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3 Reasons Why Medical Tourism is a Safe Alternative to Surgery in the U.S.

Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 7/26/2017 1:32 PM | Last Modified: September 26, 2017

When 58-year old extreme mountain biker and skier Patrick Follett learned that decades of punishing his body meant that he needed total hip replacement surgery, he did what a growing number of Americans are doing: instead of getting surgery at his local hospital, he booked a medical tourism trip to Mexico, got the treatment he needed, and saved a tidy $10,000.

A year later, Follett was back to his old habits: skiing nearly 150 days in the season and racking up nearly 350 miles on his mountain bike. “I feel better than I've felt in 15 years," he said in an interview with Men’s Journal.

While most medical tourists aren’t extreme athletes – actually, many aren’t athletes of any kind -- the fact is that Follett’s successful medical tourism experience isn’t an outlier. What’s more, while his cost saving of $10,000 is certainly impressive, it’s by no means the upper limit. For example, The New York Times profiled a Colorado resident who saved about $60,000 by getting hip replacement surgery in Belgium vs. the U.S. And ABC News profiled a North Carolina resident who saved approximately $27,000 – 100% of which was gladly covered by his insurance -- by having knee replacement surgery in Costa Rica instead of at home.

However, while dramatic cost savings are the primary reason why people head abroad for everything from heart surgery to smile makeovers, safety is also paramount. With this in mind, we highlight 3 key reasons why medical tourism is a safe alternative to surgery in the U.S.: 

  1. Contrary to what some people believe, surgical and general medical care in many countries around the world is on par – or at a higher standard – than in the U.S. And anyone who thinks that “made in the USA” healthcare is inherently safe and superior should be aware: 10 percent of all deaths in the U.S. are due to medical error, and the third-highest cause of death in the U.S. is preventable medical error (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine).
  1. To save costs, patients who get surgery in the U.S. are discharged as soon as possible -- and in some cases, far too soon for their own safety. Indeed, a pair of studies from the University of Maryland found that patients discharged during a hospitals’ busiest (read: most profitable) periods were 50 percent more likely to return to the hospital within 3 days. However, with medical tourism, patients can easily afford to spend an extra few days in a hospital, rehabilitation clinic, or 4/5-star resort and convalesce. This can lead to better patient outcomes and a speedier, safer recovery.
  1. Medical tourism isn’t new – which means it’s not experimental or “on the fringe”. It’s proven and it works. However, it’s just really in the last decade that it has become a much more attractive and affordable option for middle-class people vs. just wealthy elites, who have been taking advantage of it for centuries.

Learn More

To learn more about why medical tourism is safe – and why it might be the ideal option for you, or a loved one who needs surgery but simply can’t afford the excessive costs at home – contact the SkyMedicus team today. Your consultation with us is free!

For more information on medical tourism and factors you should consider for a safe and successful experience, download our FREE eBook:

Download our free eBook on the 10 things to know about Medical Tourism

Topics: Surgery Abroad

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