A Spa Vacation Package to an Offshore Destinations
With rising costs becoming a major problem in healthcare in the US, Americans are looking to foreign destinations for more than the ordinary spa vacation package. Today, outsourcing surgery is a growing trend thanks to the prohibitively high costs of surgical procedures in the United States. California-based PlanetHospital is one of several online medical tourism firms that connect American patients to suitable hospitals and doctors in 6 countries. Rudy Rupak Acharya, owner of the 1-year-old firm, says he has helped over 200 American patients travel overseas for surgeries.
Rising Costs a Major Problem in Healthcare
With off-shoring of affordable healthcare becoming a reality, Acharya’s firm charges a $295 fee and contracts with about five patients a week. An Oklahoma woman requiring hip surgery estimated at $28,000 to $40,000 at home underwent a successful procedure and had quality care in India at one-third that price. According to Acharya, the US may boast the best researchers, equipment, and medical facilities but they are only available to an exclusive few who can afford them. With rising costs becoming such a major problem in healthcare, the rest have to look elsewhere. It is reported that nearly 50 million Americans lack health insurance. Unfortunately, even those that have it cannot always use it for life-saving procedures. The Oklahoma woman, for instance, was refused coverage because of a “pre-existent arthritis condition.”
Affordable Healthcare in the U.S: Reforms Needed
Affordable healthcare at home, not the spa vacation package, is the need of the hour. According to Acharya, US companies harbor a profit motive so their treatments come at the cheapest prices possible. Accusing fingers are also pointed at higher medical malpractice insurance rates and steep labor costs. One suggested solution to this state of affairs is a single-payer plan where the government pays all costs. Health savings accounts and tort reforms to lower the physicians’ costs are also being discussed. When all is said and done, there must be a way to make healthcare affordable so that Americans who need life-saving surgery can have it at home with family and friends around.