Medical Travelers Find Solution to Costly Health Care
Posted Apr 02 2010 12:14pm
The per capita cost of health care in the United States is about twice that in other major industrialized countries. Overall, U.S. health care costs have risen to over 15% of the Gross Domestic Project. It is no surprise, therefore, that medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies. Of note, according to a report by The American Journal of Medicine, most of those who filed for personal bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners.
This rising cost in health care has lead to substantial growth in medical tourism to Asia. Americans have learned that medical procedures cost 50% to 90% less in Thailand and India as compared to the U.S. and the quality of care is on par with, and, oftentimes, statistically superior to that of most U.S. hospitals. This makes medical tourism very appealing to millions of patients each year. There is a name for such people. They are called “medbirds”. A “medbird” is a person who travels from one country to another in search of less expensive and often more luxurious health care. As it turns out, the company that coined the term is also the leading medical tourism facilitator in the U.S. ( www.medbirds.com ).
For many, medical tourism is simply a better option than staying in their home country to get treatment. Lower costs, quicker treatment, better quality care and the possibility of recovering in some beautiful tropical location have helped to make medical tourism a growing international phenomenon.