Americans Going Overseas for Healthcare

  1. http://mparent7777.livejournal.com/14303478.html


    This is the first I have heard of it - for truly medical procedures - but I think it is pathetic that hard working Americans (like the lady in the article) are forced to look into taking a risk such as this b/c care in the U.S. is simply unaffordable w/o employer sponsored health insurance.
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   azhiker96
    The article does touch on part of the cost problem in the US...
    In countries like Thailand and India, medical malpractice claims are rare and multimillion dollar awards are nonexistent.

    "If there's a mistake, we fix it," said Curtis Schroeder, an American who is group CEO of Bumrungrad hospital, which requires all doctors to carry malpractice insurance. "But the idea of suing for multimillions of dollars for damages is not going to be something you can do outside the U.S."


    Congress needs to work on the causes of the problem rather than the symptoms. Tort reform would help.
  4. by   sorrento
    With interest i've red the article. I wonder if the problem with having so many people uninsured in the states and the immensly growing health care cost can be solved by talking people into going abroad for surgery.
    In my opinion it would be much better to find solutions for an affordable health care system in the US with a mandatory basic medical insurance such as there is in most European states. For instance the Finnish system or the not unexpensive Swiss system.
    Basic health care should be granted to everybody and not made dipendent of the company one works with or the salary one earns.
  5. by   AmericanChai
    My husband is from India, and his parents told me there are a few hospitals there that cater to Europeans, N. Americans, and others. They do things like joint replacement surgeries and kidney transplants. (Of course then you get into the other problem of people in India selling their kidneys for said transplants.)

    I thought for awhile that I needed braces for TMJ. I was shocked that it would have cost me $6000 for braces that I would just need for a year or 15 months. I was seriously considering saving the braces for my next trip to India, where braces by an American-trained orthodontist were only $1000 from start to finish.

    When my oldest daughter needed a chickenpox vaccine during our visit (the U.S. was out of it at the time) it cost us $25 for the entire doctor visit and the shot. We asked around for the best doctor in the area, too.

    The system is so broken in the U.S. We have such great technology to help people but many cannot afford it. My daughter has been tube-fed from 3 mos. old and even though she's tube-dependant, her formula is not covered by insurance. She's almost 3. Even after learning she's allergic to one of the main ingredients of OTC pediatric formulas, they will not cover it. I was going to have to pay $600 month for the special formula. Instead I did some heavy research on nutrition and came up with a recipe. I will be passing it by a nutritionst soon, but since she gets a daily vitamin I'm not too worried. She's growing so well and happy. She is thriving on blenderized formula. It's only about $15/week for the ingredients. The doctors do not support putting anything but canned formula through her gastrostomy tube, because it's not designed for blenderized, but what other choice do I have?? I don't have $600/month. We are still paying off her old medical bills and in debt because of it. My husband is a state worker, I'm a SAHM of two kids (cannot leave my child with anyone even if I wanted to work) and I'm a pre-nursing student. We are not rich, but we don't qualify for services through the state.

    A lot of Americans are turning to alternative care such as naturopathic doctors because the cannot afford traditional doctors. While naturopaths have their place, it's sad to see people not having any other choice because they can't afford it. Also, a midwife assisted home birth is about $2000, but a standard hospital birth is $14,000 or more. A lot of families are chosing home-birth for personal reasons, but many more are choosing it for financial reasons.
    Last edit by AmericanChai on Nov 10, '06
  6. by   KellieNurse06
    Quote from AmericanChai
    My husband is from India, and his parents told me there are a few hospitals there that cater to Europeans, N. Americans, and others. They do things like joint replacement surgeries and kidney transplants. (Of course then you get into the other problem of people in India selling their kidneys for said transplants.)

    I thought for awhile that I needed braces for TMJ. I was shocked that it would have cost me $6000 for braces that I would just need for a year or 15 months. I was seriously considering saving the braces for my next trip to India, where braces by an American-trained orthodontist were only $1000 from start to finish.

    When my oldest daughter needed a chickenpox vaccine during our visit (the U.S. was out of it at the time) it cost us $25 for the entire doctor visit and the shot. We asked around for the best doctor in the area, too.

    The system is so broken in the U.S. We have such great technology to help people but many cannot afford it. My daughter has been tube-fed from 3 mos. old and even though she's tube-dependant, her formula is not covered by insurance. She's almost 3. Even after learning she's allergic to one of the main ingredients of OTC pediatric formulas, they will not cover it. I was going to have to pay $600 month for the special formula. Instead I did some heavy research on nutrition and came up with a recipe. I will be passing it by a nutritionst soon, but since she gets a daily vitamin I'm not too worried. She's growing so well and happy. She is thriving on blenderized formula. It's only about $15/week for the ingredients. The doctors do not support putting anything but canned formula through her gastrostomy tube, because it's not designed for blenderized, but what other choice do I have?? I don't have $600/month. We are still paying off her old medical bills and in debt because of it. My husband is a state worker, I'm a SAHM of two kids (cannot leave my child with anyone even if I wanted to work) and I'm a pre-nursing student. We are not rich, but we don't qualify for services through the state.

