Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Medical Care Gets Outsourced Too

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the what?-you're-still-here? dept.

The Almighty Buck 1184

Muppy writes "Here's the summary from the most emailed article in The Washington Post today -- about an American who went to India for heart surgery, which he could never have afforded here. U.S.: $200,000 total cost ($50,000 deposit required) for heart operation. India: $10,000 total bill, including hospital, air fare, and a side trip to the Taj Mahal. And the Indian doctors are probably at least as good as those one is likely to get in the U.S. From the article: 'Eager to cash in on the trend, posh private hospitals are beginning to offer services tailored for foreign patients, such as airport pickups, Internet-equipped private rooms and package deals that combine, for example, tummy-tuck surgery with several nights in a maharajah's palace...'"

cancel ×


This is news to ANYBODY? (1, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604340)

I remember first hearing this about 2 years ago- along with the Catholic Priests in Bangalore outsourcing prayers for the dead.

Re:This is news to ANYBODY? (4, Interesting)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604389)

"This is news" was my reaction too. I don't know how long Brits have been popping across to the Continent to beat the NHS waiting lists, but I do know that the travel insurance I got in 2000 included exceptions for people travelling abroad for medical treatment.

without lawyers putting doctors out of business (1, Insightful)

invalid_address (521011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604344)

medical care is efficient and effective. think about that.

Re:without lawyers putting doctors out of business (2, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604397)

And injured patients just get to suffer?

Re:without lawyers putting doctors out of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604411)

and doctors are free to harm patients through malpractice without fear of reprisal

Re:without lawyers putting doctors out of business (2, Insightful)

argan0n (684665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604432)

Yada yada. Without opportunistic clients the lawyers are never hired.

Without opportunistic suppliers of over-expensive medical equipment medical costs could go down too.

... and the list goes on...

Neuromancer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604348)

Chiba City here I come!

wtf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604350)

this is getting rediculus

Ten Grand? Pfft... (1, Funny)

andyrut (300890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604353)

Air fare? Taj Mahal? I saved a bundle by just having my heart shipped to India. Got it back in 6 weeks, good as new.

Re:Ten Grand? Pfft... (3, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604504)

Dick, get back to work. The last thing we want is to lose to Kerry because you farted around on slashdot.

Did you send the email to Gitmo about "Guest 1"? We've got to "find" him this weekend.

I'm sorry... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604354)

The US is falling. And I wanted to get Citizenship here... I'm better off going back to Europe.

And...what will you hear at the end of your visit? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604360)

"Thank you...come again.!"

Re:And...what will you hear at the end of your vis (1)

macshune (628296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604571)

"Would you like a Squishie?"

Unlucky (as the next patient walks up):
"OK, paper mache mix, pipe cleaners, pig intestines and sparkle paint."

Really Unlucky:
"Be careful when we capture him! We cannot claim the reward unless we have 51% of the carcass."

Canada too, eh? (4, Interesting)

clockmaker (626182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604361)

I have a friend who went to Canada to get her Laser Eye Surgery real cheap. Apparently the company has an office here in Seattle, and a shuttle to Vancouver, B.C.

Re:Canada too, eh? (1)

Traa (158207) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604486)

Since I am looking into Laser Eye Surgery, can you provide some info (link) to this company.


What a great idea! (5, Funny)

gamlidek (459505) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604364)

Now we don't have to worry about having doctor's in the US anymore, also... we can just get on a plane and go to India for medical care.

Add sarcasm tags where appropriate.

Re:What a great idea! (2, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604570)

If we outsource medical care, how will American OBGYNs be able to continue practicing their love on women?

Unless we spend more on education... (5, Insightful)

Pacifix (465793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604371)

... the US will quickly becoome a second-world country. China and India understand that an educated population is the only way to make it in today's world. We prefer to spend our money on tax cuts and trickle-down economics. The best medical care in the world should be in the US, but the way our schools are now, there are just no students to provide that service.

Re:Unless we spend more on education... (5, Insightful)

(SM) Spacemonkey (812689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604433)

I am an Australian, but since America is so powerful, I take note in what you guys do. I kept hearing your President in the debates saying you have the best healthcare in the world. America doesn't even have a universal healthcare system. You lag behind Australian and most of the countries in the European Union. I don't understand how your media doesn't through your leaders to the wall for such outrageous lies.

