- Please fast for at least 8 – 10 hours prior to the appointment. You may drink plain water only.
- Postpone taking any routine morning medication (except Hypertension drugs), unless advised by your doctor, until after the blood investigation.
Search Hospitals & Dental Clinics
July 2, 2018 Tweet
Centrally located in Bangkok with international accreditations, Phyathai 2 International Hospital is a top spot for medical tourism within the Southeast Asia region. It offers Health Screening Programs as well Centers of Excellence in Cardiology, Neurology, and OBGYN.
Phyathai 2 Hospital is located near the Victory Monument section of Bangkok and can be reached from the PhyaThai BTS station.
This is the link to the International Patient Webpage: http://phyathai2international.com/en/patient-service/International-Patient-Service
Get to know the hospital from their promotional video.
July 1, 2018 Tweet
Melaka is one of the most visited cities in Malaysia by tourists due to its cultural heritage, great food, and scenic location along the Straits of Melaka. It also has a top hospital for medical tourism, Mahkota Medical Center (MMC), which is located centrally in the city. Melaka is about a 1 1/2 hours drive south from Kuala Lumpur on the main North-South highway. Per their website, they service 85,000 medical tourists annually.
MMC offers an excellent and affordable Health Screening Program which is easy to combine with a holiday in the area. Check out their YouTube video which shows the types of tests their health screening package offers.
Mahkota MC Health Screening Center Website: https://www.mahkotamedical.com/centres-of-excellence-coe/wellness-centre/
June 28, 2018 Tweet
Thailand is a top destination for medical tourism with a wide range of international hospitals, including the popular Bumrungrad Hospital in central Bangkok. For many people the purpose of the medical trip is to get a health screening and then continue on with a vacation. This type of parallel tourism has become very popular. So for those who will have more mobility on their medical tourism visit to Thailand, here are great foods to try during the stay. We’ve selected options that you may not easily find in your local Thai restaurant, either!
Ground Nut Appetizer
Cheese Over Noodles
Noodles In Curry Soup
Dessert Sweets In Sugar Broth
Eggplant Dip With Crackers
Fresh Mango With Sticky Rice Dessert
Pink Tofu Soup
June 20, 2018 Tweet
As you head out to amazing destinations this summer to relax, you’ll probably be enjoying beaches in sunny destinations, foraging through immense buffets at the resorts, and taking in all of the tourist sites. But did you ever consider getting a health screening at the same time?
In fact, wellness tourism is becoming a larger portion of overall tourism. Travelers to popular vacation destinations now want to check their cholesterol levels along with soaking up the sun. What’s great is that it’s not hard to do. Many wonderful vacation spots also have top international hospitals which are accredited and offered comprehensive health screening programs.
A typical health screening only takes a couple of hours in the morning with a review with a doctor after the results are available, and you are done for another year. Getting a health screening while on vacation is so easy to do and provides so much helpful information about your well being that it may become the main reason for traveling to the destination in the future.
Getting a health screening is also an excellent first step to becoming a medical tourist without much risk involved. A health screening is a preventative activity and it also let you learn about the hospital, the doctors, and gives you a first impression of the quality of the services should you require medical procedures in the future.
So as you head out on vacation this year, check out the nearest international hospital and return feeling better than ever.
June 18, 2018 Tweet
Illnesses related to your heart are a leading cause of disease among both men and women. Many heart conditions that occur are related to lifestyle factors which can be managed to reduce the risk of long term sickness. It’s important to always look out for your heart in this way because there’s only so much it can take before it causes pain or worse. Here are several risk factors to always monitor.
The path to a healthy heart starts with measuring your vitals, getting a blood test, and observing your lifestyle habits. Once you know how you are doing with respect to the five risk factors described you can make the best decisions for the long term health of your heart. While worrying about your heart health may not seem crucial at any given time during the day, heart disease can sneak up on you if you don’t look out for your heart all of the time. A health screening at an international hospital will provide all of the information you need to make the best decisions for your heart.
June 9, 2018 Tweet
The country of Malaysia in Southeast Asia, between Singapore and Thailand, has become a major medical tourism destination for its high quality, low cost healthcare and its multilingual services including English, Malay & Indonesian, Chinese, and Indian languages. It’s also easy to access the country with excellent infrastructure and internationally recognized hospitals within the main cities.
