Overseas hospitals are better than California hospitals...

Another recent medical travel report - Medical Tourism: Global Competition in Health Care - compiles quite an interesting list of facts and statistics.

Some of them include:

1) Medical tourism is moving from the affluent to the less affluent - both looking for affordable health care.
2) Cost savings examples show savings of 50% to 80%, supported by lower labor costs, lower malpractice costs, lower insurance overhead, fewer regulatory requirements, streamlined services, fewer cross subsidies among different medical services.
3) Overseas pricing is transparent. In the U.S., cash paying uninsured individuals often pay inflated list prices, higher than those charged to the government or private insurance companies.
4) U.K. and Canadian patients access overseas medical clinics in order to get timely access to health care, something their own national health systems don't provide.
5) Cardiac surgery mortality was higher in California hospitals than overseas hospitals, strongly suggesting quality is better at specialized overseas hospitals.
6) In the rare event that malpractice occurs, there is limited recourse. One can purchase a medical malpractice policy from AOS Assurance Company Limited. A $100,000 policy for a facelift costs $225. AOS only covers procedures in accredited hospitals.

The cardiac surgery data was most interesting. The average mortality rate for the California hospitals was five percent, with the average for overseas hospitals of less than one percent.

The 35 page report was prepared in November, 2007, by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Texas based non-profit policy research organization that promotes private market solutions rather than government involvement.

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