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All abroad: the value of the medical tourism market

by Heather Mayer, DOTmed News Reporter | January 03, 2011

Experts point to a variety of reasons for the rapid growth, including a significant increase in outpatient procedures - which account for 75 percent of medical tourism procedures - an increased acceptance of medical tourism by employers and health plans, and a rise in demand for dental and cosmetic surgeries, according to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report.

Often, the response to overseas surgeries is positive. For Sue Nagy of Illinois, seeking emergency angioplasty in Mexico saved her more than $30,000.

"I remembered an article a few years back about medical tourists going abroad for medical care," she wrote in a testimonial for WorldMed Assist, who helped plan her procedure. "At first, I was a little hesitant about going to Mexico, and my friends thought I was crazy. But now, I'd tell anyone in my situation, 'Go for it.'"

Allen Miller of Washington was able to spend three days vacationing in San Diego after a gallbladder surgery in Mexico. His surgery was a third of the cost it would have been in the United States, as Miller did not have health insurance.

"Medical tourism is a good option for anyone who can't get insurance," he wrote in a WorldMed Assist testimonial.
Jean, who underwent eye surgery in Canada, would recommend traveling abroad for medical procedures, also noting that it is a case-by-case decision.

"For the circumstances we were in, the additional expertise and the cost-savings at the time, I would recommend it," she said. "It would depend on the comfort level of the person with their destination."

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