Thailand Offers Affordable Surgery to US Patients


BANGKOK - With the cost of surgery escalating rapidly in the United States, Thailand is quickly becoming a low-cost affordable alternative for U.S. citizens.  And for the 40 million U.S. citizens without health insurance, it's a tempting prospect. 

When Robert Thompson, 52, a retired Miami Beach resident watched the "60 Minutes" show in 2005, he immediately knew it was for him.  Unable to pay the $40,000 that U.S. surgeons wanted to charge for his heart bypass surgery, he learned that the same procedure would cost him only $5,000 in Thailand.

The "60 Minutes" show featured the Bumrungrad International Hospital.  A hospital with a Starbucks in the lobby and an Italian restaurant on the top floor.  With new, plush carpets in the lobby, courteous receptionists wearing silk tailored suits and luxurious rooms, "it felt more like a 5-star hotel to me than a third-world country hospital" Mr. Thompson says.

When Mr. Thompson contacted Bumrungrad, they immediately made complete arrangements for him, from airlines to hotel to his initial hospital visit.  He said the decision was easy, and the arrangements "were made simple for me."

Predominately U.S. trained doctors successfully performed Mr. Thompson's heart bypass surgery. Then he was graciously cared for by nurses that were "very loving and kind, nothing was too much trouble for them."

Bumrungrad International Hospital, which offers everything from cosmetic surgery and cancer treatments to life-saving surgery, treated over 450,000 foreign patients last year. More than any other hospital in the world.

Internationally famous for it's warm weather, beaches and tourism, Thailand is quickly becoming a leading destination for medical tourism.

And how does Mr. Thompson feel about his experience? I'd recommend it to anyone", he says.
"I'd go back tomorrow if I had to."



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    Stan Kenyon
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