For those with the means and the opportunity, traveling to another country to undergo medical procedures—otherwise known as medical tourism—could be a viable option.
A media release from Claus Thorhauge suggests that in one country in particular—Denmark—healthcare costs may be lower there than in the United States.
Per the release, a case study performed to examine the costs of knee joint replacement surgery in Denmark notes that the price to undergo the procedure in Denmark at a professional, private hospital (including travel to the country for the patient and one relative, car hire, and Airbnb-level accommodation for 3 weeks) is estimated to be about $9,000 USD.
The comparative procedure performed at a US hospital (Colorado or Alaska) is estimated to be about $40,000 to $45,000 USD.
Other figures quoted in the release include the estimation that health expenses are 10.4% of GDP in Denmark, compared to 16.4% of GDP in the US; and that if long term care is excluded from the healthcare expenses total, it is almost twice as expensive to run a healthcare system in the United States than in Denmark—7.9% of GDP in Denmark, compared to 15.5% of GDP in the US.
“Drug treatment is very expensive, the wages in the health care sector is much higher in USA compared to Denmark, and the administration costs are extremely high – about a third of the budget, says professor in health economics Jakob Kjellberg, at the Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, in the release.
Despite the differences in price, the United States, Switzerland, and Denmark are all top ranked concerning patient satisfaction, according to the International Social Survey Programme, per the release.
The release also describes the experience of Alaska residents Mary Webb and her mother, Nene. Both traveled to Denmark so that Mary could undergo knee surgery.
Nene opines about the experience in the release: “The surgery was about a fourth or a fifth of the price in Denmark, compared to USA. My daughter had minimal pain, quick healing, and we were pleased by the friendliness.”
[Source: Claus Thorhauge]