9/11/2005

Medical Alternatives

There are over 40 million Americans that do not receive the medical attention that is required due to various reasons such as being unable to afford health insurance and being uninsured to name a few. CBS news aired a program on sixty minutes that informed me of a increasing alternative to medical care in the United States. As I researched deeper I went to Bumrungrad's Hospital web sight, they are located in Thailand and have more foreign patients than any other hospital in the world. So what does one do if they can not afford an medical treatmentor can not get the treatment they need? Due to cheaper labor costs, lower medical malpractice insurance, and positive exchange rates Americans are able to receive medical treatment for 10 percent of the cost in the United Sates cutting rates one-third to one- half for many surgeries and treatments. As they interviewed previous and current patients they were asked about the accommodations, surprisingly I found that they rated the facility's five star as if they were in a hotel room rather than a hospital. The credentials on the websight stated that many of the doctors and nurses had studied or practiced in the U.S. At some point people are going to have to take a stance against our country's current form of medical care, and I would say this is a great option regarding the citizens that for one reason or the other cant receive adequite medical attention. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/04/21/60minutes

6 comments:

Chloe said...

I agree that medical costs are pretty outrageous. It’s hard to imagine that spending a half an hour with a doctor may end up costing you hundreds of dollars. However, would getting us involved also bring the government regulating the medical field? If this is the case, what else will the government want to regulate? The medical field is overpriced, but if we turn to the government for support, where do we draw the line? When do we start taking responsibility for our own actions rather than blaming everything on how the government should save our lives?

Mia said...

The medical field may be high priced but I personally feel that it's well worth it. I strongly believe that you get what you pay for and when it comes to medical issues I don't fool around with looking for a bargain. And the government should definately keep away from here.

Bree said...

I hate the medical system... even if you have insurance the prices still seem outrageous for prescriptions, and co-payments. Thailand sounds like a great idea but how would that effect our economy if more people were to go elsewhere for medical care. This may only cause the price to go up in Thailand because there would be more demand and may cause a decrease in the U.S. because of lower demand. Then all we have is a arbitrage.

Morgan said...

As far as medical care in the United States in concerned, I feel that it is a sham! I think that the Thailand option could be beneficial, however, travel costs could offset any savings, depending on what was needed. Why is it that an industrialized country like the U.S. can't provide universal healthcare to all of its citizens? Countless citizens have died in wars that have been financed by the government, why not invest in human capital for a change?

Dr. Tufte said...

-2 on Tyler's post for spelling erors, and also for a link to inaccessible content.

This is part of the problem with a third-party-payer system (one in which the patient doesn't pay the doctor). It's pretty basic microeconomics that such a system leads to higher prices.

Um ... Chloe ... um ... the medical field is already the most heavily regulated one in the country.

For Morgan, I have a counterexample - it's called Universal Grocery Care. It would work like this: the government would provide you with all the groceries that they decide that you want for free. Does that sound like a system that would work? Probably not - and groceries are a far larger part of household budgets than medical care.

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