In February, Jonathan Reeder had never heard of medical tourism. But today, he sings praises to one such medical tourism company WorldMedAssist.com for finding him an affordable option for the prostate surgery he needed.
Reeder knew when he left his dental practice in Houston to do dental contract work, he'd either need to self-insure or find an affordable private pay policy. While researching his options, he got alarming news from his doctor: his PSA test results had soared from an alert-level 5 to alarm-level 8. This put him into the dreaded category of "pre-existing condition," and therefore uninsurable.
When his biopsy came back positive for prostate cancer in February, he had three alternatives: watch and wait, radiation, or surgery. Wanting to get this behind him as quickly as possible, he chose surgery. Then came more bad news: The surgeon's fee alone would cost $36,000. "Who knows what the total would have been by the time you add in hospital fees, anesthesiologist, tests, but probably around $50,000." Reeder said.
His wife remembered an article they'd both read in AARP Magazine about medical tourism a few years earlier. Searching online under medical tourism, he found several companies offering to coordinate all details of his radical prostatectomy.
"Some websites were clumsy, some people I contacted were too aggressive, some had such broken English I couldn't understand them," Reeder recalled. "I finally landed on http://www.WorldMedAssist.com. I got in touch with Wouter Hoeberechts, the CEO, who did a lot of research on my options, hoping we could find a place that would do laparoscopic surgery using a robotic arm. Turns out, this was not an option for me."
"Both my family physician and urologist checked out WorldMed Assist's recommendation, and both agreed this was a good choice," Reeder said. "The doctor is UK board certified, had a stellar reputation. I have a lot of friends and relatives whose U.S. physicians are from India, so I wasn't at all nervous about my decision -- I knew India had a reputation for high quality medicine, and I learned that ApolloHospital was affiliated with Johns Hopkins."
The surgery was scheduled for May 9. "All I had to do was make the payment, book my travel and get on the plane. WorldMed Assist's travel agency partner, Carson Wagonlit, got me a great fare, with good connections," Reeder said. "WorldMed Assist set up phone consultations with my doctor in India and transferred my medical records. All I had to do was show up."
When he arrived at India's Hyderabad airport, he was met by an executive team, who shuttled him directly to Apollo, showed him to his room, and told him to rest up for a two-day battery of pre-op tests that would begin the next morning. "I didn't have any medical procedures that first night, and they didn't even charge me for the room!" he said.
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