America's First Newsletter for the Medical Traveler
visit www.yourmedicaltravel.com

 
 
 


 

 

 

 

Hot Spot Destinations

Panama
 

∑ 
Costs average 40-70% less than in the U.S.

∑ 
Shorter, less expensive flights than to destinations throughout Asia

∑ 
High percentage of U.S. trained physicians

∑  
Official currency is the U.S. dollar

Visit www.bridgehealthinternational.com for more information on medical procedures in Panama.

Brazil


∑ 
Popular destination for cosmetic surgery

∑  15 JCI-accredited hospitals throughout the country

∑  Beautiful beaches and tourist attractions to visit while recovering

Click here for more information on medical tourism in Brazil.

Thailand

 

∑  Home to JCI-accredited Bumrungrad Internationl Hospital, the top hospital destination

∑  H
igh standard medical care at low cost

∑ 
Various major and elective surgeries performed

∑ 
Many hospitals use the same, or better, equipment as U.S. hospitals

For more information on medical travel to Thailand, visit www.starhospitals.net.

Have you missed the Hot Spot Destinations in our past issues? See the archived destinations below:

New Zealand


∑ 
First world, English speaking country

∑  Costs are 25-40% of U.S. costs

∑  Recuperate in areas of natural beauty and tranquility

∑  Medical system similar to the U.S.

∑  Wide range of procedures performed in various hospitals accredited by the The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua)

For more information on medical travel to New Zealand, vists www.medtral.com.

Singapore


∑ 
Approx. 410,000 people visited in 2006 for medical care alone

∑  Known for its beautiful sites and booming economy

∑  Consists of superb medical centers and specialty hospitals

∑  Home to many medical firsts

∑  Costs are 60-80% less than the U.S.

To learn more about medical travel to Singapore, visit www.parkwayhealth.com.

Costa Rica


 
∑  Premier destination for eco-tourism 

∑ 
Hospital Clinica Biblica recently named one of the "Best International Hospitals in the World" 

∑ 
Popular destination for cosmetic and dental surgery

Click here for further information on medical travel to Costa Rica.

South Korea


∑ 
Home of world's largest JCI-accredited hospital: Severance Hospital. 

∑ 
English universally spoken in some hospitals which have partnered with U.S. and European hospitals: Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical International.

∑ 
Specialties include extensive health screenings, plastic surgery, dental work, ophthalmology, IVF and other major procedures.

For more information on medical tourism in South Korea, click here.
 

Mexico

 
∑ 
Christus Muguerza, the only JCI accredited hospital in Mexico, was named one of the "Best International Hospitals in the World" 

∑ 
State-of-the-art facilities at competitive prices

∑ 
Procedures performed include cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, orthopedic, cardiology, Bariatrics and more.

For more information on medical tourism to Christus Muguerza, click here.

China


∑ 3 JCI-accredited hospitals

∑  Named "Top Emerging Tourism Destination" in 2007 by NuWire Investor

∑  Ground-breaking stem cell procedures are being performed

More information on medical travel to China can be found at www.medicaltourismchina.org.
 
India

 
∑  Most popular destination in the medical tourism industry

∑  Wide range of procedures performed at 10 JCI-accredited hospitals throughout the country

∑  Quality care comparable to that of the U.S., at a far lower cost

For more information on medical tourism in India, visit www.starhospitals.net.

Malaysia


∑  Country boasts a comprehensive network of hospitals and clinics

∑  Various procedures offered by internationally trained physicians at a fraction of the U.S. costs

∑  State-of-the-are private medical centers

Visit www.malaysiahealthcare.com for more information on medical travel to Malaysia.


Sexual Reassignment Surgery

Thailand is known for its tranquil beaches, lush rain forests, and superb cuisine, but for some tourists the country offers another added attraction: sex-change surgery.
Read more...

 
How do I pay for my medical procedure?

One of the biggest headaches in not having adequate insurance coverage is hearing how much a procedure would be to fix that hurt shoulder or aching knee. Read more...


Latest Headlines in Medical Tourism:
Medical tourism: The world is your hospital
Canadian Business Online - Aug. 18
It happened four years ago. Patricia Melo had just dropped her two children off at the babysitter before driving to work. As she waited at an intersection for a car to turn left, her vehicle was rear-ended, and Melo was left sandwiched between two other automobiles.