Re:Unless we spend more on education... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604476)

Anyone who needs treatment gets it in the USA. No one gets turned away. I'm sick and tired of this pink socialist propaganda thats trying to eat away at our marvelous prosperity.

Re:Unless we spend more on education... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604535)

..thats trying to eat away at our marvelous prosperity

Calm down. We're just envious. And we hate your freedom, too.

Re:Unless we spend more on education... (0)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604528)

America doesn't even have a universal healthcare system. You lag behind Australian and most of the countries in the European Union.
The reason for this is because we want the best healthcare system. People fly into the US (who can afford it) from all over the world precisely because it is not paid for by taxes.
Government buisnesses are not as efficient as private buisnesses, anyone who works for the government can vouch for that.
The problem now is that prices are going through the roof. The reason for this is often argued to be because of lawsuits which drive the doctor's insurance premiums through the roof. Doctors in the USA often turn patients down because for some reason that patient is "too risky" and they can't afford the insurance they would need to pay to work on that patient.

Spending isn't the problem. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604437)

The USA already outspends Germany and Japan per student. The problem isn't that we spend too little, it's that the money gets pissed away on administrative costs instead of compensating teachers adequately. Add to that the NEA's tooth-and-nail resistance to anything resembling competition or accountability, and you get the mess that is American primary education today.


Several million spent this year in my city... (5, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604577)

The school district here, decided that it was a good idea to spend several million dollars for football field upgrades. Until we decide that education has a higher importance in our EDUCATIONAL system than playing games, we are screwed.

I haven't seen a school yet that hires an economics teacher, and has them fill in as a coach, but they all seem to be fine with hiring a coach and asking them to fill in as an economics teacher.

Re:Unless we spend more on education... (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604499)

A second-world country is, by definition, a communist country. I'm pretty sure that's not what you mean.

From here: []

The Second World was the Communist world led by the USSR. With the demise of the USSR and the communist block, there is no longer a Second World.
Not trying to troll, just informing.

Re:Unless we spend more on education... (1)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604548)

I think China and India understand the principles of economics, and I don't think heart surgery costs $200,000 here because Johnny Can't Read. I think it's more akin to wondering why an apartment in my town costs $250/mo. and for a drop in quality, $1,200 just 200 miles away. It's exchange.

Remember, many of the specialists -- in medicine, engineering, and many other disciplines -- in foreign countries are getting their educations here, then hopping a plane home. But short of making sure they're required to work here once they get out of school, which is as draconian as it is silly, I don't find change foreseeable.

All the same, you're correct in stating that we have to put more into education. It is the task of our generation to subsidize with not only our checkbooks, but with our dispositions, an American renaissance in science, mathematics, engineering, medicine, agriculture, and the arts. But it won't show up by itself.

UK Total Cost... (4, Insightful)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604372)

£0, but some serious taxes and a wait on a waiting list.

Even so, I must say I prefer universal healthcare.

Re:UK Total Cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604454)

The UK also have (or are going to) started to outsourcing on the NHS. Twas on the news some time ago.
NHS scans 'to be sent abroad' [] ~ NHS faces foreign op payouts []

Also, some treatment (detal care for example) you don't get much help with once you start earning a set amount. Which is shit, as said set amount is not much. It worked out cheaper for my me & my g/f to visit Greece to have dental work. Shit really.

Re:UK Total Cost... (4, Informative)

servoled (174239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604471)

From the article:
But the same hospitals now are starting to attract non-Indian patients from industrialized countries, and especially from Britain and Canada, where patients are becoming fed up with long waits for elective surgery under overstretched government health plans.

"If you can wait for two years for a bypass surgery, then you don't need it or you're dead -- one of the two," Trehan said. "Similarly, if you're wobbling on your frozen joints for two years because of a waiting list, it's a human tragedy."
Some people can't wait the required time for a doctor to become available, so they end up doing flying over to India to get it done. Universal health care isn't perfect either.

Re:UK Total Cost... (4, Informative)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604503)

If you're critical you jump to the top of the queue. If you're non critical you're on a waiting list. That's how it works in Canada. My fiance's father had to get a pacemaker in. He jumped everyone to get it in. His heart beat was under 30bpm... That's critical.

Re:UK Total Cost... (2, Insightful)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604523)

Of course, there are a few people I know who've gone over there to have ops done. However, in the fact that if you're ill in the UK, you don't even need the "small" amount of $10000 to get treated, means that I prefer our system - people may have to wait longer, but they don't have to wait until they earn the money, or even put off vital treatment to save cash.