Even though Malaysia is a small country, not all of the hospitals are located in the largest city of Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs. In fact, there are three medical tourism centers in the county that provide healthcare convenience. Kuala Lumpur has the largest offering of hospitals including awarding winning medical tourism hospitals. The second center is in Penang Island and the city of George Town which is a 45 minute flight from Kuala Lumpur or a 4 hour drive. Its a tropical island setting and great for vacationers but it also has several top hospitals. The third center is Melaka which is about 1 1/2 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. It’s a rapidly developing city and top destination for regional medical travelers.
Malaysian private hospitals have centers of excellence in fertility, health screenings, cardiology, dentistry, orthopedics, cancer care, and tropical diseases. Here’s a bit more about each location.
Kuala Lumpur is the largest city in Malaysia and the main medical tourist hub in the country. Currently going through a boom, the city has massive suburbs, a top airport (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), and a good rapid transit system with buses, light rail, and subways. GrabCar, the digital ride hailing service, makes it easy to get around as well. The actual capital of the county is PutraJaya a planned suburban district south of the city.
Kuala Lumpur has a large range of hospitals, dental clinics, and specialty clinics where the majority of doctors and administers speak English due the British colonial legacy. Top hospitals include the internationally recognized Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Medical Center, Prince Court Medical Center, Tropicana Medical Center, Pantai Hospital, KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialists Hospital, and the National Heart Institute (Institut Jantung Negara)
There are also top fertility clinics such as TMC Fertility and a wide range of dental clinics in the hospitals and private managed. Costs are low with a Health Screening at a top private hospital costing around $400US. A dental checkup is in the range of $40US.
Penang is a large island off the coast of northwest Malaysia that’s connected by a bridge to the mainland. It used to be called the “Pearl of the Orient” and now is a major tourist destination and cruise ship port of call. It’s old town is densely packed with shop houses but the rest of the city is modern with bustling suburbs. The main beach area, Batu Ferringhi, is a pleasant beach resort enclave with top hotels.
The main city hosts several top hospitals and was one of the original medical tourist destinations in Malaysia and in Southeast Asia as its climate and relaxed atmosphere already had visitors arriving for health reasons.
Top hospitals include Gleneagles Penang, Island Hospital, and Penang Adventist Hospital. City planners are already suggesting that they turn Pengang into a medical tourist island with expanded medical care and recovery options. Penang is easily reached by air, bus, train, and it’s a four hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Melaka is a small state south of Kuala Lumpur and the main city is Melaka City. It started out as a fishing village, then came under control of the Portuguese during the Age of Exploration, and then was taken over by the British until it became part of Malaysia in 1946. It is a city and region filled with history and scenic beauty as the city is situated along the Straits of Melaka coastline with several hills overlooking the ocean.
It’s noted for its seafood cuisine as well as being a fun tourist spot and a excellent day trip from Kuala Lumpur and it hosted 16.7 million tourists in 2017. It has also become a medical tourist destination. There are several hospitals in Melaka that cater to medical tourists especially Mahkota Medical Center. Currently the majority of medical tourists to Melaka are from Indonesia. With several new hotels being constructed it’s a good place for the recovery period because of its seaside setting and relaxing atmosphere.
Start With A Health Screening
All three regions in Malaysia offer great health care and with the wide range of hospitals it’s convenient to find one that fits the needs of any medical traveler. There’s even the luxury of getting second opinions before electing to undergo surgery. The best way to get familiar with a hospital in Malaysia is to sign up for a Health Screening Program. From there you can get a feel for the hospital, doctors, the service, and receive a full analysis of your health.
May 31, 2018 Tweet
The country of Vietnam is experiencing rapid growth. A booming economy with more than 6% annual economic expansion, increased tourist visits, and rapid development of infrastructure projects. It’s good news as it catches up to other Asian Tiger nations in the region. Now, Vietnam is starting to develop itself as a Medical Tourism hub as well.
The Ho Chi Minh City (HCM) Department of Tourism released a bilingual handbook which is a guide to the medical tourism options in the city. Ten thousand copies have been printed with the names and contact info for 14 health facilities including HCM City International Hospital, HCM City Heart Institute, University Medical Center, and the Traditional Medicine Institute among others.
Per its statistics, there were 80,000 tourists who came to Vietnam for health checks and treatment and spent $2 Billion. In HCM City alone there were 40,000 health tourists. The tourism department plans to promote the offerings in nearby markets such as Cambodia and Laos which have traditionally been markets for Thailand.