Would you go to India for surgery to save 80 grand?
WalletPop - Aug. 6
You are probably aware of the growing medical tourism business in joint replacement, cardiac bypass and gastric bypass surgery in India, Thailand and other far East countries.


Medical tourists choosing Malaysia
Treatment Abroad - Aug. 8
There has been a noticeable rise in the number of people seeking treatment abroad in Malaysia, figures from a recent survey show.

Increased Popularity of Medical Tourism Affects Health Care Provider Revenue
Kaiser network.org - Aug. 5
More U.S. patients have begun to travel abroad or visit retail clinics for medical services, practices that could reduce expenses for consumers and health insurers but also could cost physicians and hospitals billions of dollars in revenue annually, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.


Setting the standards for medical tourism 
amednews.com - Aug. 4
A small but growing number of patients are being treated outside the United States based on the belief that they can receive quality care at a cheaper price than at home, a phenomenon commonly referred to as medical tourism.

Medical Tourism: The New Surgical Option
HealthNews - July 30
Aah. Summertime. The smell of coconut sunscreen, laughing children, and vacations. And for some, a time for that surgery they've been putting off. Say what???

Hurting from high medical costs, patients seek alternatives to local hospitals
South Florida Sun-Sentinel - July 29
Consumers increasingly are trying alternatives to their local hospitals and doctors, from going abroad for less-costly surgery to seeking quick, basic care at new clinics in drugstores and discounters, experts say.

Island of Sun, Sea and Surgery
redOrbit - July 28
DOZENS of Scots seeking cut-price cosmetic surgery are making the trip to Cyprus, lured by low prices at private clinics which also offer recuperation by the Mediterranean.

Many Americans go abroad for health care
14WFIE - July 27
More than 45 million people in the U.S. have no health insurance. So, where do they go when they're sick or hurt?

Medical tourism needs 5k-10k professionals in 5 years
The Economic Times - July 22
With medical tourism in India expected to grow 30% annually till 2012, the demand for talent is going up at a brisk pace even as it opens up a whole gamut of job opportunities in the sector.

Large Employers Hopping Aboard Medical Tourism
Workforce Management - July 15
After years of taking a wait-and-see approach, large employers are beginning to offer employees the option of receiving medical care overseas.

National Business Group on Health Releases Issue Brief on Employer-Provided Medical Tourism
MarketWatch - July 15
With the view that medical tourism may be an innovative approach to expanding access to lower cost, sometimes higher quality health care, the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of more than 300 large U.S. employers, today released an Issue Brief on Medical Tourism to inform and guide employers in their evaluation of this option for their organizations.

Around the world to a better back
Ottawa Citizen - July 14
Eric Slone sat for an interview last week, and that's the story. He sat.
A few months ago, he would have been horizontal, unable to bear the pain rocketing from his lower back.

Stem-Cell Tourism Troubles Experts
philly.com - July 13
In February, Marcela DeVivo took her baby son to the Dominican Republic and paid $30,000 to have him injected with blood stem cells from aborted fetuses.

Patients with Passports
Colorado Springs Gazette - July 13
Pramod Goel likens his dotcom to online travel sites Priceline, Travelocity or Expedia. But go to make your travel plans, and the differences between PlacidWay.com and the others soon become apparent.

Overseas surgery cheaper but not without risks
The Daily Courier - July 13
Eight years ago, doctors recommended a hip replace-ment for Gene Cunningham, a Prescott Valley Christian missionary worker. 

Company targets Americans for health tourism packages
The National Business Review - July 11
An Auckland company, Medtral Ltd, is setting New Zealand up as a destination for "medical tourists" from affluent countries who want "cheap" operations and other medical procedures.

Doing Your Homework
Washington Post - July 8
Prospective medical tourists should first zero in on a surgeon, finding out when the doctor started practicing, where she went to school and how many surgeries she has performed, said Jonathan Edelheit, president of the Medical Tourism Association.

 

   



 

Dear Medical Traveler,

Your Medical Travel is your personal resource for tips and information on the newest opportunities in medical tourism.