As for the rates of tax, for me, when I look at my tax bill, I can at least look at where it's being spent and think - yeah, that's worth it.

I'm not trying to make a compelling argument here, just a bit of personal opinion :)

Re:UK Total Cost... (1)

KenFury (55827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604563)

Waiting list, Ha. I have been waiting to see a doctor since I was 18. 10 years with either no insurance or it being phohibitvly expensive (500+ month). I am finaly getting insurnace through my employer in 2 months. I figure I will go through $10000 in the first year. My wife can't carry a pregnancy past 2 months. (0 for 4) She is also oddly fat. We eat two of three meals a day with one snack. We go for walks/bike rides/swimming and dont pig out on food. I weigh 180 and she is over 250. My son could really use braces. I have a bunch of kidney/bladder problems that I dont think we need to go into...

THE US IS DEAD! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604377)


New T Shirt Slogan (3, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604380)

I went to Asia Minor and all I got was this lousy Left Ventricle...

With apologies to George Carlin... (3, Funny)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604387)

I sent my sinuses to Arizona
I sent my liver to Peru
I sent my lungs and my kidneys
For the summer to Sydney
But I'm sending my heart to you!

Caveat Emptor! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604393)

There are India doctors as good as American ones. Most of them seem to be in the US as opposed to India. I also know somebody who was misdiagnosed while in traveling in India and nearly died.

Caveat Emptor!

Re:Caveat Emptor! (2, Interesting)

malfunct (120790) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604482)

I work with someone who is Indian (still a citizen there too I think) and his comment was that there are too many schools that just give out medical degress in india without the people needing to actually be qualified for the field. He is truely afraid of the indian healthcare because of this. In the end I think there has to be a midpoint where you can have a culture of cheap effective (no waiting for months to get your procedure done at a govt approved clinic or whatever) healthcare and a minimal level of safety that is guaranteed by the system. Unfortunately I don't know (personally, it may exist without me knowing) a place in the world that has this balance.

I'd do it if it came down to it (5, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604394)

Places like india and south africa end up supplying plenty doctors to western countries and i'd feel pretty confident that they'd do a good job.

Makes me wonder why someone doesn't just get a ship anchored in international waters off the coast of california to offer similar cut price procedures.

Re:I'd do it if it came down to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604496)

I'm on it, I'll make meelons, thanks for the idea.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.....

Sounds good to me.... (5, Informative)

thewiz (24994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604396)

As someone who has had three open-heart surgeries due to a congenital heart defect, I can see this as a viable option if I ever have to have another surgery. I've had my aortic valve rebuilt once (valvoplasty) and had it fall apart, replaced with a Hancock prosthesis (pig's valve) which calcified when I went through a growth spurt at 16, and then had it replaced with a Saint Jude's valve. I've been ticking (literally) for the past 22 years. Yes, I had my brother tell me that I am like a Timex watch :->

My first surgery cost about $5,000 (in 1969); the second about $30,000 (in 1976), and over $80,000 (in 1982). You can thank the insurance companies for the cost of health care today. Malpractice insurance for doctors and surgeons in the USA can top $1,000,000 a year depending on their area of practice. The more delicate the organ they work on, the more they pay. In order to stay in practice, they have to charge the patient more. The patient's insurance company pays more, they raise the cost of the insurance, someone sues the doctor for leaving a sponge in them, their malpractice insurance rates go up, etc.

IANAL and I don't know about India's legal system, but I don't think they have the sue-for-every-mistake mentality we do here. Remember, doctors are people too and they sometimes make mistakes. If they doctors in India can do as good a job as the ones in the USA at a lower cost, I'll be traveling overseas if I have to have another surgery.

Re:Sounds good to me.... (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604501)

You can thank the insurance companies for the cost of health care today. Malpractice insurance for doctors and surgeons in the USA can top $1,000,000 a year depending on their area of practice.

The cost of the insurance is a secondary effect of juries that are willing to give out millions of dollars whenever Shit Happens. After all, it's just insurance money, right? It's not like it comes out of the Doctor's pocket, is it?

You can thank John Edwards and his buddies in the Trial Lawyers' Association for those costs. This will continue until either 1) doctors simply refuse to work without an ironclad malpractice liability waiver that isn't trumped by a state law, or 2) everyone who needs major surgery will routinely fly to Mexico, Canada or India.


