Well, I would like to give you some facts and figures to look at to assist you in your decision whether or not to try medical tourism. For me it was a simple choice. In America, a hip resurface, as I mentioned before was about $30,000 USD. It was fairly new and the procedure was considered “experimental.” I guess so they could have charged more money for it. I mentioned that they have been doing this procedure in other countries for more than twenty years. I was in Japan at the time so I checked on the prices and found it would cost about $18,000 after insurance. Then they went on to say that they were using their own “experimental” robotic surgery and that was enough for me right there. An experimental guinea pig on a robotic operating table with inexperienced Japanese doctors working on me. “OOPs, I think we just cut off his leg, next patient please.” No thanks. And, I am sure they were using the “chicken wire and duct tape” method that I mentioned earlier that was being used in the USA at that time (and is still being used!). I am lucky I came to know the Heealthy guys. Its a medical tourism company based out of Gurgaon. After discussing my case, my family members and I thought I should take a look at the hospital in India as a possibility. Good that I have somebody to look after me there.
I learned that Dr. Abhishek Mishra was an expert in this operation with, I am pretty sure, more than 300 or more completed there (don’t quote me on this, it would be easy just to send them an email and find out if you need the exact numbers). So how much did I save? The total charges were $6500 from the hospital. No hidden charges at all, including the shuttle charges to and from the hotel for follow up visits. All medicine, pre-operation health checks, hospital room. Everything was included. The airfare was about $1000. It wasp probably less or about the same from the US or the UK. Hotels and other expenses about $1500. It was around $950. It was definitely under $1000. I saved at least $30,000 Dollars and probably as much as $40,000, because, at least in the US, they do not include everything in the price. X-rays, hospital room, medicine, follow up appointments, physical therapy, and other costs, which can easily be another $15,000 to $20,000 dollars or more now! I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have 40 or 50 thousand dollars just laying around in my bank account. Which would mean that I would have been in intense pain every day for the rest of my life and using a cane or probably crutches as well. Not a life that I would choose to live. Another thing that you might consider is using a service to connect you with a hospital abroad. I did not because it was easy to access information online and make my own arrangements. If you do contact a service, make sure that they are not trying to scare you into using their service. Maybe you have heard horror stories, some true about medical treatment abroad. But are you completely safe having treatment at home? Just do your research first and choose your destination carefully. This what I recommend. Funny and not so funny things happened when I mentioned having the treatment done in India. Relatives and friends were concerned and asked me questions like is it safe and clean or is the hospital up to our standards? What about an Indian Doctor? I could not believe they were asking these questions! I replied that the chances of being assigned to the care of an “Indian Doctor” in the US and elsewhere was quite high and that they would probably be fortunate if it did happen. I tried not to get angry, but I still did. Prejudice is an ugly thing... You can probably expect the same sort of reactions from your friends and relatives too. A good way to shut them up is just to say, “Oh, yes, you are right! Can you lend me $50,000 dollars to have the treatment done here?” See how fast they will change the subject. This usually erases their prejudice also. One thing that I did not mention is the tourism part of the trip. In India there is plenty to see. Just around Chennai there is more than enough to see and it is always possible to extend your trip and travel to other places and do additional sight seeing. Everyone has different tastes in their leisure plans so I will leave that to you or your travel agent. You can check out Frommer’s Guide or even the Lonely Planet Guide books for a start. For me, I took what I considered a more practical approach. Being pampered at a World class resort hotel on the ocean made a lot more sense to me. Being ferried around in a golf cart, massages, the spa, fine dining, coffee served poolside, in a room that reminded me of my favorite place in the World, you get the picture. In conclusion and on the bright side, if there is anything about my medical tourism experience in India that really impressed me, I would have to say it was the people. It sounds like a cliché, but it is so true. From the household staff at the hotel to the Doctors and staff at the hospital and even tourists from other parts of India staying at the hotel. As far as I am concerned, I could not have found a better team than Heealthy and their guys and a better hospital anywhere in the world… I would have to say that my most vivid memories of my stay in India are connected to this and they are ones that I will cherish for a lifetime. So, If you are considering trying medical tourism, to be sure, it will be an easy. And, of course, if you do choose India and the Heealthy team they can provide almost any treatment that you seek, not only for hip resurfacing. It just might save you a large sum of money and improve your health and enable you to see some exotic places you have never seen before. Best Wishes and Good Luck!