Before I left the US in 2010 I started to take the advice of my doctor before snapping back into my own world. I got a tooth taken care of and one in the series of Hep. B vaccine. Then when I broke a tooth on a buff mo;mo I learned a valuable lesson; I could have used the dental money on my flight to Nepal and still had money left over.
I wonder if I would have accepted an offer to fly to Nepal to get such things taken care of if such an offer would have been available. On the one hand, American doctors are held accountable if they have an 'oops' moment, Nepali doctors probably aren't. OK, good point. It's not worth anything if you end up getting the wrong tooth pulled or something worse. Things can go wrong anywhere, but when you travel disasters can cost a lot more than money.
To illustrate the point of how bad things can get, one tourist friend told me about his experiences. First, a dentist damaged his jaw bone and he had to have dental surgery to have three bone pieces removed when he got back to Finland.
The second experience was equally discouraging for him. He got kidney stones and went to a world renown doctor with a kidney clinic in Kathmandu. This operation would cost a Nepali only $200, but the doctor wanted to charge a tourist price of $2,000. My friend went back to Finland where he got it done for free. This procedure is the one where they only cut a two inch incision, state-of-the-art: $200.
The irony is that if my friend would have been from the US he would have realized what a bargain it was. Another friend had both eyes operated on by another world renown doctor for under $300. They used state-of-the-art lazar equipment and the results were excellent.
My thought is that everyone needs to weigh the risks and understand how to select the right doctor or hospital. Also, please understand that if you go to a developing nation and randomly walk into a hospital because you heard it's all really cheap, well, you just might not walk out. It's important to take responsibility and do your homework. Additionally, Nepal is definitely not for elective surgery that is high risk.
What is Nepal's healthcare good for?
Dental care: If you have teeth that need to be straightened somewhat, but not majorly, you can get Invisalign tooth adjustment treatment/apparatus from Nepal. The cost will be about $500, but might require you to come back for the adjustments. So, if a person has a small problem it might be worth $500 and another trip to Nepal. I'd suggest exploring this as soon as you arrive so you can make sure you have a good fit. Then, on your last day in Nepal you should see the dentist again.
If your teeth have been neglected and now it's time to take care of them, Nepal can be a good place to get things done. I had a root canal in the US done before I left the country and finally got it done properly in Nepal. It cost less than $250 plus transportation. Now I go to a better place and have had even better results, written about in other blog posts.
Medical testing is discreet in Nepal; they do not even ask for your passport for ID. Sometimes it can be difficult to upgrade your insurance policy when symtoms crop up. I've even seen the MRI splice offered here. Before symtoms begin there may be something a person can do if they know about such a weakness. For example, is your liver more fatty than most people at your age? Are both kidneys of equal size and health? Do aneurysms run in your family? Wouldn't it be good to know about such a potential health hazard before symptoms show up?
On-going health issues such as chronic pain or inflamation conditions such as lupus can be treated here for much less than your insurance deductible. By coming to Nepal in August, you could stay until the end of March and then come back in November. We could easily send medication via UPS or DHL. Then you could have a check-up with your Nepali doctor.
You may have heard about counterfeit medications. Although it can be a concern, use the guidelines in this post to know how to tell the bad from the good.
There are several excellent articles on the internet about counterfeit drugs and how to tell if they are genuine.
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