Re:Sounds good to me.... (4, Funny)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604525)

On behalf of Canadians, we ask that you please stop trying to push our drug prices up by buying them in Canada. We're happy with our drug prices and don't want to have the same problems they have in America. thanks, but go to Mexico :)

Re:Sounds good to me.... (1)

brjndr (313083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604549)

The Indian legal system is congested, and corrupt. Money talks. Judges can be bought, clerks must be bought to get things moving. Personal suits take years to hit the courthouse, and then rarely are decided by the merits, but by whose lawyers made the best offers along the way.

IAAL, but here in the U.S. I am of Indian heritage, and heard my grandfather (a law school professor in India) talk about the system, and how the average man has no access real access to the court system, and even if he did could not afford the bribes it takes just to get the process rolling.

Re:Sounds good to me.... (1)

snookerdoodle (123851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604579)

Just to be fair, there is a tad more to it than would allow blaming the insurance companies, IMHO. Here's some thoughts:

- There really are some careless doctors who really screw up someone's life and still get wealthy

- Lawyers. 'nuff sed. ;-)

- A society that wants to get wealthy by suing to somehow make up for their discomfort after aforementioned screwup by a caregiver.

- Judgements where punitive damages go to the plaintiffs. That's what compensatory damages are for. Punitive should go to some trust that has a goal of reducing said screwups.

IMHO, IANAL either, YMMV, Caveat Emptor, Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph...


our story (4, Interesting)

Traa (158207) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604398)

My wife and I considered going abroad for the treatment we where facing too. We where in need of IVF (in vitro fertalization) and this is typically not covered by insurance companies in the US. Some numbers [] suggest up to 2 million americans are in need of this procedure. Looking at about $15,000 per procedure without a guarantee of success we considered getting treated in Canada (less then $10k per try) or even going back to the Netherlands where it is insured by law reducing the patients cost to ~$1200 per try.

Given that I am in the top 5% income bracket we opted for just taking the treatment and paying for it. Still not a great thing considering that it could take several treatments after which there is still no gaurantee of success (other then losing the money).

We got lucky. First time was a success.

I have been wondering how the millions of other couples in america for whom this procedure might be the last chance are dealing with the cost. Going abroad maybe?

Please, don't (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604473)

Why did you have to bring another hell-spawn into this already overpopulated world? Maybe the fact that you couldn't have a kid was a sign from god that you are not fit to raise children.

Re:Please, don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604533)

No kidding. I wonder how many kids were born in that litter. Three, five, seven?

Give up this "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO XEROX MYSELF" mentality. If you and your spouse can't produce offspring, perhaps it's because nature doesn't intend for you to continue to flood the gene pool with your particular mix of DNA.

Not trying to be a dick or anything, but seriously - there are a TON of fucking unfortunate and unwanted kids out there. Rather than spendint tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars just TRYING to have one of your own, you could have adopted a couple and still saved money over the full course of 18 years. ANd on top of it, you'd have been doing the world a favor rather than a disservice. But I guess your ego won't let you do that, huh?

Re:our story (0, Redundant)

malfunct (120790) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604546)

While your situation is extremely unfortunate, I think that "need" is too strong a word for this procedure. While I fully understand the desire to have a child, it is not at all a necessity.

My stand is that IVF is a luxury and paying luxury prices for it is not out of the question. If you can't have children and can't afford IVF there are many children that need parents to adopt them who would create a wonderful family if given the chance.

Re:our story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604567)

Just buy a pet goldfish or something it is a lot fucking cheaper than kids

Would you bet your life on that? (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604403)

And the Indian doctors are probably at least as good as those one is likely to get in the U.S.

The surgeons may be almost as good, but how good are the hospitals? Where's your recourse if they fsck you up? Sue for malpractice internationally for a pittance?

Things may be bad in the US, but not that bad, I hope.

... paging Dr. Nick ...

Re:Would you bet your life on that? (1)

maxchaote (796339) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604435)

... paging Dr. Nick ...

Dr. Nick was educated in California, I believe.

Re:Would you bet your life on that? (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604475)

The hospitals there would be as good as any major American hospital. Provided you stay in the major cities. There are world class cities in India, Delhi, Bombay and Mumbai. It is naive (and a little elitist) to assume that only in America (or a western country) can there be excellent hospitals.

