Medical Tourism Saves You Money

SNM023: Medical Tourism and the Joys of International Healthcare

My experience with medical tourism in Thailand was beyond pleasant.  I went to a Tier 1 hospital and paid five percent of the price of an American checkup.  They gave me a battery of tests and I had a nurse to hold my hand every step of the way.

Normally giving blood is a nightmare.  The phlebotomist has to stick me several times, while blaming my veins for their poor performance.  In Thailand, he got me on the first try.  The technology was first rate and the experience was flawless.

Take Responsibility For Your Health

Many people choose heart surgery over exercise.  We don't take care of our bodies and expect doctors and hospitals to pick up the slack.  We have outsourced taking care of our selves.  You must be proactive about your health.  It's time to be serious.  If you are irresponsible, traveling will magnify your problems.

Not Every Country is Ideal for Medical Tourism

Thailand was great, but Japan was awful.  Japan might have cutting edge technology but their doctors and general populace are shockingly ignorant of modern medical science.  In my experience, Japanese hospitals are about 400 years behind the rest of the world.  When I went in for an STD panel, the doctor asked ME which ones to check for.  He had no idea what STDs existed.

In the United States the chlamydia rate is about half of one percent, in Japan it is over ten percent now.  Avoiding shame is more important than health, so most people never get proper checkups and doctors have no idea what to do with people who come in to get tested.

The World Health Organization ranks Japanese healthcare at #10 and the United States at #37, but my experiences are different from their results.  I don't know how they rank countries, but I've never met a person who had a positive experience with Japanese medicine.

Medical Emergencies

Be prepared for medical emergencies.  My neighbor had a heart attack and a regional hospital put stent in his heart.  He was back 5 days later.  Even if you are only going somewhere for a weekend, it's worth knowing where the best hospitals are located.  I was an EMT in college and unless a patient requested a specific hospital we decided where to take them.  Our decision was based purely on location.  We would transport the patient to the nearest hospital that could handle their level of injury.

If a patient asked for a particular hospital we would take them there. You can decide where you end up in an emergency.

The Birth of My Son

We had my son at the local hospital.  At first my girlfriend wanted to use the local clinic to have our son.  It was a brand-new private clinic built by her doctore. Unfortunately, her water broke a full day before my son was ready to come out.  We had to deliver in the hospital from the only private room.

Here is the clinic room.

Medical Tourism Private Clinic

Here is the bathroom of our private room.  We had to deal with a barrage of mosquitoes and put a towel to block the door to the hospital to keep them out of the room.  It wasn't fancy, but we got the job done.

medical tourism private hospital room

America Has the Greatest Doctors in the World

We grow up believing that America has the best doctors in the world because of our capitalist system.  Nothing motivates a doctor to save your life like greed…But is that really the driving motivation you want in your healthcare provider?  Do you want someone focused on maximizing their revenue or their bank account?

I had a serious medical problem in England and my experience was top notch.  Despite all their complaints, the British have an amazing healthcare system.

When deciding how to handle medical care, nothing beats experience and actual research.

European Prices

You can find amazing medical care in Europe and save more than fifty percent of your costs.  There are serious financial rewards for traveling and you can often enter a superior healthcare system to boot!

Before You Travel

Learn your chosen country's medical system, insurance structure, and how they approach traveler insurance. Will anyone accept it or do you have to depend on reimbursement?  Where I live the hospital won't touch you unless you have cash in your pocket.

Find the best hospitals near you and how to get there before you travel.  We don't expect medical emergencies when we travel, but we want to be prepared.

Take Responsibility for Your Health

I was huge when i went to the airport.  I stepped on the scale and almost cried when I saw taht I had ballooned up to 272 pounds.  I was a big, fat monster.  Since then I have lost fifty pounds, but I have a long way to go.  Don't give up your weight loss in the middle.  Keep pushing until you are healthy again.

A doctor told me I would take heart pills for the rest of my life, but I trained until I didn't need those pills anymore.  You can really change your life.

Slaves to Prescription

Do you take pills every day?  Are you paying way too much?  Could you take back your life?

Prescriptions are cheaper in nearly every other country on earth.  You can train your body and wean yourself off many of those medications.  Lock into a fitness program or hire the best trainer you can afford.

How I Quit Smoking

The key to true change is removing the desire.  Stop fighting against yourself.  I think smoking is disgusting now, that's how I quit.  I feel the same way about most food, especially deserts.  Disgust is the key to change.

Key Points:

  1. Take control of your health
  2. Research healthcare before you travel
  3. Take action now to improve your health

Resources Mentioned:

There's Nothing Routine About Going to the Moon

The Program that Saved My Heart

Amazing Online Personal Trainer Forest Vance

Blood Pressure Machine

Serve No Master on Amazon

Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com


JCI Accredited Hospitals

Pattaya International Hospital Checkup Pricing/Procedures

Japan Chlamydia Rates

USA Chlamydia Rates

World Healthcare Rankings (USA #37)

Original WHO Healthcare Rankings Report

An MRI Costs $1080 in USA and $280 in France

USA Prescription Rates

Medical Errors are the THIRD leading cause of death in America

Fresh Books First Month Free


1 thought on “SNM023: Medical Tourism and the Joys of International Healthcare”

  1. My experience in Thailand was much the same. When Jonathan mentions greed being a huge motivator for medical doctors in the United States, I have to agree, as well. I’ve spoken with many people who became medical physicians, simply because they desired the lifestyle that it could bring.

    Finances aside, the passion was abundantly clear. Even when getting a foot massage in Bangkok, Thailand, I paid less than a quarter of the price than I would in US. They really care about their service, and go above and beyond to provide the utmost professionalism.

    Take a look at their movie theaters. Albeit smaller in seating capacity, you can find top notch theaters with state of the art 3D systems. You really get a bang for your buck. I haven’t had a serious medical situation in a foreign country, but I’m strongly considering getting things like dental work done abroad – insurance compliance permitting.

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