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Employers and insurers embrace medical tourism

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Like some 47 million other Americans, Nancy Sowa (pictured) doesn’t have health insurance. So when her doctors last year told her she needed a total hip replacement, the office manager for a non-profit did what a growing number of U.S. citizens are doing: She headed abroad. At Wockhardt Hospital in Bangalore, India, the 56-year-old was put up in a hospital “suite” far swankier than what she would typically find in the U.S., with a computer, fridge, cable TV, sitting area and an extra bed for her travel companion.

More to the point, the two-hour surgery in July, performed by an orthopedic surgeon trained in the U.S. and Australia, was a success. Four months later, the Durham, N.C. resident is feeling like her old self again, going for long hikes and planning her next vacation. The final tab for the procedure, including rehabilitative therapy and round-trip airfare for two? $12,000. That’s a fraction of the $45,000 to $90,000 she had been told the surgery would cost at home.

Today, nearly 2 million foreign patients visit Thailand each year for a range of healthcare services, including cutting edge procedures like stem cell treatment.

Today, nearly 2 million foreign patients visit Thailand each year for a range of healthcare services, including cutting edge procedures like stem cell treatment.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do the surgery in the United States,” says Sowa. “I didn’t have to explore taking out a second mortgage or tapping family members because I had this other option.”

One looming uncertainly is, what happens if the U.S. passes legislation enacting universal health care coverage? Less people might travel overseas if they are covered for care — even if it’s more expensive — in the U.S., says Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Newton, Mass.-based medical tourism facilitator Healthbase. People might still travel if certain procedures like bariatric and cosmetic surgeries aren’t covered, she says. “There may be wait lists in the U.S. or other issues,” she adds.

As far as Nancy Sowa is concerned, she’s not convinced universal coverage would have changed her mind about going to India. “Even if I had insurance, I’m not sure I would have made the choice to stay in the U.S.,” she says. While that may be good news for corporate benefits administrators seeking to trim costs, it may concern medical tourism critics who don’t want to see the trend become a fixture in U.S. health care.

via Thailand is ‘in network’? Employers and insurers embrace medical tourism — DailyFinance.

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Southeast Asia Covid-19 Latest News

The Delta variant has ripped through Southeast Asia in recent weeks, undoing many countries’ progress against the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia has been hit especially hard.

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Thailand Situation Report - 22 February 2021

The Delta variant has ripped through Southeast Asia in recent weeks, undoing many countries’ progress against the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia has been hit especially hard.

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Thailand COVID-19 Situation (29 June, 2021)

TAT would like to recommend all to take DMHTT precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, and T – Thai Chana contact tracing application.

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COVID-19 Daily Vaccinations

Total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered: 9,416,972

· Total number of people who have received 1 dose: 6,721,038

· Total number of people who have received 2 doses: 2,695,934

Number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered today: +271,534

· Number of people who have received the first dose: +185,261

· Number of people who have received the second dose: +86,273

COVID-19 Daily Situation

Total Cases: 254,515

New Cases: +4,662 Daily Cases: 4,652 & From Prisons: 10)

Receiving Medical Treatment: 47,481

Recovered: 205,064

Deaths: 1,970

TAT would like to recommend all to take DMHTT precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, and T – Thai Chana contact tracing application. 

TAT is constantly providing updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand at the TAT Newsroom (www.tatnews.org); Facebook (tatnews.org); and Twitter (Tatnews_Org).

For additional information and assistance relating to Thailand’s tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police 1155.

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