Re:Would you bet your life on that? (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604480)

Depends - if it's 50k in the US and 10k in India, maybe it's worth your while. I mean, if you're critical and you need treatment, and you can only afford 10k, then screw the recourse - you throw the dice - you have a better chance dropping 10k on the surgery than not having it at all.

Heck I'd do it if I had to.

Uh...oops (1, Funny)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604404)

Reuters reported this morning that this guy died yesterday.

Re:Uh...oops (0, Offtopic)

illuvata (677144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604568)

What, this [] reuters? Odd, searching [] for the name gives me no hits. Not even google [] has heard of it.

WTF??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604407)

That is really fucking sad.

/captian obvious

Looks like... (2, Funny)

ottergoose (770022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604409)

First World health care at Third World prices

That really looks like it was taken from a sign on the Simpsons.

Off topic, yes, but, it's Friday.

In other news... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604410)

In an effort to cut rising energy bills, enforcement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics has been outsourced to various parts of the Indian sub-continent. "The second law of thermodynamics was getting in the way of refuelling cars by driving them backwards", an anonymous White House spokesman said.

Good! (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604413)

Maybe the HMOs will smarten up and not hold you hostage for your money then - that's basically what HMOs do.

What am I thinking??? HMO's own enough of congress where they can get bills passed to prohibit that kind of behaviour.

That's the best thing I've heard - global competition on health care.

But then again, it's all free in Canada - I spend $800 a year to have the right to any emergency or critical care in Canada. That's not too bad IMO.

Re:Good! (1)

pylem (267595) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604492)

It is free in Canada but but you may die before making it thought the waiting list...

American prices out of line... (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604420)

Something economically is going very wrong in our medical system when everywhere else in the world is getting the same goods and services we are for much less...

Remember, perscription medications are very much an IP-based business. The first pill costs millions in research and approvals. Once the pill is ready for mass production, the actual ingredients cost very little to gather and put together. That's the reason why there has to be patents on medications... without that IP-based protection, nobody would pay to do the research that creates new drugs.

Still, when Canada's getting the medications for less than they're being sold in the USA... something's very wrong. It feels like every other first world country has set price controls that the drug makers are bowing to, and because we don't have price limits, they charge us to make the money.

It's an interesting dilema... if we pull out of funding the world's research, that research just isn't going to get done. On the other hand, we're funding the research that the rest of the world is benefiting from and not paying for.

Re:American prices out of line... (4, Interesting)

MKalus (72765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604555)

You can thank the "everybody for himself" mentality that is what the Us is all about.

I read a newsarticle a couple of months ago where they pointed out that not even Medicare is "buying in bulk" but rather "individual packages" depending on how it goes.

Imagine all of Medicare got their act together and would negotiate ONE price with the supplier? Suddenly the prices would drop.

That's whats going on in Canada, and they are currently fighting over a Federal Pharmacare plan which would probably decrease the costs even further.

I don’t understand (4, Insightful)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604421)

I don't understand all of this "outsourcing" outrage. Doesn't India "outsource" manufacturing of soft drinks to American Coca Cola and Pepsico? Isn't it just progress, that anyone can do what one can do best, no matter where one lives? Why discriminate against people of any given nationality instead of cooperating globally? This is a perfect example. Why should people not be able to get the best medical care only because it is not available in their homeland?

Re:I don’t understand (3, Informative)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604513)

Doesn't India "outsource" manufacturing of soft drinks to American Coca Cola and Pepsico?

Well, not quite. The soft drinks that are sold in India are probably actually made in India as it would cost too much to ship bottles of Coke over from Atlanta. Yes, the American companies get some small amount of money from each bottle sold, but no American workers were employed in the process. ...besides: which would you rather have insourced:
Software Engineering and Surgical jobs or Softdrink jobs?

Re:I don’t understand (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604520)

Doesn't India "outsource" manufacturing of soft drinks to American Coca Cola and Pepsico?

Yeah, but that doesn't employ people here. All it does is force public schools to shovel confiscated tax money into a giant hole so they can have state-of-the-art soft drink service at the lunch counter.

For business, every good idea involves the wanton, gleeful, vigorous destruction of their neighbors' careers.

Just Like the Lobster Tank at a seafood restaraunt (2, Funny)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604422)

You even get to pick which street person will be the lucky donor.

mexico and US (1)

redhotchil (44670) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604439)

This has been going on for years in Mexico & US. You can go to Mexico and get Lasik by one of the worlds top surgeons for a fraction of the price.