Vietnam has a number of quality public and private hospitals with capable doctors and low cost treatment and can be a good option for visitors traveling to the country for vacation and who want to tie in a Health Screening at the same time. For most visitors, Vietnam requires a Visa so check with their consulate in your country before planning your trip to this emerging medical tourism destination.
May 27, 2018 Tweet
Many couples today are having children later in life which may make it more difficult to become pregnant. Those who have very busy lives may also find it hard due to stress and lifestyle factors. A new trend is emerging to solve this problem. It’s to go on a ‘procreation vacation’ to a relaxing vacation spot to try to get pregnant or to use the services of a fertility clinic.
Fertility experts contend that for those that are having trouble getting pregnant, it may be easier to go on vacation to a relaxing location as the body my respond better to the soothing environment. This may have more of an impact on those who wish to bear children later in life.
For those that have tried to conceive and are still having trouble, there are fertility clinics in some vacation areas that may be able to start the process. Here are three that have gained a strong reputation.
Barbados – Barbados Fertility Center
Barbados is an island in the Caribbean that has beautiful beaches and clear waters. It’s also becoming a popular vacation spot. It may be your perfect spot for a procreation vacation. Barbados Fertility Center is an internationally accredited fertility clinic that opened in 2002 that has had thousands of success stories. They combine modern fertility medicine with holistic treatments. The stress free environment of the island helps, too.
Spain – IVF Spain
Spain is still one of the most popular vacation spots in Europe. The sunny weather, easy going culture, and great food make is a popular destination. In the southeastern coast of Spain, called the Costa Brava, is the city of Alicante, a popular beach destination. It’s also home to IVF Spain, a leading fertility clinic. This clinic offers personalized treatment with empathy and respect. They treat the fertility effort as a journey and offer top doctors.
Malaysia – TMC Fertility
Malaysia is a hot spot for vacationers now with its multicultural environment, great food, and tropical paradise locale. Beautiful islands, lagoons, and beaches are easily accessible and fun to enjoy with fresh coconut water anytime. It’s also home to an award winning fertility center – TMC Fertility. Located in the Tropicana Medical Center in Petaling Jaya, a suburb of the booming city of Kuala Lumpur, it’s highly rated and offers a wide range of fertility treatments. Its success rate is 66% and it offers superior patient support.
May 24, 2018 Tweet
Bariatric surgery has become more popular for its weight loss success. But it’s not a simple procedure. It requires modification of an internal organ – the stomach – for the treatment to be successful. For this reason, you should only seek top doctors at accredited and established international medical centers for this surgery.
Bariatric surgery is also called weight loss surgery because the surgery makes the stomach smaller so the patient will eat less food. Hormonal changes also occur that affect the appetite so you are less hungry during the day. For many people it’s helped them manage their weight better which is important. Research suggests that people who have a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30 are considered obese and obesity results in chronic illness over time and shorter life spans. For those that can’t get their BMI to healthy levels, this procedure may aid longevity.
Bariatric surgery should be considered for those with a BMI of 40 or higher. At this level, people are considered morbidly obese which puts them at much greater risk for long term health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, and fatty liver disease. It should also be considered for those who have not had success with other weight loss techniques, especially diet and exercise.
Here are three common types of bariatric surgery:
If you have a BMI above 40 and are considering bariatric surgery, review the risks as well. Like any procedure there are risks to modifying the stomach which can cause complications. However, at established hospitals that have Centers of Excellence dedicated to Bariatric Surgery, the risks can be very low. Make sure to review the success rates at the hospitals you’re considering first.
Patients are required to stay at the hospital one night and the recovery period is usually two weeks but it can vary. There may be some discomfort and soreness after the procedure when it’s done properly by trained doctors.
There are many factors that cause obesity and it’s not just limited to diet. Because morbid obesity can cause serious health complications, if you have difficulty reducing your BMI below 30, then research the options for weight loss surgery and always seek treatment at a top medical institution.
If you are traveling to tropical countries over the summer, then it’s always good to be cautious regarding dengue fever. Dengue is transmitted by mosquitos and causes headaches, fever, vomiting, joint pain, and a skin rash. When it becomes severe it can lower blood pressure to the point where the body can’t operate. Most people recover from it within two to seven days, but it may require a hospital stay.
For this reason, if you’ve been bitten, you may become a medical tourist whether you want to or not. Most international hospitals in tropical countries are well equipped to handle dengue infections as more than 60 million people are infected each year. It usually requires an overnight stay as blood platelets are monitored along with blood pressure and the patient is kept hydrated.
