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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

She was visiting: Medical tourism to Israel

Caroline Ardeeser, a 78-year-old retired Florida resident, decided to forgo Medicare and hospitalization in the U.S. and pursued surgery in Israel. She was visiting Israel earlier this year, when her knees "gave out." Rather than return home, where she had stopped paying health insurance premiums, she chose to have the reconstructive surgery performed at the Sheba Hospital in Israel. The 90-minute surgery and a week's stay in the hospital cost her $16,000, which she had in savings.

She says that at her age, she cannot obtain private health insurance in the U.S. And even if she could, she estimates that with the co-pay, the surgery and the rehabilitation at home could have cost three times as much. She plans to have surgery on her other knee soon and is recuperating in a rented house in the West Bank city-settlement of Ariel. "I had a most positive experience here," she says.

Much of the medical tourism industry in Israel depends on brokers like Ira Nissel, who handled Caroline’s case. An immigrant from New York who came to Israel in the late 1970s, he is an entrepreneur who formed IMS Global four years ago to promote medical tourism to Israel.

A survey in 2008 by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that in 2007, 750,000 Americans traveled overseas for medical treatment. Spokespersons for the Israeli government said about 20,000 foreign tourists were served in Israel in 2007.

Advice to people lacking insurance: Consider the merits of getting care abroad – or of getting a U.S. president who favors universal health insurance.

Read a story about medical tourism.

Thanks to Netty Gross for the source article in the Oct. 13 issue of the Jerusalem Report.

1 comment:

raul said...

Not only Caroline, So many people are able to save so much of money in the healthcare. prospective in US by going to other countries. Especially when it comes to Singapore and Malaysia , they are providing high quality health services at low cost. Many people are opting these two countries these days.