Your Medical Travel is introducing a new feature: real patients' experiences with medical tourism. If you would like to share your experience with readers, please contact Amy Rohrbeck at
editor@yourmedicaltravel.com.

We want to hear from you! Please complete our survey by clicking the button below.



My Medical Tourism Experience



Lisa B./ GA
Gastric Lap Band
Traveled to Monterrey, Mexico through BridgeHealth International

"Dr. Chapa and Dr. Mayela are a wonderful team. I was made to feel as their friend in addition to being their patient. I was never rushed and all my questions and concerns were addressed in full. The hospital and staff were very accomodating. The facilities were comfortable and quiet. Our driver, Mario, did an excellent job. He was a great tour guide and we enjoyed his company. The hotel was comfortable and only moments from the hospital. They made every effort to meet our needs."


Jack Brooks/Crestline, CA
Rotator Cuff Repair
Traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico through MedToGo


"As an uninsured senior citizen with a severely injured right rotator cuff, local surgical repair was unaffordable. Iíd read about medical care in Mexico, but was quite fearful about traveling there; however, since itís close to where I live, I searched on the Internet for medical tourism companies facilitating medical care there. After much scrutiny, I chose MedToGo, operated by U.S. physicians and whose qualifications, approach and resources satisfied me. Thus began my medical tourism adventure.

My MedToGo patient representative answered all my questions, assuring me of safety and security while in Mexico and, after completing the travel details, gave an inclusive price for my medical care that amazed me; it was a fraction of the cost quoted locally.

Arriving in Puerto Vallarta, I was met by a MedToGo representative and taken to my hotel to acclimate and prepare for the pre-op consult with my surgeon. At that, he reviewed my injury, answered my questions and prepared me for the upcoming surgery. After surgery, I awoke in my hospital room, where, per my surgeonís orders, I remained for two days with complete care and attention by nurses and staff. Afterwards, back in my hotel, I received daily Physical Therapy and post-op medical care by the surgeonís assistant physician up to my departure.

Throughout all of this, I was assured by my surgeon and his staff that I need only call anytime if I had any questions or concerns. I felt so secure that I explored Puerto Vallarta by bus during my post-operative stay and had a great travel experience in addition to outstanding medical care. This far exceeded my expectations and I owe all of it to my MT provider."

Solving Fertility Issues Outside of the U.S.


Thirty years after the birth of the worldís first ìtest tube baby,î In vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a mainstream procedure for couples facing difficulties when trying to become pregnant. IVF is a process in which an egg is fertilized by a sperm outside the womanís womb. Once the fertilized egg becomes an embryo, it is transferred into the uterus.

People who are debating undergoing rounds of IVF often worry about the costs, emotional stress and success rates associated with the treatments. In fact, the 2005 Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Success Rates report, issued annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, advises this about IVF treatments:

ìAlthough ART offers important options for the treatment of infertility, the decision to use ART involves many factors in addition to success rates. Undergoing repeated ART cycles requires substantial commitments of time, effort, money, and emotional energy. Therefore, consumers should carefully examine all related financial, psychological, and medical issues before beginning treatment. They also will want to consider the location of the clinic, the counseling and support services available, and the rapport that staff members have with their patients.î

Although some insurance agencies are forming that specialize on assistance with infertility costs, many insurance carriers do not foot the bill for IVF treatments. Without assistance, patients in the U.S. can pay anywhere from $10,000-$12,000 for a single round of treatment.


With an often unsuccessful rate, patients are now turning to hospitals, clinics and fertility treatment centers across the globe to find a less expensive option for treatments. Clinics overseas boast success rates similar to those in the U.S., with treatments starting between $5,000-$6,000 per round in countries such as India and Singapore.

Kumar Jagadeesan, president of Star Hospitals.net, states, ìWe are confident that our infertility services are equal or superior to the treatment available at U.S. clinics ñ at a fraction of the cost and with exceptional success rates.î

Star Hospitals (www.starhospitals.net) is a North American healthcare service offering affordable and timely treatment abroad through a network of hospitals throughout India, Singapore, and Thailand.

Patients using Star Hospitals will be evaluated and speak with a doctor about their situation before any action is taken. ìThe comfort and care of each individual is our primary concern,î emphasizes Jagadeesan.

