Medical tourism: Médecine avec frontières

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The parable of Argentina

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Medical tourism


Why health care has failed to globalise

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CLARE MORRIS hardly noticed when she tore the meniscus in her knee while dancing. The pain started only when she heard that repairing the damage at a hospital in South Carolina, where she lives, would cost $15,000. With limited insurance, she would have had to pay much of that herself. But after shopping around she found that she could have her knee repaired at a good hospital in Costa Rica for $7,400—and take a holiday, too.
Just a decade ago, stories like hers seemed to point to the future of health care. If a person could save thousands by shopping in the global health market, the reasoning went, insurers and governments could save billions. A knee replacement costs $34,000 in America, but just $19,200 in Singapore, $11,500 in Thailand and $9,500 in Costa Rica, according to Patients Beyond Borders, a consultancy. Even …

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