Health tourism, medical tourism, call it what you want but the idea of leaving the U.S. for orthopedic procedures such as knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery – any joint replacement surgery really – is fast becoming not only an option, but a must!
The U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world for those people with money to burn. The U.S. does not, however, have the best healthcare insurance system in the world, so for many without health coverage or under-insured, what do you do when your doctor diagnosis a joint replacement? Three options…
Option One – Do nothing. You can simply elect to not have any joint replacement surgery and continue dealing with the pain. How bad is the pain? Is it causing you to change the way you walk which can lead to further health problems? Is it affecting your life or family? How about the quality of life? Only the person who is dealing with the pain can answer that question.
Option Two – Get the surgery done locally. A knee replacement will run you around $ 50,000 per knee and a hip resurfacing surgery will top out around $ 67,000 per hip for the procedures alone. You’ll need to also account for pre- and post-surgical care, rehabilitation, medicines, etc. so be ready. Frankly, unless you’re rich this isn’t really an option at all.
Option Three – Health tourism. There are many destinations throughout the world where you can go and get a joint replacement performed at a fraction of the cost in the U.S. In fact you can save a minimum of 20 percent – and often much more – and prices include all travel related costs, pre- and post-surgery needs including accommodations, and necessary medicines. There’s often financial assistance available which can make this option extremely affordable.
Once you select option three (is there really any other option?) you’ll want to decide which country is right for you. There’s many to choose from, but none perhaps offer quite what New Zealand does. From a pure tourist perspective, it’s consistently rated one of the best and safest places to visit, it’s clean and easy to get around, the people are super-friendly, it touts low crime, and the scenery is breathtaking.
From a medical perspective, New Zealand has state-of-the-art hospital facilities, the surgeons and specialists are all very highly trained, there are low rates of infectious diseases, almost no superbugs like NDM-1, so you won’t have to worry while you’re getting rid of your chronic pain.