August 15, 2019
August 13, 2019 by Dr. Kyle Varner in Medical Tourism
Let’s say your doctor suddenly diagnosed you with a heart condition.
You look at your options and the cost, and you get a knot in your stomach…
The nearest specialist is nowhere near you…
Your insurance won’t cover it…
And you can’t afford the price in cash…
So, would you just give up and resign yourself to your fate?
I sure hope not!
More likely, if the condition was severe enough, you’d tap into the power of Google to look outside of your city or state to find someone who could help you.
After all, when your life is at stake there should be no limits…
But why should you stop at the border? Many of the best specialists in the world don’t even live in the US, and they’re often less expensive to boot.
You could literally hop on a bus to Mexico if you live in the south, but to be honest, wherever you live there are better opportunities just a cheap flight away.
Sometimes, when we’ve lived in a country for most of our lives, it’s difficult to comprehend that pretty much every other place on the planet has a healthcare system.
Sure, some are better than others, but think about how many countries there are in Europe–most of them have a healthcare system as good as, and if not better than ours.
So what’s stopping you from going there?
When you travel outside your local area to receive medical treatment, this is known as medical tourism. Even in less extreme situations, it’s very beneficial for anyone to consider it. Here are the main reasons why:
Medical Tourism is Cheaper
There is a concept in economics called arbitrage, where two similar markets have different prices, and someone takes advantage of this difference. For example, a brand new car in the US can be a lot cheaper than the exact same car being sold in Canada.
So even with the duty and taxes considered, some Canadians will take a trip across the border to buy their next vehicle for this reason.
In Scandinavia, alcohol is often prohibitively expensive and the government often restricts the sale. This is why so many Swedes take ferries to Germany or Finns to Estonia to stockpile alcohol.
Health care is no different. While a doctor in Tijuana may provide the same service as one in San Diego, they operate for less money and the government doesn’t tell them what to do as much.
This means you can get quality treatment at a much cheaper price. It’s also why it may be worth getting pharmaceutical drugs from there too.
Tijuana is practically built for the medical tourism industry. They want to attract Americans who pay in US dollars because it’s a more valuable source of income.
Just like any other industry, when you’re a paying customer, you’re practically guaranteed to get good service. They want to build a good reputation, as Americans are far wealthier than Mexicans on average.
Contrast that to the American system, where cartels with government security get rich at your expense. They know people will always buy insurance from the big companies, so they can trap you with a bad deal for years. Then they can deny you coverage for certain treatments that would be much cheaper if you traveled to have them done…
The doctors abroad are often better than your local doctor
In economics, it’s not just the price that matters, but choice and availability. Some places specialize in particular treatments, meaning that even if people can afford treatment in the United States, they may choose to go abroad because of a country’s reputation.
For example, gender reassignment surgery is very popular in Thailand, so a group of physicians has become extremely skilled at this kind of treatment. Because it has become a hub, there’s a competitive market for this service. Who wins? The patients.
What’s even better is thanks to cheaper air travel nowadays, you have a lot of choices of where you can go. I could get cheaper plastic surgery in Tijuana than in the United States yet enjoy excellent service. Or, I could decide to go to Brazil and get the benefits of a highly competitive and specialized market.
That’s the beauty of choice, you can pick, choose and balance whether you want the better treatment, the shorter travel time, the lower travel cost, or the cheaper treatment. You get to decide. The list goes on…
Important treatments are banned in your country
Arbitrage isn’t just a thing for prices, it also happens with laws. For the same treatment, there are differences in laws which make going abroad the better choice.
If you wanted any kind of stem cell or gene therapy, you’re not allowed to do that in the United States unless you’re under 25 with a specific disease because the Food and Drug Administration has banned or cracked down on it.
So you have to go abroad, such as to the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, or Mexico. There may be other procedures that the American establishment have made illegal, so it’s worth finding out just how many you’ll need to travel abroad in order to get them done.
The modern world has given us the maximum amount of choice in human history. It’s time to take advantage of it –don’t settle for the options that are immediately around you, you have the choice to look abroad for the best options available.
By expanding your mind and doing your research you can potentially receive much higher quality care at far cheaper prices than you would in the US –without jeopardizing your safety.