Newspapers Examine Medical Tourism, Access To Health Care Abroad

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Medical Tourism

Several newspapers recently published articles about medical tourism and access to health care abroad. Summaries appear below.

  • Houston Chronicle:Many experts maintain that medical tourism "will become one of thehottest niches in both global medicine and travel in the comingdecades," the Chronicle reports. According to JosefWoodman, author of "Patients Beyond Borders," more than one millionpatients worldwide -- including about 150,000 U.S. residents -- lefttheir home nations in 2006 and spent a total of $60 billion to receivemedical care abroad (Althaus, Houston Chronicle, 9/3).
  • Wall Street Journal: Harvard Medical International, a subsidiary of Harvard Medical School, and Medex Global-- a provider of emergency medical assistance and insurance -- onTuesday will begin a joint venture that will offer an online databaseof information about foreign health care services to travelers, the Journal reports.Medex 360m -- which will be available to individuals who purchasetravel insurance through Medex -- will offer detailed information onwhich foreign hospitals and providers offer the best health careservices. The cost of the report will be about $10 per nation. Reportswill be offered to corporate clients at no additional charge (Everson, Wall Street Journal, 9/11).
  • Washington Post:The medical tourism trend "quietly has been expanding well beyondfacelifts, tummy tucks and dental crowns to embrace all sorts ofnon-emergency treatments," the Post reports. The Postprofiled heart surgery patient Larry Shaw of Dallas, who traveled toBangkok for an angioplasty. Shaw's procedure at a hospital in New Delhiwas $4,600 -- compared with a price quote of $47,000, excludinganesthesia, at a Dallas-area hospital (Loose, Washington Post, 9/9).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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