Medical Tourism

Sep 27th, 2019, 04:17 PM
  #1  
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Medical Tourism

Would you do it? Or have you? Even if you're in a country that has what I'll call (for lack of a better term) socialized medicine?
baldone is online now  
Sep 27th, 2019, 04:55 PM
  #2  
 
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Not me. Although when I lived in Indonesia I had to travel to Singapore for medical and dental
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Sep 29th, 2019, 01:01 AM
  #3  
 
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I haven’t done and an nor would I based my experience on a visit to a well known hospital in Bangkok when I was taken ill in Cambodia. The place was very efficient, especially at relieving customers of their cash! The doctor I saw was very keen to upsell services, to an extent that I would be very concerned about said hospital carrying out unnecessary procedures.

When I asked for an electronic copy of my scan to email to my son who is a consultant at a Sydney hospital, they sent me the detailed medical records for a Saudi woman who was being treated for various gynaecological problems. In all, not an experience that would make me want to return voluntarily.
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Oct 11th, 2019, 07:48 AM
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I never thought I'd say this, but I might consider it. We were in Paris this last April during spring break and my 15 yo had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. Barring some minor hiccups he was very well cared for, the doctors were wonderful and he even liked the hospital food. He had laparoscopic surgery and was discharged the same day. His incisions healed remarkably well, they gave him all the paperwork he needed for school (he missed a week), in English. Everyone spoiled him, the hotel we were in sent him macarons. When we came home we got the bill - if this were to have happened in the US, our deductible alone would have been higher than what we paid. Regarding the hiccups, when we initially took him to emergency they mistook him for an adult and did not check his age, when they did they insisted on moving him to the pediatric hospital by ambulance in the midst of vigorous gilet jaune protests. We were so glad that we were in Paris when this happened, we are seriously considering going there if we should need surgery.

Last edited by vipsha; Oct 11th, 2019 at 07:53 AM.
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Oct 11th, 2019, 09:07 AM
  #5  
 
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Would I? No. We have insurance so there is no need to go abroad to save money.

My wife had to be hospitalized in Bangkok 2 days after we arrived from India due to some horrid gi bug. Crellston I am curious as to what hospital you were in. Sue was in Samitivej hospital in the Sukumvit area which actually has a joint commission affiliation. As a 30+ year ICU RN my opinion of the care was overall very good.

My mother had a hip replacement in a Chicago hospital and the care there was terrible. We ended up dismissing the surgeon so her follow up was accepted by another orthopod who her PCP contacted after I told her of the debacle. Her take home records included CT scan results for a different patient too. Hospital administration promised much and did zero.

Finally get travel insurance of course. Her 5 day stay was just under 6k and it was all covered by the policy we purchased.
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Oct 11th, 2019, 10:46 AM
  #6  
 
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JW I visited Bumrungrad mainly because it came highly recommended on the Asia forum.
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Oct 11th, 2019, 01:09 PM
  #7  
 
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Thank you. Iíve heard that too.
Sorry about that unsatisfactory experience.,
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Oct 12th, 2019, 10:18 AM
  #8  
 
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At one point I thought about visiting a cosmetic dermatolologist in Medellin, Colombia but never got around to it.

I met someone at my hotel near San Jose Costa Rica who visited regularly (from Texas) for dentistry.

Many people in the US have inadequate or no dental insurance.

Cosmetic procedures are not covered, but I wouldn't do anything involving cutting. Just thinking of laser or IPL type treatments, since my skin is more like Latin/olive than Euro fair-skinned.


Last edited by mlgb; Oct 12th, 2019 at 10:21 AM.
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Oct 12th, 2019, 08:56 PM
  #9  
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I asked out of my own curiosity, because as a US citizen and Mexico full-time resident, I have options of care in both countries. I much prefer the care I receive in Mexico, and not just for the cost which I cover out of pocket. And I do have Seguro Popular ($350 US for 2 people for 3 years), the nationalized health care program which the current president is really mucking up. A recent out of pocket cataract surgery was $1500 US (one eye) and a colonoscopy, $500 US with anesthesiologist. Dental is minimal. A typical doctor office visit is like $2.50 US. A friend recently had her appendix removed for $1500 US. She is Canadian, but traveling to Canada was not an option. Just curious. I'm not advocating one way over the another. I'm mostly wondering about elective surgery/procedures over emergencies. Thanks for the responses.
baldone is online now  
Oct 13th, 2019, 09:25 AM
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Colonscopies are covered under my US insurance. Maybe a $25 copay at most.

Haven't had to have cataract surgery, but I believe under Medicare they won't cover upgraded lenses so that would be the out of pocket part.

I like my providers here (Kaiser) and I have some dental coverage. So not reason to travel. The piece from them I don't like is the optical dispensing but I have been happy with one of the lowcost internet companies (Zenni). A decade ago I had to get a new pair of distance glasses in Ecuador and they did a pretty decent job in Cuenca on a rush order. I don't find overseas prices to be any better than Zenni, though.

I sometimes buy prescription meds that can be dispensed by a pharmacist overseas (such as the altitude meds or maybe once I didn't have any Cipro).

What is interesting though, is how expensive vitamins were in Peru!!

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 13th, 2019 at 09:28 AM.
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Oct 13th, 2019, 09:30 AM
  #11  
 
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Colonscopies are covered under my US insurance. Maybe a $25 copay at most.

Haven't had to have cataract surgery, but I believe under Medicare they won't cover upgraded lenses so that would be the out of pocket part.

I like my providers here (Kaiser) and I have some dental coverage. So not reason to travel.