The likelihood of pregnancy resulting from IVF treatments depends on the cause of infertility, age of the patient, and the infertility treatment approach. Only your physician can tell you if IVF treatments are the solution for you.

Visit these websites for more information on IVF treatments overseas:

- http://www.ivfinfo.net/ivf_abroad.html

- http://www.medtral.com/The-Medtral-Offer/Operations-and-Procedures/Fertility-Treatment/MenuId/66.aspx -- New Zealand

StarHospitals.net Announces Patient Airfare Sponsorship Campaign

Individuals will be awarded round-trip airfare to the hospital of their choice within the Star Hospitals network for medical care

Ontario, Canada ñ Star Hospitals.net (www.starhospitals.net), a North American healthcare service, announced today that it is sponsoring American and Canadian patients to travel overseas for a necessary medical procedure at a participating facility in the Star Hospitals network in India, Singapore and Thailand. Individuals will be able to choose the hospital that best suits their medical needs, and Star Hospitals will provide an economy class, round-trip ticket from a major airport.

Following a diagnostic evaluation and the selection of a physician, teleconferencing is available for patients to discuss treatments with their overseas surgeon prior to travel. To finalize travel arrangements to the appropriate hospital, Star Hospitals.net staff will coordinate passports and visas, book flights and hotel rooms, arrange transportation from the airport, and complete hospital registration.

A random drawing to select recipients will be held on September 15, 2008. In order to be considered, individuals can send an email to fdepalo@cpronline.com.

Patients wishing to take advantage of this opportunity must be uninsured or underinsured and meet the following criteria:

      ∑ 
45 years of age or older

      ∑ 
Visit www.starhospitals.net for a list of procedures available.

      ∑ 
Patients must be traveling for a ìmajorî surgery such as orthopedic (hip or knee repl, acement or resurfacing), cardiac (angioplasty or cardiac bypass surgery), neurosurgery (brain tumors, spine, head or neck surgery), bariatric (Lap band surgery, gastric bypass surgery). Patients seeking minor, noninvasive procedures will not be considered. 

      ∑  Patients must be open to media coverage.

      ∑ 
Patients must be able to travel for surgery by November 31, 2008.

ìWe understand that many people are interested in medical tourism, but may have some constraints regarding participation,î states Kumar Jagadeesan, vice president of Star Hospitals.net. ìOur goal is to help people discover the benefits of medical travel as well as the quality of our services, which include the first call center operated entirely by doctors, physician assistants, paramedics, physiotherapists and other medical professionals.î

For further information please call toll free: 1-888-STAR-012 or visit www.starhospitals.net.

The Straight Dope on Pharmaceuticals



Excerpted from Patients Beyond Borders: Everybodyís guide to Affordable, World-Class Medical Travel; Second Edition,
by Josef Woodman. ©2008. All Rights Reserved

Authorís Note
: During the course of researching the Second Edition of Patients Beyond Borders, our editors become aware that medical travelers were often seeking alternatives to the high cost of prescription drugs here in the US, and seeking better prices across borders. After all, while abroad, why not bring home a suitcase full of cheap Lipitor to save the $900/year on hubbyís cholesterol prescription, or Accutane for the 14-year old with acne (at around $12,000 a year!).

Our researchers found it's not that simple: below is basic information -- and cautions -- about bringing prescriptions back home with you, and buying them online.

True or false:
When traveling, itís okay to bring small amounts of prescription drugs back into your home country.

True or false: It's legal to order prescriptions from reputable online pharmacies outside your home country.

Believe it or not ó for many Western countries ó the answer is false on both counts, though with some favorable caveats. Many international travelers like to purchase their favorite prescriptions less expensively while abroad. While thatís technically illegal in the US and some other countries, consume activists have turned the issue into a political hot potato.

Consequently, at this writing, customs inspectors are often reluctant to bust granny with her two vials of benazepril, and in most instances they turn a blind eye to folks entering the country with prescriptions purchased abroad. Thus, itís become a gray area, with customs inspectors empowered to use ìgeneral discretionî when prescription drugs are found. Most often, the offending pharmaceuticals are simply confiscated, and the traveler must decide whether itís worth all the red tape required to petition for their return.


