Sunday, July 29, 2007

More on How Medical Tourism Can Help Americans

From the Forbes article "Open-Heart Surgery--90% Off" by Steve Forbes:

A fast-growing phenomenon--"medical tourism," which will be a $40 billion industry by 2010--is showing how we can "solve" the health care financing crisis.

More and more Americans are choosing to go abroad for elective and/or major surgeries. What entrepreneurs began more than a decade ago by constructing world-class facilities to lure patients from the U.S. and around the world into traveling for cosmetic surgery has now blossomed into freshly built foreign hospitals offering a wide array of other types of medical procedures. India, Thailand and Singapore are among the countries heavily involved. Panama and others are just entering this arena.

The hospitals and physicians are usually first-rate and, amazingly, can provide operations at 10% to 30% of the cost in the U.S. For instance, knee replacement surgery that might cost $16,000 here can be done for $4,500 in a top-tier (by U.S. standards) Indian hospital. Dr. John Helfrick, president of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, and Dr. Robert Crone, CEO and president of Harvard Medical International, tell of one dramatic example: A patient was in need of complicated heart surgery. His hospital said the cost would be $200,000 and wanted $100,000 up front. The patient's son, a medical student, knew of the medical tourism industry and arranged for his father to have the operation overseas. The complicated surgery was a success. The cost: $6,700.

How is this possible? Excellent hospitals can be built overseas without the bureaucratic red tape found in the U.S., thereby saving construction time. Construction costs are lower, as are nursing, physician and administrative expenses. Expat doctors who have trained here and in Europe are returning home, where money goes considerably further than in, say, New York or California. More and more of these foreign hospitals--currently numbering about 120, and growing--are not just mirroring the best U.S. practices but are emerging as innovators. They are certified by Joint Commission International, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. hospitals. The international accreditation process is as rigorous as it is in the U.S.--but without the unnecessary bureaucratic paperwork.

(HT: Sanil Kori)

5 Comments:

At 7/30/2007 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is really surprising to know the duration of time patients have to wait for an appointment with the doctor. With increased waiting list and expensive procedures, it is increasingly difficult to afford the time and money. I think that the Indian private healthcare system can be truly described as being state-of-the-art. The Indian expertise in healthcare, the entire experience of low cost surgery / treatment in internationally accredited hospitals, fast track recovery amidst a very pleasant and caring environment has put India on the global medical tourism map. Since it is also one of the most favourable tourist destinations in the world, Medication combines with tourism has come into effect, from which the concept of Medical Tourism is derived.
For instance in India's Wockhardt hospitals, medical treatment is not only fast but also costs a fraction of what it costs in USA or Europe. Even tele-consultancy is available for expert opinion and transmission facilities. Wockhardt Hospitals Group is associated with Harvard Medical International which enables the hospital to provide world class clinical expertise and excellent patient care backed by latest technology, multi-disciplinary capability and world class infrastructure and it is JCI accredited. Wockhardt one of the major players attracting international patients from US, UK and Canada. Add to this very little waiting time, excellent comforts and the best medical facilities and you get a very attractive option to perform all sorts of specialized medical treatments. Wockhardt Heart Hospital, Brain & Spine Hospital, Eye Hospital, Bone & Joint Hospital, Minimal Access Surgery Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital & Kidney Institute, Kolkatta, Wockhardt Liver Transplantation and Digestive Disease Centre, Hip Resurfacing Centre, Joint Replacement Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery Centre, Trans Nasal Brain Tumor Surgery, PELD- Minimal, Access Slipped Disk Surgery, Obesity Surgery Centre, Peripheral & Vascular Disease Centre, Parkinson's Disease Centre, Surgical Oncology (Cancer Surgery). Speciality Clinics like Diabetes Clinic, Backache & Spine Clinic, Arthritis & Joint Pain Clinic, Parkinson’s Clinic, ENT etc are a part of the Wockhardt group.

Please visit the link below to read the international patients' experiences.
http://www.wockhardthospitals.net/general/pat_exp.asp

 
At 8/06/2007 10:12 PM, Anonymous David Williams of MedTripInfo said...

Medical tourism (or international medical travel as I prefer to call it) has the potential to relieve some of the pressure on the US health care system.

I've recently launched a website on the topic www.MedTripInfo.com in order to provide news, information and a place for comments. (Please be brave and be one of the first to leave a comment in the discussion forums.

I visited 10 hospitals in Singapore recently and was very impressed. They have an excellent combination of quality, price, and hospitality.

I do want to note that the cost differential cited in this post (and many others) is somewhat exaggerated. It compares "charges" in the US with the price of care abroad. It's true that uninsured patients often have to pay "charges," but the relevant price for health insurers is usually about half. The overseas numbers don't include the cost of airfare and lodging for the patient and a companion (which is always a good idea to take along).