    A lot of Americans are turning to alternative care such as naturopathic doctors because the cannot afford traditional doctors. While naturopaths have their place, it's sad to see people not having any other choice because they can't afford it. Also, a midwife assisted home birth is about $2000, but a standard hospital birth is $14,000 or more. A lot of families are chosing home-birth for personal reasons, but many more are choosing it for financial reasons.
    Is your child disabled?If so than medicaid should cover them....... I can't believe your family doesn't have insurance .....if your hubby is a state worker they get insurance ( here anyway)...full benefits and all working just part time.....a couple of people I know work for the state as nurses in group homes for dd adults and only work part time...20-24 hours a week ...and they get full benefits, full insurance ( family & single), pension plan, sick time, vacation time etc etc. Most places don't even offer insurance for anyone working less than full time other than state jobs......Maybe each state differs but I know where I live a state worker gets full insurance and everything at part time just because it is a state job.......and they even are unionized too................wow hope you get some insurance ...that really stinks...
  7. by   AmericanChai
    Is your child disabled?If so than medicaid should cover them....... I can't believe your family doesn't have insurance .....if your hubby is a state worker they get insurance ( here anyway)...full benefits and all working just part time.....a couple of people I know work for the state as nurses in group homes for dd adults and only work part time...20-24 hours a week ...and they get full benefits, full insurance ( family & single), pension plan, sick time, vacation time etc etc. Most places don't even offer insurance for anyone working less than full time other than state jobs......Maybe each state differs but I know where I live a state worker gets full insurance and everything at part time just because it is a state job.......and they even are unionized too................wow hope you get some insurance ...that really stinks...
    Sorry this is getting off topic a bit . .

    We do have insurance through the state, and for the most part it's good insurance, but they won't cover a lot of day to day things that my child needs. She is not disabled but she has the feeding/GI issues and needs the stomach tube. Medicaid won't take her because she's not disabled enough, and we fall just above the income bracket to qual for Medicaid by income.

    It's not as simple as having insurance or not. I wish it was. Today I went to the new GI and she wants my dd on Prevacid. Our insurance only covers Prilosec, not Prevacid. She wants my dd on a special formula that is prescription only. Our insurance doesn't cover *any* formula except under very specific circumstances such as having CF or being inpatient. Having a feeding tube does not qualify her by itself. Insane, isn't it?

    I know parnents of kids who have CP and are completely disabled and it still took their parents two years or more to qualify for Medicaid. Read the last 1/3 of this article as another example:
    reviewjournal.com -- Living - Severely handicapped grandchild helps make every day special

    I know this family on-line.
  8. by   glb1960
    I am a nurse and an India surgery pt. I had a hip resurfacing done in Coimbature, India on June 20th, this year. This procedure is avaliable in the U.S. but not covered by insurance. My cost in the U.S. would have been $85,000 and up for this procedure. I spent $5,500 plus @ $3,000 in travel to have it done in India. Everything went stellar and I would send my family members there in a heart beat. Sad, isn't it?
  9. by   indigo girl
    Many Americans go to doctors and dentists in South and Central America for more affordable procedures. They choose docs and dentists that were trained here. We are planning to retire in one of those countries for financial and other reasons. There are many American retirees headed south for the same reasons. There is much information available from expatriat support publications regarding costs, and quality of care issues. If my provider has been trained here, and it really is far less expensive, it's a no brainer. Need expensive dental work? Take a vacation further south.
  10. by   BSNtobe2009
    I wouldn't be so quick to believe that article. I have known several people that have went overseas for health care, ALL were extremely wealthy individuals who went overseas to get alternative healthcare for various diseases or fertility treatments that were illegal to perform here in the USA.

    I simply cannot believe that taking time off from work, buying a plane ticket, booking a hotel for several days, and going overseas is cheaper than having a procedure done here.

    Insurance is not a reason not to get healthcare in this country, there are public hospitals everywhere that will not turn you down due to your inability to pay or will negotiate a payment plan.

    No way would I go overseas to have some cut-rate doctor with little to no regulations, and take medicine from god knows where. If I was terminal, that is a different story.
  11. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from KellieNurse06
    Is your child disabled?If so than medicaid should cover them....... I can't believe your family doesn't have insurance .....if your hubby is a state worker they get insurance ( here anyway)...full benefits and all working just part time.....a couple of people I know work for the state as nurses in group homes for dd adults and only work part time...20-24 hours a week ...and they get full benefits, full insurance ( family & single), pension plan, sick time, vacation time etc etc. Most places don't even offer insurance for anyone working less than full time other than state jobs......Maybe each state differs but I know where I live a state worker gets full insurance and everything at part time just because it is a state job.......and they even are unionized too................wow hope you get some insurance ...that really stinks...
    I agree, medicaid will cover everything and I have never seen a state worker that didn't have not only full benefits but retirement packages that are a major perk to working for the state.
  12. by   indigo girl
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    No way would I go overseas to have some cut-rate doctor with little to no regulations, and take medicine from god knows where. If I was terminal, that is a different story.
    You are assuming that there are no regulations in other countries, and that only healthcare in this country is safe?
    Many drugs used in this country come from other countries, and the big drug companies are themselves, multinationals.
    Just because they may charge less elsewhere, does not mean that a doctor is second rate or that the care is poor. Many of those doctors and dentists are trained right here. There also excellent medical schools outside of the US. I know that you really do know this already.
  13. by   suzanne4
    People have been going overseas for procedures for years, since I can remember. Tahiti was top on the list for years for plastic surgery, go there for two weeks for a relaxing vacation, or so everyone thinks, and have procedures done. Doctor did his training in Paris..........

    In Thailand, most of the plasitc surgeons, as well as heart surgeons and orthpedic surgeons have ben trained in the US.. One of the hear tsurgeons there trained at the Mayo Clinic, they use the same perfusion equipment that we do in the US..........

    So for those of you that think having surgery overseas is cutrate, please do some investigating first, and you may be surprised............
  14. by   HARRN2b
    Do you realize that many US drug companies manufacture their drugs outside of the United States. Another tidbit is that much of the research and development is also done out of the US. I know Eli Lilly had never laid anyone off, until recently that is.

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