The overwhelming number of tourists carrying pharmaceuticals purchased abroad enter the country with no trouble, usually unnoticed. The best advice is to use common sense. Youíre far less likely to be hassled carrying a single prescription of amoxicillin than if your suitcase is bursting with enough tramadol to supply the streets of Los Angeles for a year. And as always, if youíre carrying drugs that are illegal ó prescription or otherwise ó you may be subject to arrest, as well as seizure of your prescriptions.

Similarly, itís technically illegal in the US and some other countries to purchase any pharmaceutical of any kind from any mail-order pharmacy outside the country. Again, highly vocal activists have prevailed politically in the US and elsewhere, and only a small fraction of prescriptions purchased from foreign countries are seized. In those cases, the pharmacies often double ship the order, so the buyer usually doesnít even know the purchase was interrupted.

Again, until the laws change, youíre advised to use good judgment. Purchase only from reputable pharmacies, using legitimate prescriptions from your physician. And anticipate the outside chance youíll be among the few every year inconvenienced by border seizures of prescription drugs.

Itís perfectly legal to purchase prescriptions online from authorized mail-order pharmacies inside your home country. For specifics about importing controlled substances into the US, call 1-202-307-2414. US citizens can obtain additional information about traveling with medication from any FDA office or by writing to the US Food and Drug Administration, Division of Import Operations and Policy, Room 12-8 (HFC-170), 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

For further information on prescription drug rules and regulations, US citizens can contact the FDAís Center for Drugs at 1-888-INFO-FDA or visit
www.fda.gov/cder. Citizens of other countries are encouraged to contact the appropriate government office for full rules and regulations.

First Opportunity for U.S. Consumers to Explore Medical Travel: The Medical Travel RoadShow Debuts in Six U.S. Cities

RICHMOND, Va./ Dallas, Austin, TX.ó U.S. residents will have their first look at the vast array of options for accessing high quality medical care at significantly lower costs when the Medical Travel Road Show makes its first stops in six cities hosting Your Health Expos www.themedicalroadshow.com:

      ∑ 
Saturday, Sunday, October 25-26, 2008, Hilton DFW Lakes, Dallas, Texas
      ∑ 
Saturday, Sunday, November 1-2, 2008, Renaissance Hotel, Austin, Texas 
      ∑ 
Saturday, Sunday, December 6-7, 2008 Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA
      ∑ 
February 21-22, 2009 Sheraton Mart Airport, Miami, FL
      ∑ 
February 28-March 1, 2009 Orlando, FL, location TBD 
      ∑ 
May 8-9, 2009 Marriott Hotel & Marina, San Diego, CA

ìMedical tourism is an important trend and top-of-mind for U.S. healthcare consumers,î states Skip Brickley, director of The Medical Travel RoadShow and Your Health Expos, citing a recent Deloitte study showing that nearly 40 percent said they would travel outside the country for medical treatment if the quality was comparable and the cost was cut in half. ìTexas was a logical location to kick-off this year-long schedule of medical travel and consumer health expos based upon the high level of interest among Texans for traveling to nearby destinations in Central and South America as well as Asia, New Zealand, Israel and other countries for documented high-quality care at a fraction of U.S. costs.î

Brickley explains that hospitals, providers, medical travel experts, spas, and wellness centers throughout the world will be on hand to offer education and guidance.

ìThis is the first series of shows to showcase these types of participants, and we look forward to meeting residents from all the states on our consumer health tour,î says Brickley. ìA key component will be providers who perform cosmetic and elective procedures, since these surgeries are generally not covered by health plans.î

These tours are focused on helping consumers find affordable healthcare solutions, and traveling overseas for medical care is a safe and high-quality option for all U.S. consumers. Brickley says that Americans are ready to take advantage of the benefits of medical travel and anxious to learn more about the latest developments in health and wellness. Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of health and wellness activities, including personal visits with medical travel facilitators and providers; free health screenings; meetings with on-site personal trainers; and opportunities to learn more about healthy eating.

