Two Case Studies in Medical Travel

Both these patients saved big by journeying abroad for healthcare.


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."