Great article on Foreign Policy’s website today about outsourcing U.S. healthcare to other, cheaper (pretty much every country on the planet) countries as one method for reducing American healthcare costs. For example, rather than paying for a knee replacement procedure that costs over $10K in the States, offer the patient the choice of having it done for $1,500 (including travel!) in India or Hungary. It saves the U.S. taxpayer money, adds a little competition for the ridiculous U.S. system, plus gets the patient a nice little vacation.
Having been the
victim lucky recipient of numerous medical procedures in both the U.S. and South Korea (spend enough time riding a motorcycle in Seoul and you’ll have a similar opportunity), I can say without a doubt I have no problem with this idea. The treatment I received in Seoul, under Korea’s government-run medical system (the horror!), was cheaper, faster, and equal-to, if not better, than treatment I have received in the States. Add a free vacation to the deal and who wouldn’t be interested?
Off the top of my head: the last trip I took to the dentist in the U.S., with health insurance, cost me $70 out of pocket (plus whatever insurance paid) just for the cleaning. The last time I went to the dentist in Korea it cost me less than $30 and included removal of a wisdom tooth. The last visit I made to a hospital in Seoul was a trip to the emergency room for x-rays after a motorcycle accident. The total time in the hospital, including consultation, x-ray, reading of the x-ray, and prescription, was less than 30 minutes. The cost? $20.