Dental visits, etc are cheap too

Ok (1, Troll)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604441)

And the Indian doctors are probably at least as good as those one is likely to get in the U.S.

Well of course! (notice this is just sort of thrown in as if it is settled fact with not one shred of support) Why, it's just like the programmers! So now, we've made the M.D. useless and worthless. Good to know we former programmers are just as worthless to our neighbors as the good doctor who works 22 hour shifts in the emergency room.

"Mom? Dad? I've decided to go to medical school! I just got accepted to UCLA!"

"Wouldn't you rather have a career in a field where it's easier to find a job? I hear Wal-Mart has a management program"

We are slowly, systematically and deliberately destroying the value of all education, and nobody sees a problem with this. Nobody sees a problem. 50% of the people who live around UCLA are illiterate, and nobody sees a problem.

Re:Ok (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604484)

We are slowly, systematically and deliberately destroying the value of all education, and nobody sees a problem with this. Nobody sees a problem. 50% of the people who live around UCLA are illiterate, and nobody sees a problem.

You have it wrong. The value of education remains the same, it's just that it's being divided amoung more people.

supply/demand crisis (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604443)

American medical care is expensive because of artificial supply constraints at every step. When I went through pre-med in college, anyone could tell you that the process is designed to "weed out" the pool of potential doctors; that phrase is the mantra in every course. The weeds are people without sufficient profit motive to survive the often arbitrary, abusive process. That includes foreign doctors who move to the US for freedom, but without the financial or competitive advantages needed to get recertified. That limited supply of doctors, including less competent ("malpractitioners") in medicine, but committed to their paying careers, means extra demand for doctors for second/third/etc opinions, fixing mistakes, medical makework... If America invested more in educating doctors, the supply/demand crisis would be calmed at both ends, and medical treatment would cost less. Then we'd just have to worry about unnecessary prescriptions, pharmacy profits, insurance profits, and career malpractice fraud lawyers.

Re:supply/demand crisis (4, Insightful)

nenya (557317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604507)

I'm currently in a pre-med track myself. By the time I'm finished medical school, I'll owe about $250k for my education. If that isn't an artifical constraint on the supply of physicians, I don't know what is.

Re:supply/demand crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604561)

When I went through pre-med in college, anyone could tell you that the process is designed to "weed out" the pool of potential doctors

And that's a bad thing, why?

How about a child's education, too? (3, Interesting)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604445)

For the $10,000/child/year we spend now on public education, you could probably send your child overseas and have him personally tutored by people with PhDs.

Re:How about a child's education, too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604536)

Ooo. That sounds like a good idea...

Yeah but... (1)

Evil Butters (772669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604446)

if something goes wrong, you can't sue! How am I going to make my millions if I can't sue anyone? I can just see it now... "Hello? Larry Parker? Yeah, it was a doctor in India!"

cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604448)

this is great, maybe if enough American doctors lose business to other nations they will be forced in to lowering their rediculisly incredibly high prices...

Of course, instead of supporting free markets (1)

Loco3KGT (141999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604457)

Everyone is going to go off on how we should pay higher taxes to subsidize medical care and be protectionists.

Should have gone to Bangkok (3, Interesting)

jmason (16123) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604459)

Seriously, he should have gone to Bangkok. Last time I visited, I met an Aussie who'd retired to Thailand for the cheap healthcare, and heard of several "surgery tourists" who also did the same. Reportedly the hospitals (at least the ones a paying tourist would use) are spotless, with english-speaking nurses and excellent care.

On a less serious level, it's long been a well-known spot for budget travellers to get some dental work done, or pick up new glasses, cheap, safely and reliably.

It's even (IMO) a nicer place to visit. Sorry Indian readers ;)

Cue the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604464)

Libertarian/Republican Dog-Eat-Dog/Survival-of-the-Fittest Drones claiming junk like "You're not entitled to a job" and "There will be something to replace it" .

Could someone explain the costs? (2, Insightful)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604474)

Why would it cost $200,000 to get heart surgery? (Or $100,000, or whatever).

I'd definitely go to India rather than face that kind of horrorific bill. It makes me think medical costs are truly out of control, and frankly, I don't want to pay them.


