Posted on 11 October 2011 by Josef Woodman
I awoke this morning to a tweet that alerted me to an article in today's New York Daily News on the subject of medical tourism. "What a way to start the day," I groaned, "likely a hack job on the dangers of traveling to terrorist nations, horror stories of germ-infested hospitals, untrained surgeons wielding wooden scalpels, on and on...." Such are the tales of woe often featured in the world's tabloids, and I fully expected to once again navigate my way through a snarky registration process to post a one-off comment in diplomatic counterpoint.
I was instead pleasantly surprised to see an intelligent, well-crafted piece, filled with stories about patients from Manhattan and beyond who had crossed US borders, received medical care, and returned home safe and sound to tell about it. Reasoned cautions about some of the risks of medical tourism were balanced by facts and figures that attest to the many advances the industry has made in the past five years.
More important than the story itself was the immediate, robust outbreak of reader reaction. Three years ago when the Daily News ran an article on medical tourism, the few reader comments posted were overwhelmingly negative and skeptical. Not so this time around. While many readers were clearly angry, this time frustration and bile were directed mostly at greedy insurance companies, pricey procedures, and a bloated US healthcare system. Many readers eagerly shared their successful international health travel stories—trips to Brazil, Costa Rica, Thailand, the Philippines:
"One crown in NYC anywhere between 2,000 & 3,000. Plus, dental insurance does not cover implants. Even my dentist here in NYC (who is excellent, but expensive) complimented my dental implants [in Costa Rica]."
You get the picture: Patients. Conversation. Engagement. Options. I'll let the comments speak for themselves. Meanwhile, I'm so very pleased to see the global healthcare forum shifting to a more participatory dialog and proactive mindset. Makes all the blood, sweat, and tears of the past few years more than worthwhile.
Last updated on 19 February 2012
JosefWoodman Honored to be in such company, representing global choice in health & wellness @gswsummit t.co/bbJs2ZFyEx #wellness #globalhealth
JosefWoodman @NCPA @BrookingsInst Not the best price, but good to see Singapore on your radar screen
JosefWoodman Best Healthcare Systems Worldwide t.co/0BCLejAOji @Taiwanmedtour @chinaposttw #globalhealth @WSJasiabiz