year in countries other than their own. The roster of treatments is as varied as the travelers. If the notion of complex medical procedures in far-flung lands seems intimidating to you, don't feel alone. That's why I wrote the book Patients Beyond Borders, drawing from the varied experiences of hundreds of patients who, for dozens of reasons, have beaten a well-worn path to successful treatments abroad.

It all started when my father, who was 72 at the time, announced he was heading off to Mexico for extensive dental work. I well remember my first reaction upon hearing his plans: a mixture of bewilderment and fear, then resignation, knowing that despite my protestations, he was going anyway. In spite of my concerns—some of them quite real—I'm pleased to report a happy ending. Dad and his wife, Alinda, selected a U.S.-trained dentist in Puerto Vallarta and spent around $11,000—which included two weeks noodling around the Pacific Coast. They returned tanned and smiling, Dad with new pearly whites and Alinda with an impromptu skin resurfacing. The same procedures would have cost them $24,000 in the United States.

After his treatment, when I told the story of my father's trip, most friends responded with the same shock and disbelief that I had felt initially. Then, when I explained the quality of care and the savings, more often than not, those same folks followed me out the door, asking for Dad's E-mail address. I even had an airport customs agent abandon his post and follow me to the boarding gate, seeking additional information for his son, who he had just learned required heart surgery.

Not long afterward, I developed an infected root canal and found myself following my father's example. My research led me abroad for extraction and implant work. While pleasantly surprised at the quality of care, the prices, and the all-around-good experience of the trip, I nonetheless made a number of mistakes and created unnecessary difficulties and discomforts for myself. Had I done some simple things differently, my trip would have been more successful and more economical.

In seeking additional data on medical travel, I found no reliable source of information. Everybody had something to sell or a political ax to grind. Books, magazine articles, and newspaper reports seemed more like tourists' brochures than health travel references. Thus the idea for Patients Beyond Borders was born: a well-researched guide, written in plain English, that would offer an impartial look at contemporary medical travel while helping prospective patients ask the right questions and make informed choices.

As we contemplate our options in an overpriced, overburdened U.S. healthcare environment, nearly all of us will eventually find ourselves seeking alternatives to costly treatments—either for ourselves or for our loved ones. Americans are in the midst of a global shift in healthcare service: In a few short years, big government investment, corporate partnerships, and increased media attention have spawned a new industry—medical tourism—bringing with it a host of encouraging new choices, ranging from dental care and cosmetic surgery to some of the more costly procedures, such as hip replacement and heart surgery. Those patients who take the time to become informed about our changing healthcare world will be pleasantly surprised by a smorgasbord of affordable, high-quality, American-accredited medical options abroad. Those who do not may find themselves grappling with an ungainly, prohibitively expensive healthcare system and a rising absence of choice.

There is no single type of health traveler. In researching and writing Patients Beyond Borders, I talked with wealthy women from Beverly Hills who, despite their affluence, prefer the quality of treatment and attention they receive in Brazil or South Africa to medical care California style. I met a hardworking couple from Wisconsin who, facing the prospect of refinancing their home for a $65,000 hip operation here in the United States, headed to India instead. I interviewed a Vietnam vet who wearied of long waits and red tape. He said "bon voyage" to this country's ever deteriorating healthcare system and headed overseas for treatment.

From these patients' experiences and many more like them, you'll learn when and how health travel abroad might meet your medical and financial needs. And you'll become a more informed healthcare consumer—both here and abroad.


Eronn said...

It is really important to select best Indian Tour Operator make to make your trip reliable.

aliah said...


It was very nice article to really enjoyed reading your this article on "Affordable World-Class Medical Travel". i did get lots of good points from your this article.
thanks for sharing such a good article here. keep on posting such a good article.
Gastric Bypass India


Ricky jordan said...

Such a inspirable and good blog . I am able to get new knowledge while reading this . Keep sharing this type of informative blogs.
astrology books

john smith said...

I am agree with your Blog.Thanks for the useful information.I have been reading a lot of stuff about it. but the way in it is presented is nice.Here is the information about
film production company.

Allen soly said...

Hi, Its really good blog to let know about what is going on in our surrounding and let other people know about it. such a great information.
Indian Jewelry

Mark Robert said...


Hello everyone here i want to share a marvelous testimony oh how Dr Imoloa HERBAL MIXTURE CREAM saved me from shame and disgrace .So Many Women Today Cheat On Their Husband All Because Of The Poor Performance Of Their Husband In Bed,I Have Come To Know That Women Love Men Who Last Long In Bed And Also Has That Big Dick That Can Make Them Scream And Also Make Them Rich Their Climax,Women Truly Love Good Sex. I Have Been Passing True Sexual Problems For The Past Six Years Now All Because Of The Size Of My Penis And My Poor Performance In Bed I Caught My Wife With A Man On Our Matrimonial Bed I Was Heart Broken And Confused When I Asked Her Why She Did All What She Did She Told Me I Was Not Good In Bed That I Can Not Satisfy Her That She Needs A Man Who Can Satisfy Her That Was How She Broke Up With Me At That Moment. I Told My Self I Was Never Going To Have Any Thing To Do With Any Woman Again I Started Going To The Club Sleeping Around With Different Girls at a Point I Got Tired Of Living That Kind Of Life Because That Was Never Part Of Me I Was On Line Last Month When I Came Across so many testimonies On Dr imoloa, How He Made their Sex Life Come Back To Life And That He Had Giving Them The Real Size Of Penis A Man Suppose To Have I Got Interested And I Contacted Him At Once Luckily For Me He Was Online After About 30 Minutes He Replied Me And Then He Told Me Every Thing I Needed To Do After Every Thing He Sent Me A herbal cream Package True The DHL courier Service Which I Received The Next three Days And Then I Started Using Them As Instructed By Him After About 2 Weeks I Started Seeing My Penis Got to 8 inches And i Felt So Many Changes Inside Of Me And Today I Am Happily Married With 2 kids And Last Up more than 1 Hour On Bed and can go up to 10 rounds with my wife All Thanks To Dr imoloa For Making Me Feel Like A Man Once Again.note he also have cure for......