Re:Could someone explain the costs? (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604559)

Watch.. conservatives are going to post that the outrageous costs are the result of skyrocketing insurance premiums due to frivolous lawsuits... even though that's a total farce.

The bottom line is that we could have free healthcare for everyone in the United States if we just cut down on the buracracy of the system. There's enough wasted money in administrative overhead to more than fund universal healthcare.

Important (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604477)

Eager to cash in on the trend

Doesn't this just about describe all of business now? Doesn't this just about explain why business is so UTTERLY FUCKED UP right now?

All about short-term gain at the expense of long-term value, and the Dow is off 101 to the lowest close of the year.

Don't get too excited, people (2, Insightful)

nenya (557317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604485)

India is also the place where the locals bring their own sharps to the hospital to avoid contamination from inadequately sterilized second-hand needles. They've also got a really major AIDS problem.

But this isn't too far from reality. There was a group of cardiologists who decided to totally refuse any kind of third-party payment. No Medicare/Medicaid, HMOs, or even health insurance. If you wanted service, you paid for it, in cash, at the time of service. Their patient volume, as might be expected, fell by about three-quarters. Their income doubled.

Why? Because the government only pays about 30 cents on the dollar. This means that HMOs and health insurance companies pay a few cents less than that. So if the hospital bills for $200k, they're unlikely to get more than, say, $70k, which is only a little more than the total cost in India. If the hospital knows a procedure is going to cost $10, they'll bill for $30, because that's the only way they can cover their costs.

Governmental intervention in healthcare has shafted the very people it was designed to help: the poor. If you don't have health insurance and aren't eligible for Medicare/Medicaid, you're screwed, because while the government and major health insurance corporations can force providers to take a bath on two thirds of their costs ("Oh," says Uncle Sam, "Don't like what we're paying? Turn down a single patient and you can't treat Medicare/Medicaid patients for years!"), you can't.

Want to cut down on the spiraling cost of healthcare? Start paying what it costs rather than having bean counters in Minnisota who have never been to medical school and never treated a patient in their life determine, without any first-hand experience, what your surgery is supposed to cost.

I blame insurence companys. (1)

bretharder (771353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604489)

I don't know which is worse: insurance companys, lawyers or salesmen.

woops (1)

bretharder (771353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604509)


Malpractice (1)

centauri (217890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604490)

And what recourse would he (or, rather, his next of kin) have had if he'd died as a result of a botched operation? At least here he (they) could take legal action against the surgeon or hospital without costly enduring hotel or phone bills.

Re:Malpractice (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604515)

You may not have a choice. If you don't have the money then you do without and possibly die. Or, you do have enough money to get it done overseas. I would err on the side of getting it down. It doesn't sound like the risk is significantly higher than here. And, you can't make all of your decisions based soley on risk nor solely on what lawyers have to say about it.

Re:Malpractice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604544)

I meant to say "...on the side of getting it done." not "....down."

Re:Malpractice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604574)

You'd rather die from not having the surgery than not knowing who you'd sue if you were unhappy? We are a litigous society, we'd even die before giving up the right to sue the pants off somebody. I admire your convictions.

I did something similar (1) (142825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604494)

When I had tendinitis, I went to China for accupuncture () and found it to be much cheaper. []

For 2 weeks of daily accupuncture and massage, and neck and arm x-rays, it was a total of $72 USD. In Boston, accupuncture alone is $45-$70 per session.

I got the Chinese rates as the hospital since I had a friend who had a girlfriend working at the hospital. The Foreigner rate is much higher, I was told 3x.

What's up with that? (1)

DAtkins (768457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604526)

Ok, I'm not too surprised by the idea (though having a country that does this where you would actually trust the doctors is a bit new) it does raise a question in me that I haven't really asked myself before.

What exactly is cause of the price difference? One would thing that the cost of supplies (heart, blood, needles, sutures, etc) wouldn't be that much different. Certainly the salary of the doctors and nurses there would cause some of it, but surely not all of it. We're talking including airfare and a trip to the Taj in with the bill...

Has anyone seen a good site that breaks down where the money for a standard procedure actually goes? The difference just seems too large to just be caused by simple labor prices.

Here's something about the Canadian system (4, Informative)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604529)

Here's the weird thing about the Canadian academic medical system.
Fact 1: Canadian doctors, especially rural family doctors, are in critical shortage.
Fact 2: It is hard as hell to get into Canadian medical schools (GPA: 3.8, MCAT 30-31 + Extracurricular)
Fact 3: There are hundreds of immigrant doctors in Canada driving taxi cabs.

