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May 7, 2013

Scared of medical care abroad? Don’t be.

on crutchesAre rumors of horrible medical care abroad holding you back from heading out to see the world? Take heart – most of those rumors are unfounded. A while ago I read 5 Myths About Health Care Around the World by T. R. Reid and started thinking about our experiences with health care in the four corners of the globe – including the United States of America.

In Ethiopia, my husband’s heart went into arrhythmia and he was admitted into ICU at the local hospital. Within minutes of arriving at the hospital, he had a team of doctors on his case and received the best care possible in the country. As it turned out, the Ethiopian doctors knew exactly what needed to be done, but they were not prepared to equip my husband with a pacemaker should it be required – so they arranged to have him evacuated to Israel.

In Israel, top-notch doctors treated him with the most current, innovative methods and did a massive barrage of tests to ascertain exactly what was going on. In the end, they managed to get his heart converted and he went home to Ethiopia a healthy man once again.

In Taiwan, my hip suddenly began to hurt. The very next day I had an appointment with a hip specialist who sent me for an MRI – in two hours! After dealing with the US system of waiting weeks to get an MRI approved and scheduled, I was pleasantly surprised.

In Mexico, doctors took care of my son’s badly sprained wrist and I got to see a knee specialist about my bum knee.

In Panama and Colombia, my son had ingrown toenails surgically removed.

Yes, I’ve dealt with the medical system in the USA and it is slow and cumbersome compared to the health care you will get at a much lower cost in most other countries. Doctors around the globe are highly trained and professional, good facilities can be found in nearly every country, and health care is generally much more affordable than in the USA.

If you are thinking of globetrotting around the world, medical issues should certainly not stop you!

Posted by | Comments (3) 
Category: Travel Health


3 Responses to “Scared of medical care abroad? Don’t be.”

  1. Liz | Two Weeks to Travel Says:

    Just goes to show what we think is the best medical care in the world is not always the case, I’ve heard a lot of other travelers who got fast, top notch care in other parts of the world, for a fraction of the cost.

  2. Tehre Says:

    Great stuff! Very confidence-building, indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Thanks for sharing insight into other countries. In Korea I’ve gone to the hospital and gotten acupuncture several times for marginal costs, and I even got Lasik eye surgery for under $1500 (compared with over $2000 per eye in the US). I have definitely found foreign health care to be one of the perks of traveling.

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