ìThese expos are designed to meet the needs of all age groups and will be particularly valuable for those who do not have sufficient health insurance,î says Brickley. îThere will be a wealth of resources on hand to help people discover their options for specialty care including orthopedic, cardiac, dental, bariatric, and cosmetic surgery. Today, Americans are also interested in opportunities to access care that is not available in the United States, such as stem cell transplantation, organ transplants, as well as lower cost in-vitro fertilization (IVF). People are amazed that these options now exist.î

Expo visitors can also take advantage of health screenings, including blood pressure and cholesterol testing, disease management counseling, healthy nutrition, fitness, and exercise coaching. Giveaways and prize drawings will supplement the informational and educational experience.

Steven Tucker, M.D., president of the International Medical Travel Association (www.intlmta.org) and a leading U.S. board-certified medical oncologist, adds, ìAs the fast-growing sectors of global healthcare a,, nd medical travel begin to influence patient choices, there are often more questions than answers. Your Medical Travel & Health Expos are designed to address every aspect of this important topic and provide a venue for better understanding of healthcare and the growing number of medical care options around the world.î

Registration for the expos will soon be active. For general questions or assistance with registration, please contact Willie Moreno at 804.266.7422 ext. 7408 or willie@transmarx.com. Admission to Your Medical Travel & Health Expo is $5.00 per person when pre-registering online at www.themedicalroadshow.com.

Sexual Reassignment Surgery (continued)



One of the top 10 procedures bringing foreign patients to Thailand, sexual reassignment surgery (SRS), also known as sex change or gender reassignment surgery, is the alteration of a person's genitals and other physical characteristics to that of the opposite gender. Individuals suffering from gender identity disorder will often elect to undergo SRS to change their physical body to match their gender identity.

SRS is a costly, highly-involved elective procedure. In the United States male-to-female reassignment surgery averages between $5,000 to $30,000, including the accompanying cosmetic procedures. Female-to-male reassignment surgeries are much more involved, and thus, more expensive. Average total cost currently falls between $50,000 to $80,000. Because much of the expense is not covered by insurance, many people are traveling abroad for procedures.

Dr. Tawisak Labchitkuson of ThaiMed (www.thaimed.com
notes, ìI evaluate patients from six major health care centers for sex change in Bangkok, Thailand. In total, there are about 10 to 15 cases per week and 60 to 90 cases per month.î

ìPatients travel from around the world,î says Tawisak, ìbut mainly come fromóin orderóthe United States, Australia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, China, Italy, Iran, Israel, African countries, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and France.î

He adds, ìI believe America is the leading nationality because the society there is more open to transgender surgery than other societies. However, that is quickly changing. Additionally, American patients have higher levels of treatment, including psychiatrists or psycho-therapists, to assist in taking care and preparing them for the surgery.î

SRS is serious business, often taking six hours to perform and requiring fifteen days of hospitalization and numerous counseling sessions. Many hospitals throughout Thailand perform the procedures and many of their physicians are recognized as the worldís best.

MALE TO FEMALE COSTS (according to www.allaboutbeauty.com.au)

Package Price


Yanhee Hospital Bangkok

$6,500 USD

Vejetha, ni Hos, pital Bangkok

$8,063 USD

Piyavate Hospital Bangkok

$7,500 USD

Bangkok Phuket Hospital Phuket

$10,453 USD

Phuket International Phuket

$9,557 USD


Mike Brennan, CEO of ThaiMed, says, ìI believe the number one reason that patients travel to Thailand is price. Including all medical, hotel, and travel cost, it is often less expensive than having the procedure alone back home. Couple that with privacy and a higher level of medical care, and Thailand has become a major destination.î

But Brennan adds, ìThere are some disadvantages that have recently become a factor. The value of the dollar has decreased, making the surgery and hotel cost not the bargain it once was. When we first started the baht was 42 to $1 U.S. Dollar. Now it is nearly 30 Baht to $1 U.S. Dollar. This may not seem like a huge difference, but it is when your entire trip may cost 300,000 Thai Baht.î

ìWe assist our patients in getting the best exchange rate to increase the potential amount of savings,î says Brennan, ìand try to offer ways to decrease the cost of their overall trip. With rising oil cost, we look closely at airline ticket prices. Most likely oil prices will fall, and airlines are always working to make air travel more affordable.î

Individuals investigating Thailand as a destination for SRS will have to do a bit of homework as it is ìan offence under the laws of The Kingdom of Thailandî for Thai doctors to advertise openly on the Internet or in other general publications. However, most centers are happy to provide information regarding the centerís qualifications and the experience and credentialing of its surgeons upon request.

