Let’s face it, healthcare in America is becoming a disaster.
Costs are skyrocketing. Dealing with health insurance is a nightmare. The best doctors don’t even take insurance.
Fortunately, healthcare is becoming a global market–and cheap, quality, healthcare exists on the other side of the world. It’s even geared towards people fleeing broken systems in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and the Middle East.
The idea of flying to Thailand to get a boob job might sound intimidating, but it’s not as hard or scary as you think.
It’s the free market at work, solving problems we appear to be congenitally unable to solve here. And the results can be good!
So in case you’ve had it up to here with American healthcare, here’s another option.
Thai medical tourism is far simpler than you might imagine.
The first step is to search for providers online, just as you'd do for a U.S. doctor.
Thailand's well developed medical tourism industry has tons of private hospitals and clinics aimed at foreign visitors.
Quality can vary greatly between companies, so go for the largest, most established providers.
You might be surprised what's out here. Some hospitals are of a far higher standard than hospitals in the U.S..
For example, Bumrungrad Hospital is run by a team of American ex-Tenet Healthcare (THC) executives and is arguably one of the most efficient private hospitals in the world.
They treat over 1.2 million patients per year, 430,000 of which are medical tourists.
Microsoft was so impressed with Bumrungrad that it recently bought the company's healthcare management software, developed by Bumrungrad-related company Global Care Solutions, as a testament to Bumrungrad's best-in-class computerized system.
Both Bumrungrad and competitor Bangkok Dusit Medical are listed on the Thai stock exchange, under the Bloomberg tickers 'BH TB' and 'BGH TB'.
When it comes to breast enhancement, we were pleasantly surprised that there are many variations when it comes to shape, volume, shell surface, and thickness.
Conveniently, you can even try-out different sizes before you buy, through the use of special gel-filled bras you can wear.
You'll most likely find any of the latest technology that exists back home.
Many Thai surgeons have a substantial amount of plastic surgery experience due to the high volume of medical tourists and local clients.
They frequently have U.S. medical educations to boot.
Both they and their nurses will almost surely speak English, and Thai culture is inherently polite and respectful.
Still, it makes sense to ask around for second opinions.
In this regard, our rigorous survey of the red light district showed general satisfaction, though highlighted that it's best to pay up for the latest technology. Definitely stay away from the cheapest providers.
You're going to have these things for the rest of your life -- so don't skimp.
It's all pretty cheap in Thailand anyways...
In the U.S., the all-in cost for a breast enhancement can range from $4,000 - $10,000.
In one of Thailand's top hospitals, it can cost just 90,000 Thai Baht, or about $2,600. Thus for high end treatment options, it's well worth the ~$1,000 plane ticket, you might even be able to find a package deal.
Such cost competitiveness exists for all kinds of surgery, beyond plastic surgery alone.
So the price is right, but scared to travel abroad?
Good news. Medical tourists don't even need to know anything about Thailand.
Many companies offer airport pickup, travel accommodations, shopping, guides, and anything else you might want, just like a full-service travel agent would.
Just dress appropriately, it gets hot over here.
Once you've arrived in Thailand and been chauffered from the airport, you'll probably find that your hospital looks a bit like a hotel.
We've spoken with Bumrungrad management on this in the past. They literally copy features of hotels and apply them to their hospitals.
Most importantly, as a customer of a private for-profit business, you'll be treated like a five-star hotel guest.
In Bumrungrad's case, you even get free Wifi in their facility.
Thus you'll be able to live blog your surgery and send us the pics.
They also have international chains such as Starbucks and McDonalds, a huge selection of Western restaurants nearby, and and on-site spa.
While we haven't yet partaken in a boob job, we've depended on Thailand's private healthcare for years.
It's generally excellent, and wealthy foreign residents deliver babies in Thailand's top hospitals without concern.
Regardless, everyone should obviously do their own due diligence on hospitals and doctors. Even the best hospitals can have complications and surgery is a major decision.
Though once you're recovering, Thailand is a great place to be...
Thailand's many islands are just a short plane hop away.
Five star hotels in Bangkok are relatively cheap as well, in the range of $150 U.S.
So go recover from your boob job in style.
The above is a beach-front room on the island of Samui.
Definitely use the trip as an opportunity to track down Marc Faber up in Chiang Mai.
He can tell you how the U.S. economy will collapse and perhaps convince you to stay in Thailand forever.
Worst case, just settle for a beer with me in Bangkok.
Once you return home, enjoy your new found faith in real private healthcare.
You'll realise just how broken the U.S. system is.
You'll be back.
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