Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tummy Tuck Vacation

Medical tourism rules! As we continue to walk the plank to “universal” (socialist) healthcare, I am encouraged by the expanding globalization (out-sourcing) of the healthcare industry. We currently have the best healthcare in the world because the United States has been attracting the best doctors and scientists for a generation because we have maintained a mostly free market-based system. We let them earn their worth. What a novel idea, eh? Although this trend is destined to cease here at home because our voter-pool is saturated with an array of sheeple who display an embarassingly deficient understanding of basic economics, there will always be an escape somewhere:

Last year, the medical-tourism business grossed around $40 billion, and the numbers are getting bigger every day. A recent McKinsey study predicts that medical tourism in India, worth $333 million last year, will bring in $2.3 billion by 2012. Compare price tags and you'll understand why. A bone-marrow transplant costs $2.5 million in the United States. Doctors in India can do it for $26,000. Heart-bypass surgery runs $60,000 to $150,000 in this country. In Asia, the average cost is $10,000. Other less-serious procedures—tummy tucks, face lifts, breast implants, LASIK eye surgery, even MRIs and dental work—can also be had at a fraction of they cost here.

The hospitals abroad offering these bargains insist that the savings come at no sacrifice to quality. They lure potential patients with airport pick-ups, private nurses, frequent-flier miles, and all-inclusive post-op resort stays. Why go to the hospital in Boston if you can stay in a five-star hotel in Thailand? A record 1 million tourists traveled to that country last year for health care. Using Thailand's success as a model, countries like India, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines have established governmental committees to promote medical tourism.

I kind of like the idea of checking out the Taj Mahal while rehabbing my ACL.