For some countries, healthcare has turned into a global business. As an example, in the United States, a citizen with healthcare insurance will pay on average $90,000 to have a heart bypass. However, when traveling to Thailand, that same person would pay just $12,000 for the same procedure. Other countries offer significant savings for different medical procedures, such as organ transplants in South Korea and dental implants in Costa Rica.
This past February at the United Nations Association of New York, author Sasha Issenberg addressed the issue of “medical tourism.” In addition to writing on the subject, Issenberg offers guest appearances and lectures.
His latest book, “OUTPATIENTS: The Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism,” looks at a number of trends responsible for this healthcare phenomenon, noting that old standards of medicine on a national level are becoming obsolete.
The medical-industrial complex that shapes many nations, including the United States, is being demolished by medical tourism. Today, the corporate healthcare industry is worth trillions of dollars annually, with the United States aggressively vying for as much of the market as possible.
The Discovery of Medical Tourism
Issenberg also discussed the way in which various destinations, including Costa Rica, are being discovered by medical tourists. Although much of the focus is on saving money, people are just as concerned with quality results from a reputable healthcare provider. Obviously, traveling to another country for a medical or dental procedure takes trust and courage.
Patrick Goodness, CEO of The Goodness Company, a marketing specialist company for medical tourism, said that while procedures are more affordable in Costa Rica compared to North America, the number of people willing to take a risk on medical and dental procedures just to save money is very low.
Goodness said that when choosing an overseas healthcare provider, it is essential to find one that specifically treats international patients. Some of the key things to look for include a physician or dentist who speaks your language, someone who can provide patient testimonials, and a provider that patients feel comfortable talking to long-distance via phone.
There are literally thousands of excellent medical and dental providers in countries outside of the United States and Canada. An excellent way to make the right choice involves the use of a medical or dental guide. Most often, guides are dedicated to international patients and work hard to find the right provider.
In Costa Rica, people have a choice of two official guides, CostaRicaMedicalGuide.com and CostaRicaDentalGuide.com. Both of these guides come highly recommended, and they are staffed by licensed doctors and dentists. For patients, there is zero cost for the service.
To use either guide, you would discuss your needs with a trained professional. From there, you would be provided information about reliable providers who have met or exceeded high standard criteria. Rather than selling you on a particular provider, the guide will help you through the process of finding the right doctor or dentist.
The low cost of high-quality medical and dental procedures is just one more reason that people are choosing to retire in Costa Rica. Just as people turn to guides to find a reputable doctor or dentist, the professionals with Coldwell Banker have a large network of resources and offices to assist in finding the perfect home.