…”60 Minutes” had a segment a while back on people who go to India or Thailand to get surgery—at a fifth of the cost here.
…Patients are attended by well-trained doctors and registered nurses (the ones we are trying to coax over here to fulfill our nursing shortage).
…One happy patient, who went to Thailand as a last ditch for her lupus, has joined with her husband to form PlanetHospital, a clearinghouse of 20 hospitals in 8 countries.
…She matches patient to hospital and guarantees the experience. (Patients who go it on their own have sometimes had the classic back-alley experience of removing their own stitches in an airport bathroom and lying on a blood-soaked table.)
…Bumrungrad, a resort-like clinic in Thailand, reportedly treated 25,000 Americans in 2005.
…This option is mainly for those with no insurance or who want a procedure (such as plastic surgery) that most insurance won’t cover.
…When people get to the country, a PlanetHospital employee meets them in a limo.
…Some companies without insurance are talking with PlanetHospital about plans for their employees.
…HA sometimes avoids doctors with foreign surnames. She knows this is discriminatory. And maybe stupid.
…She once heard of an Indian student who was so glad he got into the Indian university of his choice—because his safety school had been MIT.