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July 5, 2007 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Medical Tourism in India (inspired by this post from miss lynnster)
posted by hadjiboy (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"If you can wait for two years for a bypass surgery, then you don't need it or you're dead -- one of the two," Trehan said. "Similarly, if you're wobbling on your frozen joints for two years because of a waiting list, it's a human tragedy."

I’m glad that these people are getting the treatment that they want, but it’s heartbreaking to hear stories of middle-class Indian patients who are fleeced by these same hospitals (like Apollo) when they don’t have the money to pay.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:19 AM on July 5, 2007

Medical tourism's pretty well established isn't it? And not just in India - Thailand, most of eastern Europe and quite a few others do it.

Popular with those seeking plastic surgery too. You're always hearing horror stories about how somone's cut price fake tits sprang a leak...
posted by rhymer at 9:46 AM on July 5, 2007

I met some folks that went to the Philippines to get dental work done. And I met a few US Americans in Guatemala whom were getting medical procedures done there. Cheaper and no wait were alway the reasons.

They all came back with no problems and saying the care was top notch. But interesting comment on the effect medical tourism has on the health care for the local residents.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 9:49 AM on July 5, 2007

Medical tourism sounds like it would be great until your new artificial heart or knee or whatever goes wrong. From what I understand, India has very different ideas about malpractice settlements then what we have in the US.

But hey, look at it this way - at least getting it fixed will be cheap! (provided that you're still alive!)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:01 AM on July 5, 2007

When they say that the mortality is much lower in India than at NY Presby, you have to take into account the difference between the populations that undergo surgery--they're probably sicker to begin with at Presbyterian. That said, the quality of care is probably pretty good. I'm curious about patient rights in a different country, what kind of recourse you have if things go wrong..
posted by mert at 10:02 AM on July 5, 2007

Also, the NYTimes article you linked to is, like, 3 years old... Surely there have been new developments since then?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:02 AM on July 5, 2007

Well, as someone who's heading to Argentina next month for major dental work, I can tell you, the $4000 or so that I'll spend in Buenos Aires is a LOT more doable than the $20,000 - $25,000 quotes I'm getting locally (the dollar is strong in Argentina, unlike most of the rest of the world). The dentist down there is American-trained, my brother saw him last year and had extensive work done, all with total success. I'd much rather spend the money with a local dentist, but it's the difference between not living in constant pain and not going broke. And even if I DID have dental insurance, it would be a joke (just about all dental plans have something like a $2500 annual cap, which is useless when you need significant work). My Blue Cross PPO plan won't pay for the skin tags I need removed, and the last doctor I saw told me that I would have to pay $75 for the removal of each and every one, regardless of size (I can count about 20 of them that need to go on my upper body). I'm currently tracking down the dermatologist down there as well. US health care is simply fucked beyond repair, and outside of a revolution, it looks to stay this way for awhile. I guess I'll have to get used to going to Buenos Aires a few times in the coming years, hmmmm, can't wait to try the reportedly awesome ice cream... in the dead of their winter.
posted by dbiedny at 10:27 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Somewhat of a double, but it's always interesting to see this discussed again.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:48 AM on July 5, 2007

My biggest concern would be in the safety of blood products with regard to hepatitis and HIV. I have a fond memory of a lecture by famed infectious disease specialist Jay Sanford who spoke on getting medical care in the third world: "don't let them give you blood, even if you're panting like a lizard".
posted by neuron at 1:02 PM on July 5, 2007

Surely there have been new developments since then?

Sure have! These days, you can go even cheaper by having the doctor's teenage son operate on you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:09 PM on July 5, 2007

I hear they also offer great package deals: sign in for a bit of cosmetic surgery, and they'll also remove one of your kidneys, gratis!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:22 PM on July 5, 2007

In other news: Doogie Howser, ND*, has turned himself in to authorities.
*New Delhi
posted by rob511 at 6:15 PM on July 5, 2007

dbiedny, could you please email me? I'd like to know more about the dentist.
posted by Liosliath at 6:20 PM on July 5, 2007

Previously and related post, almost exactly a year ago but not a double.

Like this new post of yours though, it's an important topic and am enjoying the new info about how uninsured people in the USA are managing their health issues. The more info the better.
posted by nickyskye at 6:56 PM on July 5, 2007

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