Medical Tourism...? There are as I see it three different types of Medical Services in Colombia... First is paying costs out of pocket, going directly to specialists etc and paying ridiculously low prices. Second is a government susidized plan, EPS, where you have to wait a short while to see a specialist after being sent by a GP, pay absurdly low prices,, and third, relying on expat or foreign insurance. BTW, Medicare coverage does not go overseas.
I am writing about the interface of the individual...me... with the medical establishment in Medellin and in beautiful suburban Northern California where I lived before coming here to Medellin. Just an example... complete medical services here cost me and all of my family about $89 per month. For that I get all my appointments, lab tests, specialists seen and done within one week. Today my doctor got me in five minutes late and spent about 25 minutes with me.. copay Cop 2,400.. less than a dollar. In Kaiser Plan in CA all copays are $20 or more but the service? In the US the doctors hop from exam room to exam room... try to catch them with a question. Kaiser was a little better... both private and Kaiser are extremely expensive with massive copays. Appts with specialists take three weeks to get after they are approved on recs from GP. The approval may take up to two weeks. Waiting time in the pharmacy under my plan for medications is shorter in the US than in Colombia, but how can you beat an 87Cent copay for ALL, not each, of my medications? And it is not that much shorter. A pill that costs $300 for a month's supply in the US can be obtained for $35 dollars over the counter without a prescription ,,, and under my plan here it is included in the copay above. Oh yes, and doctor visits in the home and any necessary ambulance services..$69 per month US. They are on time, and they smile.
And, since Colombia is a civilized country, EVERYONE IS COVERED. EPS is free to the unemployed. All maternity services are included.
The plan is subsidized by the government. But even so, taxes are ridiculously low... No AMA, no Big Pharma Lobby.. No obscene profits on medications. Doctors do not live in mansions. Many of my doctors speak English and a few were trained in the US, Canada, and Cuba. My high end ophtalmologic surgeon bikes to work. The clinics are modern, many brand new, spotless and orderly. Hospitals are good to luxurious and top rated. EPS covers emergency situations. Dental care is included. Psychological care is included... If you have a choice you would have to be nuts, IMHO, to put up with the nonsense of medicine in the US. A vacation to Medellin would pay for itself if you need a major interface with medicine.