Prospective patients will also want to inquire about the centerís requirements for SRS. While requirements vary from one institution to the next, they typically include being of legal age to make surgical decisions in their homeland, 6 to12 months of continuous hormonal therapy, 6 to12 months of successful continuous full-time real life experience in the acquired gender, a formal diagnosis of gender identity , disorder or gender dysphoria, no serious medical conditions, and letters of recommendation from both physicians and mental health practitioners.

Anyone intending to include sightseeing as part of their "trip of a lifetimeî will want to make sure they build it into the front half of their itinerary as mobility is quite restricted post-surgery.


Links of Interest
Medical Tour: http://www.thaimakeover.com
SRS Website: http://www.thailand-srs.com
ThaiMed Blog:
http://www.thaimed.us
ThaiMed Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZiBePE3gxE 

Medtral New Zealand announces partnership with MA-based Pinnacle Health

Auckland, NZ/MARLBOROUGH, MA ó Medtral New Zealand (www.medtral.com), providing, world-class, affordable healthcare, with all-inclusive travel and medical treatment packages, today announced a ground-breaking partnership with Pinnacle Health (www.pinnaclehealth.com), a preferred provider organization providing network and administrative services to self-funded employers, with over 3,000 providers throughout Americaís Northeast.

According to Paul Brough, president and CEO of Pinnacle Health, ìThis relationship holds significant potential for both organizations. An attractive destination for medical care and surgery, New Zealand pushes all the right buttons for me. Itís a first world, English-speaking country with very high quality medicine and a clean, green environment that is ideal for recuperation. Additionally, the quality and affordability of the travel and treatment packages is unparalleled. Our customers are now requesting options for medical travel, and New Zealand fits the bill.î

Medtral New Zealand services include travel, accommodation, hospital procedures, and post-operative care at New Zealandís premier private medical facilities and contingency insurance. Adhering to Quality Health New Zealand (QHNZ) and International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) accreditation standards, Medtral New Zealandís network of hospitals provide a world-class experience and service for North American patients.

ìWe are excited about the prospects of working with a forward-thinking organization like Pinnacle Health,î says Steve Nichols, managing director of Medtral New Zealand. îThis partnership offers an affordable and attractive option to Pinnacle clients and members, and makes sense for the self-funded employers that are considering medical travel options for their employees.î

Nichols emphasizes that the option of medical travel to New Zealand will undoubtedly save Pinnacle member employers significant costs while ensuring the quality of the medical services.

ìPatients get the chance to experience New Zealand and enjoy dedicated recovery time at potentially less personal cost than having the operation performed in the U.S.," adds Nichols.

How do I pay for my medical procedure? (continued)


For years, patients have pushed off surgery, making their injuries more painful as well as more costly.

With the emergence of medical tourism, patients are able to travel abroad to fix their ailments and visit beautiful tourist sites at more affordable costs than the same care in the U.S.

As the practice of medical tourism increases in popularity, companies are beginning to offer insurance and financing for procedures performed overseas.

A California-based company, www.surgeryloans.com, offers patient financing for cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. and abroad. Representatives at Surgery Loans will work with the physician of your choice before the procedure is performed to ensure that the physician will accept their payments.

Canadians are also fortunate enough to apply for financing through a company called www.medicard.com. Once approved for financing, the Canadian-based company will reach out to the overseas clinic or hospital of your choice to arrange payment.

If medical tourism is a viable option for your needs, do your research on medical tourism companies. As financing information is not always readily available on the companyís Web site, call and speak with a representative about possible options. Overseas hospitals and clinics are likely to ask for immediate compensation, so it is important to explore options that can help with deferring the costs of your procedure.

Even if you decide to make your own plans, contacting a medical tourism company is imperative. Medical tourism providers can explain the process of going overseas and what to expect. No patient should travel for a procedure without being fully armed with as much information as possible.

 
           
475 Market St., 2nd floor, Elmwood Park, NJ 07407 | www.yourmedicaltravel.com |
Copyright © 2008 Your Medical Travel is published by CPR Communications.
Information in this newsletter should not be considered as medical advice.