Thursday, May 25, 2006

Surgical Vacation? The Rise of Medical Tourism

First it was call centers and software, now medicine. For years, American companies have been outsourcing jobs to places like India and Singapore. Now, thanks to skyrocketing U.S. health care costs, Americans are increasingly traveling abroad to obtain medical treatment - at a fraction of the cost charged by U.S. hospitals. It’s yet another indication of how inefficient the U.S. hospital system is, and how it will soon be forced to adapt to overseas competition.

In the meantime, so-called medical tourism companies like IndUSHealth and Planet Hospital are helping American patients make arrangements to visit hospitals - in countries like India, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico and Belgium - to undergo general and cosmetic surgical procedures. Instead of going on safari one might get a facelift and tummy tuck for $9,995 - airfare, meals and hotel all included. What a deal(!), assuming the operation is a success, of course. In India, for example, medical malpractice laws limit damage awards.

Question: Would you consider undergoing a common surgical procedure in a foreign hospital, say, 8,000 miles from home?

1 comment:

John Tibbets said...

IndUShealth, with RN staff, a medical director and partnerships with India's premier hospitals, has a great video

Not sure why you would want to use second tier hospitals in India when JCI accredited ones are easily accessible.