There are four strains of dengue and some people get it multiple times. However, the successive infections can lead to hemorrhaging. Therefore, the best way to avoid dengue is to stay clear of areas with high concentrations of mosquitos. Standing water tends to be a breeding ground for dengue carrying mosquitoes, so always be aware of your environment. Water runoff in drains along streets in tropical cities can be risky. Make sure to cover up as much as possible and apply mosquito repellent constantly.
Areas particularly challenged by dengue are Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Also parts of Africa, northeastern Australia, and northern countries in South America such as Colombia and Venezuela have high concentrations of dengue outbreaks. So don’t let dengue ruin your vacation and always travel safe!
May 21, 2018 Tweet
While there are many amazing international hospitals available to treat every medical condition, some patients may choose to try alternative medicine before seeking treatment from a doctor. One type of alternative medicine is Ayurvedic Treatment. Its origins are in India, especially the southern states of the country, most notably in Kerala. Ayurvedic spas and resorts are gaining in popularity as wellness destinations, but Ayurvedic hospitals also exist to treat chronic complications.
Ayurveda is the healing practice in India that was developed before modern medicine. Its purpose is to restore balance in the body and it does this with herbal oils that are applied to the body along with diet, exercise, yoga, and lifestyle improvements. While the scientific research on Ayurvedic medicine is limited, it has been used to treat stress, diet related problems and chronic illness conditions. It’s also been used by patients recuperating from the effects of surgery or cancer treatment. It can be applied for body care and rejuvenation like a spa treatment as well.
India has both Ayurvedic resorts for casual spa-like treatments for those who want to try it out and get the feel of an Ayurvedic session and see if it has wellness benefits to them. Kerala is also home to Ayurvedic hospitals where the treatments are intended for actual healing of chronic conditions or recovery from a hospital procedure.
Whichever Ayurvedic treatment you choose to enjoy, it’s good to know the 5,000 years of learning and knowledge have gone into the practice and the benefits just may help you feel better and put you in a good state of mind.
If you are passionate about preventative health, you may want to consider an Upper GI Endoscopy. This procedure allows technicians and doctors to view the lining of the upper digestive tract. This includes the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and upper intestine.
It’s useful to detects gastrointestinal (GI) disease such as cancer, ulcers, complications from acid reflux or GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, inflammation, and strictures in the esophagus. Many of these conditions can be diet related. However, even with a high quality diet, it does no harm to check out your upper GI tract with this simple procedure to detect an potential complications.
If you do have conditions such as problems swallowing, constant heartburn, bleeding, then it’s worth having the examination. It’s also hard to technicians to detect issues with the stomach without being able to physically view its interior. The Upper GI Endoscopy is the easiest way to do that.
Many international hospitals offer an Upper GI Endoscopy as an extension to a Health Screening Program. It’s a procedure that can be added on to the other tests while your are at the hospital. The test may require minor sedation. During the procedure a thin flexible tube with a camera is guided into your mouth and down your throat and finally into the stomach to observe the lining of each section.
During the procedure the doctor may also take biopsies and remove polyps. So it’s important to find out exactly what the doctor intends to do with the procedure before it starts. However, accruing to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, it’s a low risk procedures that can have a variety of preventative health benefits.
May 18, 2018 Tweet
The summer travel season is approaching and it may be bigger than ever. More people are traveling around the world to exotic locations to enjoy unique experiences from the local cultures and cuisines to postcard style resorts and excursions. Many of these exotic locations also happen to have some of the best international hospitals in the world. It’s a great opportunity for vacationers to spend a couple hours to go through a preventative health screening program without much effort and return home with a complete review of their health.
Now, it may not sound like the most wonderful thing to do on a vacation – going to a hospital and spending time getting pricked by needles and taking urine samples. However, since most people are so busy back at home, it’s actually a very good to do a health screening programs. It only takes a couple hours in the morning with a review with the doctor a bit later in the day and you have a full analysis of your health condition.
If you a haven’t had a health screening at an international hospital and are skeptical about it’s value and if it’s any better than a physical or check up at home, you may be surprised. The health screening programs at international hospitals are very comprehensive and include all blood work, vitals, and heart stress tests, but also chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasounds, cancer marker tests, and bone density analysis. Plus you can add on additional tests such as a colonoscopy, mammogram, or upper GI endoscopy.
The cost is not expensive compared to similar tests in the U.S. and western Europe and it’s a great way to combine fun and health at the same time. Check out hospitals for health screening packages in these popular vacation spots:
Search hospitals on ClinicTrip.com to find Health Screening Programs in these locations.
