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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Do You think/Know about Medical Tourism?

Poor Funny About Money. She has a terrible dental bill coming up! I am very aware of these, since Mr. FS and I have never had dental insurance. In the past five years or so, I've had four root canals plus one implant. Mr. FS has had a procedure or two.

I think dental procedures are horribly overpriced. Sorry. That's how I feel. So you can bet your booty that once I retire--or maybe before--I will consider a trip to Costa Rica or Mexico if I need something that can be planned in advance. It's not like the American professionals are so great anyway: SOMEBODY messed up my root canal/crown and I ended up with an implant! SOMEONE messed up several root canals needed by a friend: she now goes to the LSU dental school.

I suppose I'm fairly nonchalant about medical tourism because a fellow student of Frugal Son needed an emergency appendectomy in China: she is fine. I know someone who was destitute and so signed on to teach English in China so she could have a baby there--about 25 years ago. Mother and child are doing just fine.

Also, Miss Em went on a date with the most handsome and sweet exchange student from Mexico. Alas,they had to part ways. His father is a doctor and the student promised to recommend dentists to us and doctors to a friend who has lupus.

Interestingly, the new cashier at Goodwill (around my age, very well-educated, just moved from Oregon--what is her story, I wonder) told me her ex-husband runs a website about finding a good Mexican dentist! Of course, I forgot to get the info, but I will, Funny, I promise!

Would you travel to save money on a medical procedure? Do you know anyone who has done it and lived to tell the tale?

14 comments:

Carolyn Cummings said...

That would really have to depend on the country. Most of Europe and North America I'd be cool with. Some parts of Africa, Asia, and South America, however, I wouldn't attempt.

Carolyn Cummings said...

Another option is getting treatment at a medical school such as UCLA (as you mentioned your friend did at LSU), or going to your local community health center, like Clinica Sierra Vista in Kern County which provides dental at an affordable price regardless of insurance.

Samual said...
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6e33b676-444c-11e0-b843-000bcdcb8a73 said...

A friend had surgery done in Mexico at http://obesitycontrolcenter.com/ because his insurance wouldn't cover the procedure anyway. He is doing fine and we were much less worried after reading about the facility. They seem to be doing everything right: lots of practice with those procedures (a major factor in good surgical outcomes), lots of info about the training of their staff, and a well-organized regimen for keeping the patient in the care of the facility from the moment they arrive in San Diego to the moment they return.

Hubert said...
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Hubert said...
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Duchesse said...

As the daughter/sister/cousin/niece of American MDs I am too biased to comment. But my dentist (in Toronto_ gave me a very graphic description of the crown done in India that he had to redo.

Funny about Money said...

{sigh} As health care for the masses in the US approaches parity with what you can get in the Third World, it probably doesn't make much difference where most of us go for these procedures. If you're uninsured, chances are you won't do much worse overseas than you will here. I think I'm not alone in suspecting the attractiveness of offshore medical care says more about the increasing shabbiness of care in this country than about the quality of care you can get overseas (see, for example, http://bit.ly/m6p4RG).

However. A friend's father died in Mexico after an emergency appendectomy. The OR wasn't sterile and he contracted a raging infection that killed him before he could get him back to the U.S.

My dentist described horrific infections he had to treat, incorrectly done root canals and crowns, and bizarrely screwed-up implants. Stories like this one at Slate do little to shore up confidence: http://slate.me/15z8rE

Each to her own, though. To my mind, going somewhere to submit to a painful procedure that will leave you feeling under the weather for days or weeks doesn't equate to a vacation. I'd much rather be home when I don't feel good.

Frugal Scholar said...

@CC--I would do a ton of research first, of course.

@6e etc--Good to hear a happy story! thanks.

@Funny and Duchesse--Those are terrible stories! I would probably only do it in a place where I had a friend or advocate of some sort.

Ricky jordan said...
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Ricky jordan said...
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Allen soly said...
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john smith said...
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