Saturday, October 21, 2006

Anglospherics and "medical refugees"

In times past I've researched getting various things medical from various places not-near-me.

Things such as LASIK/Visex-Wavefront (the latter being really cool) for my eyes, dental work, and so on. I've always thought mostly in terms of getting the work done in what has uncharitably been labeled "fly-over country" -- the Midwest of the U.S.; I've also considered getting prescriptions from Canada.

It would not occur to me to get elective / cosmetic surgery done in South America, say; and the idea of getting some very annoying floaters taken care of in the Former Soviet Union by having my vitreous humor removed, ultrafiltered, and returned, as was once advertised, gives me a frisson of fear. Ditto, if a bit less so, for getting the floaters zapped with a YAG laser in China. One trouble is the fundamental long-term outcomes of the exact practices used. Another is the difficulty and cost of followup or having the original doctor or team handle complications, if any.

Comes now word from of news from the NEJM that India is thinking of creating a new form of visa "specifically for medical refugees" -- such as one man who reportedly got a cardiac surgical procedure that goes for $200k here in the states. It's said the procedure cost $6700 there. No word on the ancillary transport, lodging and opportunity costs, but it's implied that he didn't have to sell his house. And it would appear it was a full-on standard procedure with adequate aftercare.

Expect more of this sort of thing, even if travel gets harder and harder. It might drive prices up in India.


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