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Friday, June 26, 2009

The surgeon visited on both Saturday and Sunday: Medical tourism to Switzerland

Colleen McGarry's story:
During my four-day quiet stay in a Swiss private clinic, staff stopped by frequently and served homemade meals. The surgeon visited on both Saturday and Sunday. The only paperwork that I had to complete was my signature on the safe deposit box. In this expensive country, my room was $500 per day.

This experience was a bit surprising as my prior encounters with hospitals had been limited to American institutions. Lower malpractice premiums and awards may help keep costs down, but they are not the only factors. In this era of globalization, one wonders why hospital managers do not examine what works well in other countries.

While there is great respect for American medical research and expertise, there is a general fear that American-style health care delivery practices will eventually find their way here. Let us hope that it is the other way around.

Advice to those thinking of expensive elective surgery: Consider medical tourism.

Read another story about medical tourism. Thanks to Colleen for her letter to the editor, reprinted here from the June 15 issue of the New York Times.

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