Cutting-Edge Care Can Give Overseas Facilities An Edge

News, Treatment — By on November 6, 2008 at 8:49 am

Doctors in some foreign countries may be more adept at some techniques that Americans want.

Though most Americans who leave home for healthcare are searching for a bargain, others are scouring the globe for leading-edge therapies or experimental treatments.

Patients unable to qualify for stem cell clinical trials in the United States, for example, are heading to facilities such as Hospital Angeles in Tijuana. The institution offers adult stem cell treatment for people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Cancer patients are attracted to Singapore, where doctors are using some innovative surgical techniques, according to Rudy Rupak, founder of Planet Hospital, a Calabasas-based medical travel company.

Critics warn of the potential for quackery and exploitation. Asia boasts a thriving illegal organ trade fueled by wealthy foreigners looking for transplants. Bogus cancer cures abound, but Rupak said, “the globalization of healthcare has made it possible for patients to review the track records of foreign doctors and hospitals and make their own decisions”.

“If you have a certain condition and you’re not getting satisfaction in this country, you can look elsewhere,” Rupak said.

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