Monday, May 3, 2010

Dr. Reece’s 24/7 Pieces, May 3, 2010, Medical Tourism

Key words – medical tourism, dental, cosmetic, cardiovascular, orthopedic, Thailand, India, Singapore, Panama, Costa Rico, Mexico, Maylasia, medical costs, Medex, international travel insurance and assistance.

Daily Report: Today I discuss medical insurance while traveling abroad and where Americans go to get care abroad. Twenty years ago, I was involved in setting up a company called Medex. We identified English-speaking physicians abroad and hospitals where those physicians practiced and provided medical assistance and transportation services for American travelers. The company offers worldwide travel assistance and international travel insurance.. Today Medex, located in Baltimore, offers services to individuals, groups, students, contractors, and those planning for pandemic. Medex is an integral part of the medical tourism industry.

A Medical Tourism Guide

Over the last few years, Medical Tourism has gained popularity. American patients seeking health care abroad numbered between 500,000 to 750,000 in 2007. Medical experts estimate 200,000 to half a million Americans traveled out of the country for medical procedures. The medical tourism market may reach $100 billion by 2012.

The following lists medical tourism information and its impact on the global health care industry.

Why Americans Go Abroad

A May 2008 McKinsey and Company report indicates that 40% of medical travelers seek advanced technology, while 32% seek better health care. Another 15% seek faster medical services while only 9% of travelers seek lower costs as their primary consideration.

A lack of health insurance is the most common factor for medical travel.
• About 900,000 to 1.2 million foreign patients traveled to hospitals in Thailand. In Bangkok's prestigious Bumrungrad International Hospital, 58,000 U.S. patients sought treatment in their facilities in 2005, which increased to 64,000 Americans the following year.

• Singapore benefited with the increase in medical tourists from 270,000 in 2004 to 410,000 foreign patients annually. It is estimated that this will increase to a million patients by 2012.

• Latin America, particularly Costa Rica and Panama, are fast becoming tourist spots for medical travelers with close to 150,000 foreign patients seeking healthcare in Costa Rica in 2006.

• Due to its close proximity to the U.S., Mexico has become a top medical tourism destination with 40,000 to 80,000 American seniors spending their retirement there with a considerable number receiving nursing home and health care.

• Malaysia is also becoming a famous destination with 300,000 medical travelers in 2006.

• India has also benefited with the increase in medical tourists from 150,000 in 2002 to 450,000 in 2007.

• South Africa also indicates a steady growth of medical tourists from 8,000 in 2003 to 20,000 last year.

Most U.S. citizens traveling abroad for medical services usually choose the following categories of medical tourism procedures:
• dental

• cosmetic

• orthopedic

• cardiovascular

Americans prefer Mexico, Costa Rica or Panama for dental services or cosmetic surgeries. Southeast Asia and India are choice destinations for orthopedic and cardiovascular cases due to t several U.S. accredited hospitals and physicians. The following are some of potential savings and services that can be acquired in medical tourism destinations.

• Medical care in Panama would cost up to 40% to 70% less compared to the U.S.

• A 40% to 50% savings in dental work and cosmetic surgery can be obtained in Hungary.

• Mexico is a favorite destination offering 25% to 35% savings for dental and cosmetic surgery.

• Costa Rica offers 30% to 40% savings for dental and cosmetic surgery services.

• Brazil offers cosmetic surgery services at 40% to 50% less.

• India provides various health care services at 20% of the U.S. cost.

• South Africa cosmetic surgery costs are only 30% to 40% less than in the U.S.

• Various health care services can be obtained at 30% less than U.S. prices in Thailand.

• Singapore offers various medical services in 13 JCI accredited hospitals for only 35% less than U.S. prices.

• Cosmetic surgery and alternative medicine can be obtained in Malaysia for 25% of the U.S.cost.

Companies like Hannaford Bros. Co. located in Maine are considering saving up to 70% on medical costs by offering offshore medical treatments for their employees. In a similar manner, insurance companies like BasicPlus Health Insurance at Roswell are collaborating with global health care companies to provide overseas options to members with fixed benefit maximums.

Although these medical tourism statistics show favorable figures, patients traveling abroad should research facts about the facilities and services regarding U.S. accreditation. Whether you are receiving surgery in the US or abroad, there are always risks involved, and it is wise to take out medical insurance. Reviewing a doctor's credentials, and talking with previous patients is highly recommended when seeking health care abroad.

7 comments:

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Hospital Thailand said...

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Medical Tourism said...

The low charge of various medical procedures is one of the main reasons why many people are choosing to go abroad for their medical treatments. The reason behind the low charge of medical treatments in a foreign country is the cheap labor found in well-known tourist destinations.

drugstore said...

It's awesome how Indian resulted benefited with medical tourist. I thought this country had been one of the less benefited with this travels, but stadistics are clear

tiendas eroticas said...

Pretty effective info, thanks for the post.

chiropractor said...

Seeking medical attention overseas is cheaper than in the US. Other medical facilities in Asia can compete with other clinics in the US that offer world-class services.

sunshine said...

The fact that you offer a cheaper medical treatment is great to know plus it does not only cheaper but have high standard. keep sharing this kind of post.----If you wish to know more about medical tourism, go to medical tourism guide. Let’s help you make a choice. Visit this blog for valuable information.