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Old 02-05-2015, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Midwest
603 posts, read 841,264 times
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With the rising cost of healthcare in the US, would you consider going to another country to have medical work done?

Medical Tourism Gets a Facelift... and Perhaps a Pacemaker - Forbes

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/us...seas.html?_r=0

Last edited by nyyfanatic85; 02-05-2015 at 08:49 PM.. Reason: addition to post
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Texas
4,134 posts, read 3,502,845 times
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No, I would not, unless it was one of the few countries where the medical training is equivalent to the U.S. (UK and other Commonwealth nations, some other countries in Western Europe etc).

The big problem with getting medical care elsewhere is patient follow up and what to do in case of complications. No physician or hospital has any obligation to treat someone who has no established patient relationship with them. Even if you show up at an ER, they are obligated to provide only life or limb saving care.

So, if you have a procedure done and have a complication after you leave, you should travel back. Try finding a practitioner willing to inherit someone else's mess, with all the liability, but virtually no compensation for it.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
73,500 posts, read 85,697,973 times
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Absolutely not: the one exception might be, if I lived close enough to Mexico I might consider it for dental work. Even then, I am not sure. I know a few people, when we lived in Alb who did this with good results, but a few with awful results and when something goes wrong you have no place to go. You are stuck. Expensive or not, we have top quality medical care here in America.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 75,522,725 times
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Without hesitation. I (or my wife) have received medical or dental care at one level or another in many countries, such as Jordan, Panama, Honduras, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Taiwan. In many third world countries, doctors are better than in America, because they are attentive to the unique presentation of the patient, rather than a one-size-fits-all medical theory. They make a diagnosis based on many years of hands-on experience, rather than the number range on on a lab test with barely a glance at the patient.

All of the above were emergency medical visits as needed, in some cases involving an overnight hospital stay, and I would have even more confidence in a medical team that I could evaluate in advance for an elective procedure and have access to references. The worst of my overseas doctors were no worse than some I've been attended by in the USA.

Most third world doctors that a traveler might encounter have been trained in the USA, UK, or some similar developed country, and are fully aware of western medical procedures. Even in emergency, you can find one if you ask around. The US Embassy in every capital has a list of medical practitioners who are considered to meet standards for diplomatic staff and visiting travelers.

As for dentists, my wife has had difficult dental procedures done in Bolivia and Mexico, and considers both of them to be far superior to any dental work she has ever had in the US, at a fraction of the price.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-07-2015 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:42 PM
 
32,947 posts, read 33,834,331 times
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Yes, I already did when I didn't have health insurance in the USA. I had 2 surgeries in Israel which has healthcare equivalent or perhaps even better than the USA and was a much cheaper option at the time than doing a procedure in the USA.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
18,028 posts, read 21,890,688 times
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I'll be choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan soon, and I was encouraged by an Aetna plan, which listed 7 dental clinics in Tijuana, and other Mexican border cities. So what does that tell you?

Now if they'd just cover me at the Angeles Hospital in Tijuana, where I recently went, last summer, to have a Baker's Cyst aspirated! With Canada's national health care system imploding, lots Canadians going down there to this hospital for knee/hip replacements.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:03 PM
 
Location: North America
5,953 posts, read 4,763,801 times
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Is there a reason why medical care outside of the USA HAS to be inferior? I've seen this trend in other places and I don't understand.

America isn't the only country in the world with medical schools.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:56 AM
 
9,830 posts, read 16,276,569 times
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I think the point here is not the competency of foreign hospitals, but the advisability of traveling to another country for medical care. If you already live in a foreign country, or are traveling and get sick, I wouldn't hesitate to utilize their medical facilities, rather than risk a long flight home and complications that might develop.

However, I think the OP meant would you, as a US resident, consider traveling to a foreign country for the sole purpose of medical care? What would you do about follow-up care? You can't just get a hip replacement, or a heart valve, then hop on the next plane home. You need to recover "in place". the cost of hotel, etc, perhaps would more than offset the reduced cost of the actual medical treatment. Don't forget, you would need a companion, and his/her travel expenses.


You are living in a fool's paradise if you think you can just find a doctor here for a complication that developed from a procedure done in another country. At best, you might get to the ER who will stabilize you, then tell you to follow-up with your regular doctor. Even doctors in this country are suspicious at taking over another doctor's patient. If you just recently moved, and have relatively minor issues and just need a primary care, you probably won't have much trouble. But you can't get another doctor to take over another doctor's "mess".

I had a hip replacement done in Dallas in 1983. Then, we moved to Houston, and the hip loosened and needed a revision. I had some difficulty finding an orthopedic surgeon to take me! They kept asking me why I was there, why didn't I go back to the original doctor? Because.....he retired. Oh, well.....ok. Then, same hip gave problems and needed more work, we then lived in Austin. Same question---why didn't I go back to original doctor? Because by then he had died! couldn't argue with that! And Doc 2, the guy in Houston, had moved his practice to New York

Look, sometimes its just worth it to pay up!
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:17 AM
 
Location: North America
5,953 posts, read 4,763,801 times
Reputation: 1936
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
I think the point here is not the competency of foreign hospitals, but the advisability of traveling to another country for medical care. If you already live in a foreign country, or are traveling and get sick, I wouldn't hesitate to utilize their medical facilities, rather than risk a long flight home and complications that might develop.

However, I think the OP meant would you, as a US resident, consider traveling to a foreign country for the sole purpose of medical care? What would you do about follow-up care? You can't just get a hip replacement, or a heart valve, then hop on the next plane home. You need to recover "in place". the cost of hotel, etc, perhaps would more than offset the reduced cost of the actual medical treatment. Don't forget, you would need a companion, and his/her travel expenses.


You are living in a fool's paradise if you think you can just find a doctor here for a complication that developed from a procedure done in another country. At best, you might get to the ER who will stabilize you, then tell you to follow-up with your regular doctor. Even doctors in this country are suspicious at taking over another doctor's patient. If you just recently moved, and have relatively minor issues and just need a primary care, you probably won't have much trouble. But you can't get another doctor to take over another doctor's "mess".

I had a hip replacement done in Dallas in 1983. Then, we moved to Houston, and the hip loosened and needed a revision. I had some difficulty finding an orthopedic surgeon to take me! They kept asking me why I was there, why didn't I go back to the original doctor? Because.....he retired. Oh, well.....ok. Then, same hip gave problems and needed more work, we then lived in Austin. Same question---why didn't I go back to original doctor? Because by then he had died! couldn't argue with that! And Doc 2, the guy in Houston, had moved his practice to New York

Look, sometimes its just worth it to pay up!
Do you have any examples of this happening? It sounds like a myth or folklore to me.

I've read about tens of thousands of Americans who travel abroad to receive decent care without the worry of complete financial ruin but I don't know of too many stories of people dying once they get back because they were unable to receive follow-up care (which is another example of the kind of medical reasoning that leads Americans to go overseas for care in the first place, by the way).



Even with airfare, hotel costs and cost of travel for family companions you save incredible amounts of money vs. the American system.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:57 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 37,315,526 times
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1. Your chart only covers the fees charged to the patient, and doesn't indicate quality of service, likelihood of a need to return for followup care, and actual incidences of follow-up care available in the USA.
2. In the USA, most of the cost is absorbed by insurance, or Medicaid, and the patient only pays a percentage of the total bill. Even in a standard 80/20 plan with a $5,000 deductible - that hysterectomy:

In the US: $4,000 paid by the patient.
In India, where it's the least expensive: minimum $2,300 PLUS airfare for two PLUS hotel for two PLUS taxi/rental car. That can drive the costs up to well over $5,000.
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