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People don't realize that one of the most protectionist rackets operating in the US is the AMA and its hold on licensing/certification. The procedures to be certified in the US is designed to be deliberately difficult for foreigners, to keep the number of foreign doctors able to practice in the US at an artificially reduced level as possible.

Imagine if the software engineers were better organized, and insisted that H1-B visa holders had to pass an onerous examination process -- with the exam only in English and deliberately using American slang and culturally biased idioms in it as well, to make it as difficult as possible to pass. That is what the doctors have long enjoyed.

This trend in medical tourism will be a severe blow to that, as well. I don't think the doctors and their lobbyists on Capitol Hill will go quietly. Therefore, don't be surprised that a future (no pun intended) article you write on this subject is titled "Medical Protectionism."

Paul Moore

My wife is currently deciding where to have a cancer surgery. We haven't even considered leaving the U.S., and would obviously be concerned with quality and safety. It would be helpful if there were some agency that could shepard folks through the process and provide answers to FAQs. Here's a shoutout to anyone with overseas/ travel agent/ medical care experience. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY HERE!


I know of a woman who recently went to Costa Rica for plastic surgery (nose and boob). She decided to go to Costa Rica based on the lower price. I didn't see all the results (just the nose part), but she was happy with the result.

In the US, my guess is that elective procedures like plastic surgery paid out of pocket will be the most likely to be offshored. In countries with Gov't run systems and long waiting lines, such as Canada, Britain, etc. they are more likely to use medical tourism for more acute care.

I doubt that many US uninsured will go overseas because I think that they will rely on the existing system of Medicaid, charity, etc.

World Citizen

A lot of people are going to Moscow and Saint-Piterburg, Russia, to perform complex surgeries nowadays, russian medicine is considered one of the top-level practices, yet prices are still low. Some of people I know traveled all over to Russia to get heard and eye surgeries, paying 10th of what they would pay in US for the same (or even higher) quality job. I, myself, have medical insurance, but often I'm very upset with the quality and the way treatments are done, and it makes me mad because I'm paying premium for such terrible (or absence of it) service...


I think that medical tourism is the thing that will turn the American people in favor of Outsourcing - they will be cheering on India, Thailand, etc. to topple the bloated costs of the US system. Rightfully so.


Half-price worked for us, though for long-term care, not acute treatment.

Moved mom to Mexico in 2001 - nursing home costs dropped from about $4,000/month to under $2,000/month, even considering I was paying a group of U.S. expats to coordinate/monitor her care.

The biggest advantage, however, was caregiver/patient ratio was at least 2x better than any local U.S. nursing home.

Worked very well for mom until her death late last year.

x-ray fluorescence

Medical tourism is nice idea.A lot of people are going to Moscow and Saint-Piterburg, Russia, to perform complex surgeries nowadays, russian medicine is considered one of the top-level practices, yet prices are still low..

Account Deleted

This is a very good article related to 'Medical Tourism'


Scott Minteer

This message is @Paul Moore. Unfortunately, you do not have any contact information, or I would have sent you a message directly.

I work for Bumrungrad International hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Although there are many hospitals around the world which have similar quality, we are probably one of the better known because of the features on 60 Minutes, Oprah's website, etc.

I would be glad to give you more information (as unbiased as possible, promise) and places to search. If you want, you can go to our website (http://www.bumrungrad.com) and submit an inquiry (please mention that you want the message directed to me) or comment (http://bit.ly/4X7VN7), or twitter at http://www.twitter.com/bumrungradh if you can do that.

If you don't want to contact us directly, then I encourage you to look for hospitals which are JCI accredited, or medical travel agents who focus on hospitals with JCI accreditation. It takes a lot of effort to get this accreditation, and for a good reason. There are other quality factors to review as well. However, medical care outside the US can be exceptionally good at the right places.

homes for sale in costa rica

The article also mentions how hospitals are opposed to these technological advancements, as they reduce the number of days of revenue a hospital can collect while a patient recovers after surgury. This anti-productive, entitlement mentality will hasten the downfall of the US healthcare cartel, as shorter recovery times due to smaller incisions will make a trip to a tech-friendly facility in Thailand or India even more compelling. When the cost is a tenth and the recovery time is a fifth of what it would be in the US, how long before market forces dominate?

Jim is looking for overseas travel insurance

This is a very interesting article. I think it’s good that medical tourism with overseas travel insurance is being considered now. It is better that Americans have a cheaper option to have medications. This is very useful especially nowadays wherein the country is suffering from recession. I agree that some Americans can be doubtful about it though. But I believe there are a lot of high quality medical services in other countries. Testimonials about this are all over the internet. People who want to try this should be extra careful and they must be very sure that the doctors are very reliable. It’s amazing that this could have a good effect on the country’s economy on the long run. I never thought of it that way. I’m glad that I came across your site.

Plastic Surgery in Thailand

If the US won't be able to pass a good healthcare system and insurance program to its people, medical tourism is the only viable option for middle to low class citizens.

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