Two Case Studies in Medical Travel

Both these patients saved big by journeying abroad for healthcare.

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This article is based on excerpts from the second edition of Patients Beyond Borders (2008), the flagship of a landmark series of consumer guides to international medical travel that have helped thousands of patients plan successful health journeys abroad. Healthy Travel Media, publisher of the guides, has become a global clearinghouse for useful information about medical and wellness travel.

Margaret had heard of less expensive dental care abroad. Through a friend, she learned about Escazú, Costa Rica, known for its excellent dental and cosmetic surgery clinics. Margaret got the same treatment in Costa Rica for $2,600. Her dentist was a U.S.-trained oral surgeon who used state-of-the-art instrumentation and top-quality materials. Add in airfare, lodging, meals, and other travel costs, and this savvy global patient still came out way ahead.

Doug S., a small-business owner from Wisconsin, journeyed with his wife, Anne, to Chennai, India, for a double hip resurfacing procedure that would have cost more than $55,000 in the U.S. The total bill, including travel for him and his wife, lodging, meals, and two-week recuperation in a five-star beach hotel, was $14,000. "We were treated like royalty," said Doug, "and I'm riding a bicycle for the first time in six years. We could not have afforded this operation in the US."