May 17, 2018 Tweet
If you’ve planned a medical trip to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to one of it’s top hospitals, you’ll probably get a chance to indulge in the local food. There are a variety of fun foods to try if it’s your first time to the country. Malaysia is known for it’s incredible food choices and flavors so it will be a great experience.
Malaysian food is a mixture of the cuisines of the various cultural groups that live there including the Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western influences. For breakfast, try the Indian and Tamil dish called Roti Canai. It’s a fried bread that’s flakey and served with dahl and chicken curry along with a sambal chili sauce. You can have it cooked with an egg, banana, onions, garlic, and other ingredients.
Similar to Roti Canai, you can order Paper Dosai which is thin like a crepe, but crispy and rolled up. You break off pieces and dunk it into coconut chutney, tomato chutney, or dahl. A great breakfast!
When you’re ready for lunch, don’t miss a famous Malaysian dish – Curry Mee. Mee means noodles and they are cooked in a bowl of curry with tofu and a variety of vegetables. This is a filling meal.
You’ll also find plenty of vegetarian options in Malaysia. Some Buddhist temples even serve vegetarian buffets for lunch.
For dinner, try a light Malay village (Kampong) style dish with rice and veggies cooked in coconut milk. Nuts are usually served as well. This is also served with fried chicken or fish if desired.
Lastly, you can always rely on fried noodles done in a Cantonese style. Just order Mee Goreng for a tasty treat. If you order Maggie Goreng, you’ll get ramen style noodles. Be careful of the hot chili peppers.
Enjoy your food adventures during your medical travels to Malaysia!
Sunway Medical Center located in Petaling Jaya, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, recently launched a new Wellness Center facility. You can view it on their Facebook Page:
Sunway Medical Center is a private hospital which recently won the Global Health and Travel 2018 APAC Healthcare & Tourism Award for Medical Tourism Hospital of the Year in the Asia Pacific region.
Sunway’s Health Packages include a variety of options for Men, Women, General Wellness, Stroke Screening, Heart Screening, and Blood Screening.
The treatments includes History & Clinical Examinations, Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure Screening, Thyroid Screening, Full Blood Count and many more, to help you manage symptoms such as ischemic heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and other diseases.
Sunway recommends the following tips to prepare for a Health Screening:
View web page:
Important notes/Preparation before appointment:
Things to bring:
How long will the screening take?
The duration of each health screening package varies. On average, the entire health screening process including medical examination by a doctor will take between 2 – 4 hours depending on the health screening package selected.
A complimentary refreshment voucher will be provided for your enjoyment and convenience.
You can contact the Wellness Center by email: email@example.com
March 29, 2018 Tweet
The ClinicTrip team recently visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to explore top hospitals and clinics around Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, and to get a sense of the growth of medical tourism to the country. A recent article by Forbes that described five spots which are booming in Asia for tourism included Malaysia as one of the top five because of the increase in travel to the country for health care.
While 70% of outbound medical tourism is for health and wellness spa trips, a growing portion is for more medical and dental related trips. The top treatments in Malaysia are IVF (fertilization), cardiology (heart), orthopedics (joints), physical rehabilitation, cosmetic surgery, urology, and oncology (cancer). With English widely spoken due to its British colonial history, it’s easy to communicate wherever you go, especially in the hospitals. Visitors are also attracted by the nice recovery locations taking advantage of the nearby beaches, tropical islands, lush rainforest, and sunny weather. The food is also a plus offering a variety of Malay, Cantonese, South Indian, Western, and vegetarian cuisines.
The majority of medical travelers are from Indonesia, IndoChina, Japan, and China, with a growing portion from Bangladesh, the Middle East, and the UK. The modern airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) which now has a medical tourism lounge, an effective light rail transportation system through the city, and the ease of using ride hailing apps such as GrabCar, make it easy for visitors from all countries to access the medical services. The exchange rate advantage of the Ringgit makes the living costs and medical costs affordable for most travelers as well.
Our first visit was to Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur Hospital which has been ranked a top international hospital. It’s located just northeast of the city center in the Ampang area of the city, just off Ampang Road (Jalan Ampang). Many embassies are located in Ampang, along with new condo buildings, restaurants, a polo club, sports clubs, and malls. The hospital recently completed a new building on its campus – Building B – which hosts the Health Screening Center on Level 5 along with a Sports Medicine and Physical Rehab center. On the first floor is a Breast Care Center and Neuroscience Center. The ground floor has several restaurants.