If you said "WTF?" you're not alone. The reason why it's hard to get into medical school is easy enough to explain: When the government pays 70% of your tuition, you're gonna get high demand for a fairly well paying job (about $7000 USD/month).
But what makes very little sense is all these perfectly good doctors roaming the country with crappy little McJobs. The reason is because they can't get into residency programs to get certified. And they can't get into residency programs because Canadian graduates get first pick, and whatever's leftover goes to the immigrants. Since there's always never enough residency spots, and the one's that go to the immigrants are less desireable (family medicine).
That means we could have the world's best opthmalogist living in Canada, and the most he can hope for is it run a rinky-dinky clinic off in the boonies, if he's lucky.

Not sure how it relates to the story, but an interesting tidbit nonetheless.

That's classic! (0, Flamebait)

Pollux (102520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604530)

First, American businesses move to India because you can get well-educated and qualified employees for 1/15th the price. And Americans get pissed.

Now, Americans fly to India because you can get well-educated and qualified doctors for 1/15th the price.

So, what should the response be?

a) Hey, I lost my job and my insurance because it was outsourced to India, so the only way I can afford surgury is flying to India myself.

b) It's a global market in today's day and age, and India needs money.

c) The American health care industry is a bunch of theives. Now we can stick it to them.

d) I needed a vacation and heart surgury. Then I found a travel agent on the internet that promised me both! How could I say no?

e) Do as I say and not as I do.

But... I thought *Canada* had the sucky healthcare (4, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604532)

That's what all the media tells me: Canada's healthcare is falling apart! Canadians pay more! Canadians have hoooje waiting lists! The sky is falling!


Canada may not have perfect healthcare, but we sure as hell aren't (a) paying for heart surgery; and (b) taking off to India to get it.

Equilibrium Point (1)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604541)

What I'd love to see is some sort of model which predicts where and when the equilibrium point will be reached with all of this outsourcing.

For example, we're seeing software engineers' salaries inflate wildly, so much so that I've heard a factoid that it will no longer be profitable to hire them over United States engineers in only a few years time. Presumably the same would happen with Indian doctors, as they suddenly have all this money to spend, and competition gets fierce.

Presumably other factors would also need to be included in the model, such as the fact that China will simply take over from India once it gets too expensive. But, how long will this take? For us the United States, how long will we be waiting until we can compete on level terms with those from other countries again?

Got my teeth fixed in Mexico (1)

spudchucker (680073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604551)

I saved over 85% on two crowns and a root canal by going to a dentist in Rocky Point Mexico (4 hours drive from Phoenix Arizona). I also got to spend a week on the beach. That was over two years ago. About a month ago I visited a US dentists office for a cleaning and they said everything looked fine.

My take on it... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604554)


- Lots of great Hospitals with excellent doctors and state of the art facilities/equipment
- Low cost (atleast in USD)


- Lots of quack type hospitals/doctors out to lure people.
- Low malpractice_insurance/legal liabilities (though this may be construed a good thing looking at the frivolous lawsuits and skyrocketing insurance in the US of A).

Bottomline: there are great and affordable medical facilities available (from personal/family experience), but you have to be careful in separating the grain from the chaff. On the other hand, facilities in USA aren't exemplary either.

If anybody's really considering this, feel free to post to my Journal, and I'll try to provide my objective view from personal experience/knowledge. Some of the well known hospitals : Wockhardt [] (cardiac), also google for "manipal hospital", "bombay hospital", "NIMHANS"(mental hospital :) for the trolls).

Just my $0.02.

well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604558)

India is far (2, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604566)

Perhaps for a routine non-emergency procedure this is a great choice. My Indian buddies tell me it takes 24 hours to get to India from Los Angeles, so this is definitely not for emergency procedures.

I've been doing this for years (2, Interesting)

yuri82 (236251) | more than 9 years ago | (#10604572)

Of course it helps that Im from Brazil, but I live in the US and I go back home once a year
and get all my dental work done and any blood tests/whatever for maybe a 1/8 of the price I would pay here.
I have been to a dentist in the US and IMO the Brazilian ones are much better...
I have family members down there who got hair implants/breast implants/eye surgery/whatever for a much lower price than it costs here and they are all still alive, well, and had no problems with the work performed...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account