Medical Travel Cost Comparison

Here’s a great cost comparison tool from a site called “Treatment Abroad” that allows you to select a procedure and a country and compare the costs:

Medical Treatment Cost Comparions

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Medical Travel vs Medicine for Travelers

Just in case you thought this blog was about solving problems with medical things during travel, I send you to WebMD’s excellent collection on the topic:

WebMD on getting medical care while Traveling, etc.

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Medical Travel to the USA ?!

As an rapidly developing market, medical travel and medical tourism seem to have several meanings and it’s important to make a distinction between people who are simply “foreigners in a hospital” and those leaving the USA or other countries to travel to places like Thailand or India for high quality, low cost procedures, often including an extended stay as a tourist.

More soon on this…

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CBS News on Thai Hospital, India

At this link: CBS on India Medical Trips is a nice short piece by Sixty Minutes at CBS on Medical Tourism. In this cases they feature one of the world’s most sophisticated and elegant medical tourism destination hospitals, Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. This is one of the world’s largest facilities for Medical Travel and by appearances it surpasses any comfort standards you’d expect in the USA. A friend of mine has raved about his experiences with Thai medical care and I need to follow up to see where he stayed in Thailand.

Here, NuWireInvestor details some of the cost differences and notes what Medical Travel business MedRetreat calls “The $6000 rule”:

A procedure that costs $6,000 in the U.S. would probably “realize a break-even scenario” if the patient elected to go abroad, because the overhead created by travel costs would cancel out the money saved for the actual procedure ….

However I’m wondering about that rule in a scenario like mine where I’m already planning a trip to Vietnam, so throwing in a checkup or even something like a colonoscopy will add few costs above the procedure itself.

I’m not clear yet about the risks and rewards of planning your own medical tourism tour rather than using a service like MedRetreat, where they take care of many of the details for you. This appears to be one of the top services for helping Americans find care overseas. Perhaps a starting point for deciding whether to use them or work with the hospitals directly would be this cost chart from the MedRetreat Website:

PROCEDURE COST IN U.S. COST ABROAD
Orthopedic
Hip Replacement $40,000 – $65,000 $7,000 – $13,000
Hip Resurfacing $50,000 – $60,000 $8,000 – $12,000
Knee Replacement $45,000 – $60,000 $7,500 – $12,000
Neurology
Spinal Fusion $80,000 – $100,000 $6,000 – $10,000
Total Spinal Disc Replacement $100,000 – $150,000 $8,000 – $12,000
Discectomy $20,000 – $24,000 $5000 – $7,000
Cardiology
Angioplasty $50,000 – $65,000 $5,000 – $7,000
Heart Bypass $90,000 – $120,000 $10,000 – $18,000
Heart Valve Replacement $125,000 – $175,000 $13,000 – $18,000
Gynecology
Hysterectomy $18,000 – $25,000 $4,000 – $7,000
Cosmetic
Face & Neck Lift $8,000 – $15,000 $2,500 – $4,000
Breast Augmentation $6,000 – $12,000 $3,500 – $5,000
Tummy Tuck $6,000 – $12,000 $3,800 – $5,200
Liposuction/Area $2,000 – $3,000 $800 – $1,200
Dental
Dental Implants/Tooth $3,000 – $5,000 $800 – $2,000
Dental Crowns $800 – $1,200 $200 – $600
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Medical Tourism and the Medical Traveler: MedicalTraveling.net

As a travel and tourism specialist I’ve been intrigued for some time with “Medical Tourism”. Usually this term reflects the practice of traveling to another country for medical care at lower costs than the home country, though it’s important to note that “Medical Travel” can have other meanings as well.

For a great summary of data and economics about Medical Travel, this report about the Medical Travel Industry offers a great introduction to the topic. We’ll have a summary of this information later here at the blog.

Here at Medical Traveling we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of Medical Travel and Tourism

Wikipedia has a nice introduction to the topic of Medical Travel.

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