I sometimes by prescription meds that can be dispensed by a pharmacist overseas (such as the altitude meds or maybe once I didn't have any Cipro).

What is interesting though, is how expensive vitamins were in Peru!!

The Canadian in Cuenca who let out the Airbnb that I used, had her knee surgeries done at home, so she'd be near family. I would think that is a big issue for anything more than a minor procedure or an emergency. As well as continuity of care for some people. I keep telling a UK friend who visits annually that she should have her implants done in the US instead of by her overpriced specialist in the UK (apparently one of them already needs to be redone). She is concerned about follow up care.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 14th, 2019, 05:34 AM
  #12  
 
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Yes special lens implants for cataract surgery isn’t covered by Medicare though the implants they do cover work for most people and Medicare will help cover for new glasses post cataract surgery.

As for glasses I got a nice pair of bicocals in Bangkok for $125.00 and it took 5 hours. Now my frames were generic but I brought my sons prescription and got him a pair of glasses with designer frames for $200.00. Not bad.

We we have been going to India since 1978. Then glasses were a bargain. Now forget it. The last time we checked in 2013 they wanted $800.00 for Sue for a pair with all the bells and whistles so to speak.
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Oct 14th, 2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jacketwatch View Post
Yes special lens implants for cataract surgery isnít covered by Medicare though the implants they do cover work for most people and Medicare will help cover for new glasses post cataract surgery.

As for glasses I got a nice pair of bicocals in Bangkok for $125.00 and it took 5 hours. Now my frames were generic but I brought my sons prescription and got him a pair of glasses with designer frames for $200.00. Not bad.

We we have been going to India since 1978. Then glasses were a bargain. Now forget it. The last time we checked in 2013 they wanted $800.00 for Sue for a pair with all the bells and whistles so to speak.
You need to take a look at Zenni Optical, jacketwatch. Try them out for a spare pair.
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Oct 15th, 2019, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
You need to take a look at Zenni Optical, jacketwatch. Try them out for a spare pair.
Hmmm. Seem them advertised but havenít thought to use them so I will do so. Thank you.
Larry.
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Oct 16th, 2019, 06:21 PM
  #15  
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My medical 'issue' was when I moved to Mexico my US insurance was no longer valid. So I had to buy a $400 (US) monthly expat policy. I quickly realized I could save that by going out of pocket here, even if it meant rolling the dice a bit for the 10 years until I qualified for US medicare. But the Seguro Popular is a good backup. I figured I saved some $40,000 US over those 10 years by going out of pocket. At least until I have a brain tumor or need a heart transplant.
I probably wouldn't have gone that route if I was in Bolivia. A good friend living there was diagnosed with a large tumor pressing on his spine which turned out to be benign. He was near death, so I flew to see him. The surgeons gave his wife a list of stuff to go shopping for, like scalpals and other instruments. They didn't have any in the hospital. She even had to take his tumor to a lab for biopsy. He survived, thanks to the skills of the surgeons even with primitive conditions. Can't recommend Bolivia.

Last edited by baldone; Oct 16th, 2019 at 06:31 PM.
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Oct 17th, 2019, 08:21 AM
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by baldone View Post
My medical 'issue' was when I moved to Mexico my US insurance was no longer valid. So I had to buy a $400 (US) monthly expat policy. I quickly realized I could save that by going out of pocket here, even if it meant rolling the dice a bit for the 10 years until I qualified for US medicare. But the Seguro Popular is a good backup. I figured I saved some $40,000 US over those 10 years by going out of pocket. At least until I have a brain tumor or need a heart transplant.
I probably wouldn't have gone that route if I was in Bolivia. A good friend living there was diagnosed with a large tumor pressing on his spine which turned out to be benign. He was near death, so I flew to see him. The surgeons gave his wife a list of stuff to go shopping for, like scalpals and other instruments. They didn't have any in the hospital. She even had to take his tumor to a lab for biopsy. He survived, thanks to the skills of the surgeons even with primitive conditions. Can't recommend Bolivia.
As for Bolivia I think what you said it quite true. Friends off mine, fellow RN's, have gone there many times for charity work along with a team of medical professionals. I have heard about the conditions there and have seen pictures of their facilities. Lets just say you don't want to get sick there.
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Oct 17th, 2019, 12:17 PM
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Yes. Iíve had crowns on my teeth done in Bali & will go back next year for another crown. Excellent dentist & still very happy with the result 5 & 10 years later. About the equivalent of AUD $250 each - roughly 15% of what Iíd pay at home.

Glasses made in Thailand,Hong Kong & Bali. Again very happy with the result & significantly cheaper.

The difference in the dental costs pays for most of my airfare & accommodation in Bali, so itís an easy decision.
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Oct 17th, 2019, 04:54 PM
  #18  
 
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This is something that has not crossed my mind honestly. Wouldn't mind some dental and other elective work maybe but that would not be the primary purpose of the trip.
kapia is offline  
Oct 18th, 2019, 11:30 PM
  #19  
 
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I believe NHS organisations in the south-east of England have in the past sub-contracted some routine surgical operations to hospitals in France and Belgium in order to reduce backlogs.

Once the former Communist countries joined the EU (and maybe even while they were waiting to join), there was quite a business for dentists in Hungary and Croatia offering cosmetic dentistry cheaper than in the UK (even taking travel costs into account). I've no idea if prices have evened out a bit since then.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Oct 19th, 2019, 01:00 PM
  #20  
 
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When I was in Germany in Ď13, someone told me he & a few of his friends went to Poland for dental work, as it was much cheaper.

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