Friday, July 6, 2007

Saving Lives for Low Low Prices

"A heart bypass in the United States costs $130,000, but just $10,000 in India and $11,000 in Thailand. A hip replacement in the United States would cost $43,000 but just $12,000 in Thailand or Singapore. Hysterectomy costs are about $20,000 here but $3,000 in India"....

With the high cost of the American healthcare system, it is no wonder that so many have chosen to aim elsewhere for many major surgeries. The numbers are evidently skyrocketing each year as more and more Americans realize the great financial benefits of going to Asia, Mexico and many such other places that will perform the same surgeries at a price that is more attractive to those who cannot afford the overpriced procedures performed in the US. The only question that is coming to mind: is it really worth it?

The greatest concern that comes with individuals deciding to ship out to attain a cheaper procedure may put their lives at greater risk due to the fact that these facilities may not be as well equiped or specialized in certain areas as many of the hospitals in the US. If one does the proper research and knows exactly what they are getting into by having a certain procedure performed outside the US, then most are given the go ahead to go forth with it. The cheaper price tag is definitely attrative (there is no denying it) but the reality is that many are placed into a position where they do not have much of a choice and are forced to put their personal well-being wherever their wallet/purse leads them.

Now, there is no reason to discredit any of these hospitals. There is no doubt that many of the world's greatest physicians come from all over the world (with a large population arising from Asia). Regardless, the greater issue is that individuals should not have to rely solely on one's financial state to determine where would be the best place for a life-changing surgery. Many nations in Asia are attaining a larger audience due to their comparatively lower prices and thus, greatly benefits many of those who live within the US (due to the strength of the dollar bill). If only the US can follow lead and actually establish prices that are affordable to its people in comparison to the prices in many Asian nations, then would the system in the US have shown its concern for the greater well-being of its population. Evidently, different factors must be taken into account but hands down, medical tourism is going to keep skyrocketing if the system doesn't change....until then, the US will be losing greatly in medical status to those nations in Asia who seem to place greater regard upon human life than the price tag with such procedures.

2 comments: said...

I agree it amazes me at what insurance does NOT cover either!

CR said...

When will we learn in America that healthcare should be FREE!