Tuesday, February 1, 2005
The Guardian has an interesting article on a new form of tourism involving people traveling overseas for a variety of health-related reasons. No, it isn't travel to the luxury spa for relaxation treatments, it is much more. The article relates the story of George Marshall, who bypasses the wait in Britain for a heart bypass operation for an immediate operation in India. The article reports,
"Three months ago George Marshall fretted about the choice offered by his doctor in Britain. Diagnosed with coronary heart disease, the violin repairer from Bradford was told he could either wait up to six months for a heart bypass operation on the National Health Service or pay £19,000 to go under the scalpel immediately.
In the end, Mr Marshall chose to outsource his operation to India. Last month he flew 5,000 miles to the southern Indian city of Bangalore where surgeons at the Wockhardt hospital and heart institute took a piece of vein from his arm to repair the thinning arteries of his heart. The cost was £4,800, including the flight.
"Everyone's been really great here. I have been in the NHS and gone private in Britain in the past, but I can say that the care and facilities in India are easily comparable," says Mr Marshall, sitting in hospital-blue pyjamas. "I'd have no problem coming again."
The article reports that India hopes to build up a big business by providing health care to others along with tourist packages. It is an interesting read. Thanks to the washingtonmonthly.com for the link.[bm]