David Williams
CEO, MedTripInfo

 
At 8/28/2007 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Medical tourism is the future and particularly India’s private healthcare system has made tremendous progress.
After getting outrageous estimates on how much it would cost Cardiac surgery from several doctors in Florida. I felt I had no other option than to go overseas for my treatment since I don’t have any insurance, I had heard about Wockhardt hospitals in India for a friend and, because I had been thinking about getting Cardiac surgery I checked out the company on the web. I was contacted by Wockhardians a wonderful and competent they answered all my questions and helped me begin the process following my three-day stay in the hospital. The people of India are the friendliest people I have ever met and I felt as safe there as I ever have anywhere. For me, a real bonus was that so many speak English! That makes everything so easy! India is a long way to go, but I don’t have any regrets about going there for my surgery. I got to see a country I have never seen before, meet some wonderful people and have a surgery that I could not have afforded here in Florida.

My stay here at the hospital was beyond expectation or belief. The care given by every employee and the expertise of the doctors is unmatched. With such a journey as I made, my comfort was only possible due to the level of fantastic care to be provided to me.

My recommendation to anyone considering this path is to go; you will find all of your fears put to rest & learn a few things along the way. I most certainly would have been lost if not for Dr Vivek Jawali. He made all the difference in my stay.
Each step was explained in great detail. They all made me feel comfortable while I was considering this procedure.

Please visit the link below to read the international patients' experiences.
http://www.wockhardthospitals.net/general/pat_exp.asp

 
At 9/20/2007 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After getting outrageous estimates on how much it would cost Cardiac surgery from several doctors in Florida. I felt I had no other option than to go overseas for my treatment since I don’t have any insurance, I had heard about Wockhardt hospitals in India for a friend and, because I had been thinking about getting Cardiac surgery I checked out the company on the web. I was contacted by Mr Pradeep Thukral a wonderful and competent young man who answered all my questions and helped me begin the process following my three-day stay in the hospital. The people of India are the friendliest people I have ever met and I felt as safe there as I ever have anywhere. For me, a real bonus was that so many speak English! That makes everything so easy! India is a long way to go, but I don’t have any regrets about going there for my surgery. I got to see a country I have never seen before, meet some wonderful people and have a surgery that I could not have afforded here in Florida.

My stay here at the hospital was beyond expectation or belief. The care given by every employee and the expertise of the doctors is unmatched. With such a journey as I made, my comfort was only possible due to the level of fantastic care to be provided to me.

My recommendation to anyone considering this path is to go; you will find all of your fears put to rest & learn a few things along the way. I most certainly would have been lost if not for Dr Vivek Jawali. He made all the difference in my stay.
Check out some Video …

http://www.wockhardthospitals.net/general/pat_exp.asp

 
At 12/18/2007 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Cory Foulk has the following to say in a e-mail dated 21st dec 05

Visit: http://hipresurfacingindia.com
/BHR_Triathlon_Competitor.php

Dr .William Cory Foulk. From the
United States of America (USA)
is a Ironman Triathlon competitor. He participated in the European Triathlon Competition held in Frankfurt in July 2006 seven months Post Hip Resurfacing Surgery in ARCH, Chennai. Some of the pictures from the competition can be viewed below.
The World Championships is held in Kailua Kona, Hawaii each October. This was the third Ironman distance triathlon I attempted this year (post-op); I failed to finish the first in July due to dehydration (that was in Frankfurt, Germany, and is the European Championship) but had a very good bike and a pretty good run going. The second was in Honolulu, Hawaii two weeks later, in August 2006, and I not only finished but won my division and qualified for the World Championships.

The hip is significantly better than it has been for years - absolutely no pain, a much better range of motion - as you can see from the cycling photo, you have to bring your knee to your chest 80 times per minute - for 6 hours! I am noticing much better power as the tendons seem to finally be recovering from years of chaffing across that joint. Great news!

I have been invited to compete in the Ultraman World Championships the last weekend of November, and expect to place in the top ten overall in that event, which is longer then a regular Ironman triathlon. I feel confident that I will be on equal footing with the other competitors throughout.

Thank you again for your efforts in getting me here, Aloha, Cory.
This is the 2006 Ironman World Championships held October 21, 2006 - 10 months to the day of my procedure!

I had a wonderful time all day, and had no difficulty completing the distances of 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles bicycling, and 26.2 miles running, despite difficult weather conditions throughout the day. My time was 90 minutes faster than last years time, despite the fact that i was taking it very easy so as to not undo any of your fine handiwork!

I expect next year to be back as competitive as I ever was, with absolutely no concession to the
BHR hip
. I had absolutely no pain before, during, or after this event.

Thank you again for correcting a once debilitating condition, Aloha, Cory.

Visit: http://hipresurfacingindia.com
/BHR_Triathlon_Competitor.php

 

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