July 6 (Health Day News) — Soaring U.S. medical costs are causing many Americans to take to the skies on “medical tourism” junkets, looking for high-quality yet low-priced health care at foreign clinics but experts also warn that the booming industry does have some risks.
“My own advice would be to look carefully at the accreditation of the hospital and consider the nature of the procedure. Are you sure it is the procedure you need? And is it done well at the place you are going?” said Dr. Ann Marie Kimball, a Professor of Epidemiology and Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, in Seattle.
Medical tourism isn’t without some concerns, of course. Experts in the United States worry that consumers might end up getting substandard care if they don’t choose their hospital and physician carefully.
“It may be difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgeons outside of the United States.”
The risk for complications with people seeking this kind of surgeries rise three folds in the past six months says “El Norte”, a big News Paper alerting the Mexican Health Regulatory System of a very dark business going on which involved American Citizens crossing the border for a Lap band Surgery or a Gastric Sleeve procedure under not very clear circumstances.
Getting deeper in their investigation, the news paper says that the only ones that get some benefit from this medical tourism are the very dishonest intermediaries and the promoters where they want to capture the vast majority of patients regardless the outcome, questioning the doctor’s medical capacity that are hired to perform these kind of surgeries in obese patients.
Can you find good trained doctors with those prices they are offering you? Of course you don’t!! You have to realize that because you are going to Mexico, these are not the regular or normal Doctor’s fees. GNP and other insurance companies paid $950 USD for appendix removal and obese procedures cost much more than that.
Ask yourself: How can someone have such cheap prices for your surgery without sacrificing the quality and the service that you deserve? The only way that someone can come out with such cheap prices is by not paying someone in the chain: You don’t pay for the hospital, the Lap band, the stapler or for the doctors fees. Or they are getting the medical products in the black market, or the medications are made in China.
Have you ever stopped to think ….The Lap band or the staplers are about $2000 USD. How do they get the figures with those prices? How much is the hospital? How much is the hotel, flight, internet or other advertizing they do? How much is the driver or the taxies? How much are the medications during and after the lap band or the Gatric Sleeve? How much is the anesthesiologist, the surgeon’s assistant and all related services like the follow-up you need in order to succeed?
Are you going to sacrifice your success or your health because of promos of a cheap procedure? This could cost you a lot more than that…Look around for stories with poor outcomes, they are all over the internet and many of the doctors have a very high reputation…. Don’t let yourself be treated as merchandise. At some point of the chain you won’t get what you deserve or what you are expecting.
Kimball’s advice: Look carefully at the accreditation of the hospital concerned and do your homework before you board the plane. “Check out the real number of surgeries done, the success rates, the years of working in obesity” Woodman added. It’s also a key to ask the surgeon you talk to if he or she will perform the operation, not an assistant.