Skip to comments.Medical Tourism - Available Soon for Americans Should ObamaCare Pass! (From last Fall)
Posted on 03/22/2010 4:46:33 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
One of the fastest growing businesses in India is medical tourism. It's exactly what it sounds like: Patients who are unable to get medical care travel to India, at their own expense, to buy what they're denied in their home countries.
"Medical" tourism in India has been in existence for more than two centuries, with people from all over the world going to India seeking mystical oriental healing. But the new trend of medical tourism is something entirely different. The patients are not looking for Oriental mysticism or magic; they seek ordinary, reliable, modern Western medicine -- which is increasingly rationed or just plain not available in a number of supposedly civilized countries -- especially the United Kingdom and Canada.
And why would that be? What do those two countries in common? Government run "socialized" medicine, of course. In recent years, Europeans who cannot obtain necessary medical treatment in their own countries are booking flights to and reserving hospital beds in the world's second most populous country.
In the past few weeks, congressional Democrats and the administration of Barack H. Obama have hawked ObamaCare by trotting out scores of alleged patients to cry their tales of woe: The for-profit American health-insurance industry is corrupt and evil, taking years' worth of premiums while refusing to pay for medical care.
But such horror stories are not the norm; overwhelmingly, Americans with non-governmental health insurance are quite happy with it. The real insurance nightmares come from countries like Great Britain and Canada.
The health care systems in those two countries are so broken, a disturbingly large number of patients actually die while awaiting simple treaments; this of course reduces government expenditures, so the government medical providers are loathe to do anything about it. But the wait has gotten so bad, the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine reports that Britain's Labour party is trying to reduce it -- down to a scant three months:
The current Labour government has now raised the stakes further. It has pledged that by 2008 there will be a maximum wait of only 18 weeks from any referral of a patient by a general practitioner to treatment in hospital if required. Such a target represents a large step up in expected performance. Current targets are that by the end of this year, no patient will wait more than 3 months for an outpatient appointment and a further 3 months for any inpatient or day-case treatment. Meeting the new target will require a massive effort, and despite considerable success to date, could it be a target too far?
Fed up with this nonsense, British patients are seeking treatment elsewhere. By a curious coincidence, so are many Oregonians, despite having a "public option" in their own state health-care system. (Or perhaps because of it.) For just one example, the "treatment" of choice by the Oregonian government bureaucrats is to offer only palliative care (relieving pain and other symptoms without actually curing the condition) -- plus a not so veiled hint that patients suffering from life-threatening cancer can always contact a physician for assisted suicide.
In Canada, the Globe and Mail (Toronto) reported last year that surgeries in the British Columbia city of Kelowna have been "postponed indefinitely" by Interior Health, the BC government health-care provider (private insurance is banned in Canada):
More than 1,000 orthopedic, gynecological and general surgery patients in Kelowna have been left wondering when their operations will take place because Interior Health has ended its contract with the private operating facility that was to do the procedures. So many Europeans are going to India that the medical tourism industry is getting institutionalized; several travel agencies now specialize in the service, including Health Tourism India:
Some of the services that we can provide:
Suggesting Hospitals/Clinics as per treatment required/budget.
World-class Treatment by UK/USA trained Doctors in India.
Fixation of appointment with Chief Doctors on top priority prior to arrival
Arranging consultations with doctors
Assisting in planning treatment /check up with appointment fixing and travel scheduling.
No waiting time for surgical procedures
Packages offered only for Medical Treatment till discharge from hospital.
Coordinating all appointments
Online assistance to the Patients.
An article in the Daily Mail decries the serious shortage of qualified doctors willing to work outside business hours in Great Britain's National Health Service (NHS):
The huge extent to which the NHS needs foreign doctors to treat patients out of hours is revealed today.
A third of primary care trusts are flying in GPs from as far away as Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland because of a shortage of doctors in Britain willing to work in the evenings and at weekends.
The stand-ins earn up to £100 an hour, and one trust paid Polish and German doctors a total of £267,000 in a year, a Daily Mail investigation has found.
It raises fresh concerns that British patients are being treated by exhausted doctors without a perfect command of English.
Without enough British doctors, more foreign doctors are being imported by "primary care trusts" -- which appear to be the first stop for health care through the NHS, hiring primary care physicians, referring patients to specialists, and contracting for privately owned health-care facilities. These doctors are often less qualified than their British counterparts -- and they make fatal mistakes:
Daniel Ubani had just three hours sleep after travelling from Germany before he went on duty in Cambridgeshire.
The Nigerian-born doctor injected 70-year-old kidney patient David Gray with ten times the maximum recommended dose of morphine, and an 86-year-old woman died of a heart attack after Ubani failed to send her to hospital.
It is extremely difficult to sue either these doctors or the NHS itself, because they are all considered government agencies. Oddly, however, Indian hospitals have no problem hiring highly qualified UK doctors. Perhaps it has something to do with payscales and workloads.
This month, the first ever medical tourism convention will be held in Toronto, Canada. The theme? India, of course:
This is a first of its kind conference to be held in Canada. It will provide an opportunity for the Indian Health Care industry, academics, industry researchers, market and industry analysts, government officials and policy makers, to present their services and exchange ideas and develop a new vision for the future of the Medical Tourism industry. Contributions to the progress of developing new ideas to stimulate this vital industry and provide new approaches to regulating are welcome.
850,000 Canadians are invited to regain their lives, lifestyle and dignity by availing world class medical facilities in India. This exhibition will showcase the variety of world class medical services and facilities available in India and all Canadians tired of waiting in the System are encouraged to visit.
The way things are heading, Americans may want to book tickets at this convention as well.
Want to by some international health insurance?
The fact is, soon you may have to go to India to get an English speaking doctor at all.
Plan is to bring in 40,000 doctors from India to the U.S.
Expect some of the island countries nearby to develop healthcare for the right.
Or, as happens in Eastern Europe, bring cash with you when you visit the doctor.
I’m guessing this is a cash-only deal, albeit much cheaper than here.
Not so fast there. The global warming crowd wants to severely restrict international travel as a way of cutting carbon emissions. Good luck getting an exit visa to allow you to travel outside the US to get medical care.
Isn’t there a restriction on how much cash an individual can carry out of the US?
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