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Experts encourage Britain’s NHS to consider medical tourism


January 16th, 2010 by Formosa Medical Travel

The British newspaper The Independent reports that Britain’s National Health Service could save millions if the Department of Health considered utilizing medical tourism. “Thousands of patients waiting for operations such as hip replacements and hernia repairs could be treated more cheaply and quickly if the Government set up formal agreements” with medical tourism destinations, the report says.


Currently, the publicly-funded health service provides healthcare to all residents free 0f charge, but there has been criticism surrounding the wait times for many elective procedures. The Independent article argues that these wait times could be reduced through medical tourism, while saving a significant amount of money.


“At least £120m could be saved,” says the article, “if NHS patients currently waiting for just five different operations went to India, with a companion, for treatment in an accredited hospital, according to health economists’ calculations.” India is one of many medical tourism destinations, many of which provide a quality of healthcare equal to or better than that in Britain, say experts.


Hundreds of thousands of people are already taking advantage of medical tourism on their own. Britons make up a large portion of medical tourists, as do uninsured Americans who cannot afford the high cost of many medical treatments in the United States. “The estimated number of medical tourists worldwide each year ranges from four million to 617 million,” says the Independent.


In the coming years, many expect that governments around the world will start to consider medical tourism as a solution to rising medical costs and wait lists. Developing countries such as India, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as highly-developed countries such as Singapore and Taiwan can provide many medical procedures for a fraction of the cost in Britain and the United States. As populations continue to age in western countries, many expect medical tourism to experience tremendous growth.



Joint replacement surgery without insurance


January 11th, 2010 by Formosa Medical Travel

Many Americans without health insurance are faced with the prospect of joint replacement surgery, but do not have the means to pay the high rates in the United States. Both knee replacement surgery and hip replacement surgery can cost upwards of $70,000 in the United States — a significant cost by any measure.


As osteoarthritis continues to afflict a growing number of Americans, more and more patients are seeking alternatives to the extraordinary costs in the United States. It is estimated that osteoarthritis afflicts upwards of 20 million Americans, most of whom are over the age of 45. In addition to this, there are over 40 million Americans who do not have health insurance. Since the only long-term treatment to osteoarthritis is total joint replacement, many Americans are left with few options for surgery.


Medical tourism provides a solution to the millions of Americans afflicted by osteoarthritis who have no insurance. By traveling overseas for medical care, patients can experience a savings upwards of 75%. For example, knee replacement surgery in Taiwan can be obtained for less than $10,000. Even after the price of flights and accommodations, many medical travelers find themselves saving tens of thousands of dollars by traveling overseas for their medical procedures.


Uninsured and underinsured Americans have been a topic of much discussion in the healthcare debate. For the thousands of Americans who cannot afford the expensive medical care in the United States, medical tourism offers a low-cost alternative. The standard of care in many medical tourism destinations is as high or higher than that in the United States, and in many cases the doctors are U.S.-trained and educated.


Patients who are considering delaying or forgoing knee replacement or hip replacement surgery, medical tourism is an option that should be considered. Instead of living with pain and reduced mobility, thousands of Americans are traveling overseas to receive much-needed joint replacement surgery at affordable prices.



Transparency in medical pricing


December 22nd, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

One of the draws of medical tourism – alongside low costs and high quality care – is the transparency in pricing. In many cases in the United States, patients find it nearly impossible to get an accurate price quote before undergoing treatment. In many cases, hospitals in the United States offer different prices to patients with health insurance than the prices offered uninsured patients. Because of this, many hospitals are unwilling to provide a transparent pricing scheme. Oftentimes, insurance companies forge agreements with hospitals to charge patients a certain price within a certain “physician network,” and an entirely different price if patients choose a surgeon outside of the network. Uninsured patients often have to go into treatment without knowing what they will see on the final bill.


Overseas hospitals, including those in medical tourism destinations such as Taiwan, are much more transparent in their pricing plans. Patients are always provided with an itemized bill – which includes every single item the patient is expected to pay for, including medication, food, surgeon fees, and ward fees. The price quoted in the initial estimate is almost always the price paid after care is administered – except in cases where further treatment is required.


The hospitals in Formosa Medical Travel’s network offer all-inclusive knee and hip replacement packages, which include the price of treatment as well as accommodation and all other necessary expenditures. Patients who arrange surgery through Formosa Medical Travel will pay the exact rate they are quoted, and are provided with a fully-itemized bill.



Hip Replacement Cost


December 20th, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

Hip Replacement Cost Analysis


The United States has among the highest costs in the world for hip replacement surgery. An American with no health insurance can expect to pay upwards of $45,000 at a typical hospital. Those with insurance will, barring a few exceptions, be covered by their provider. However, out-of-pocket expenses can still be costly for those who have health insurance. Patients with Medicare are eligible for hip replacement surgery.


For American patients without health insurance, it is worth considering medical tourism – leaving the country for hip replacement surgery. Many countries in the world offer hip replacement procedures for costs dramatically lower than those in the United States. We have listed hip replacement cost estimates for various medical tourism destinations, as well as the United States, in the chart below. The cost of total hip replacement surgery will also vary from patient to patient, depending on factors such as age and medical history.

 

Hip Replacement Cost
Price Estimates

United States:$50,0800-$65,000
Singapore: $17,000-$23,000
Thailand: $15,500-$17,500
Taiwan: $8,000 – $13,000
India $8,000 – $12,200

 

 

 

 

Formosa Medical Travel works on behalf of patients seeking affordable knee and hip replacement surgery in Taiwan. As one of the world’s most developed countries, with a healthcare system ranked among the best, English-speaking doctors, no visa requirement, and some of the lowest surgical prices in the world, Taiwan has emerged as one of the most popular destinations for Americans seeking low-cost hip replacement surgery.


At Formosa Medical Travel, there is no charge for our services, and your procedure is fully insurable against complications through a US Insurer. Most of the hospitals in our network have been accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI). These world-class facilities provide outstanding care at rates far lower than those in the United States. We will book your surgery, transfer medical records, assist in finding your flight and hotel, and we’ll be there at the airport when you arrive, all at no cost to you.



Medical tourism cost comparison


November 29th, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

As a medical tourism destination, Taiwan offers significant savings over the United States for many medical procedures. With the latest technology, state-of-the-art equipment, and medical centers that rival the finest hotels, Taiwan offers a medical tourism experience that is unparalleled in the world. Patients can expect to experience savings as high as 80% for many procedures – even after the cost of airfare.



Cost comparison for major procedures

medical tourism cost comparison


The prices shown here are only estimates, and will vary from patient-to-patient. Formosa Medical Travel offers single knee replacement surgery, single hip replacement surgery, double knee replacement surgery, and double hip replacement surgery in Taiwan for costs dramatically lower than those in the United States.






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