We explored the Health Screening Center along with the restaurants on the ground floor. It’s an amazing building and the hospital is easy to navigate. The health screening program covers a wide range of tests and the doctors can connect patients to specialists if needed. It’s comfortable and the nurses are friendly. The overall experience and detailed results from the screening was excellent.
You can view the Health Screening Packages at this link: Gleneagles Health Screening Packages
After the Health Screening Program we ate at Charms restaurant on the ground floor which had great local and Western food options. It was spacious and service was quick. Next to Charms is O’Briens, a popular coffee shop and sandwich deli chain in Malaysia. We tried the hummus wrap which was delicious. For those who enjoy Starbucks, there’s one at the main entrance.
After our visit to Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur concluded, we walked across the street to the mall called Great Eastern Mall or G-Mall to those living near it. It had more fun restaurants, a grocery store, drug and convenience store, along with a healthy living expo on the main floor.
It was a great experience and a popular hospital for medical travelers, expats, and locals alike. You can visit the hospital’s website at: http://gleneagleskl.com.my
March 26, 2018 Tweet
If you schedule a typical checkup with your doctor, it usually includes an inspection of your vitals and may or may not include blood analysis. However, if you visit an international hospital for a Health Screening Program, it usually includes vitals, blood work, and an Abdominal Ultrasound among other tests to inspect the organs of your abdomen and pelvis. It’s a very useful test to determine if there are any irregularities with these organs so that the appropriate health remedies can be applied.
If you don’t get this level of analysis during your annual physical or check up, consider an Health Screening Program at an international hospital. It’s an excellent preventative health service. It’s also a great first step if you plan on being a medical tourist because it gives you an easy way to learn about the hospital and the doctors before you have a more complicated treatment.
Here is a list of the what is observed during an abdominal ultrasound.
March 19, 2018 Tweet
As medical tourism continues to grow and becomes a larger portion of the overall travel industry, the signs of the future are already appearing. While medical tourism is defined as a patient traveling outside their home country for health care, the future of this trend may lead to travelers finally buying a condo next to the hospital so that they can live permanently next to the medical center.
Called medical living, the trend appears to already be taking shape. In the SE Asian country of Malaysia, which hosts several top rated international hospitals for medical tourists, condos are being built right next to the hospitals and they’re filling up quickly with international buyers. The buyers are not necessarily sick or needing urgent medical care, but they realize the benefits of having a top hospital easily accessible as a part of the living experience.
The low costs of treatment and ease of access to specialists and health screening programs makes it very convenient for those wanting a living situation with ultra simple access to top health care. With an aging and mobile population seeking better health care, the condos near to hospitals is an attraction retirement options.
As an example, the popular and top rated hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Gleneagles Hospitals has several condo towers being build next to it. Condo owners can simply walk next door to the hospital at any time and enjoy the services without any effort. With this trend and new style of living, hospitals will play a larger and more valuable role in peoples’ lives especially as they focus more on preventative health measures and quick care when a problem arises.
March 17, 2018 Tweet
When some medical travelers arrive in the destination country, they may not have researched which hospital or clinic they plan to visit. They are aware of the services available, but lack the tools to actually find and compare the options. The lack of diligence can lead to issues with the quality of medical providers these medical tourists finally choose.
To overcome this situation, Malaysia’s health tourism organization called Malaysia Health Tourism Council (MHTC) has established two medical tourism concierges and lounges at the country’s two airports closest serving it’s popular medical travel destinations – Kuala Lumpur International Airport – KLIA (KUL) and Penang International Airport (PEN).
According to their website, they aim to be the first point of contact for many traveller’s health journey in Malaysia. They concierges offer personalized welcome and escort upon arrival, a one-stop info center for medical care options, information to walk-in medical tourists, and facilitation of transport and accommodation to medical travelers in Malaysia. In addition, the lounges provide a comfortable place for medical travelers to rest and wait for their scheduled pick-ups.
The lounges are located in KLIA in the Arrival Hall at Gate 5 and Gate 8. You can also call the MHTC call center from 9am to 6pm local time, Monday through Friday for assistance.
March 3, 2018 Tweet
In Carolina Medical Center we treat disc hernias with minimally invasive method – injection of DiscoGel (implantable medical device based on jellified ethanol in which an opaque agent in X-rays, check information on the product here:
There are certain limitations of using this treatment method – hernia of level 1-4 in Pfirmann classification (the fibrous ring is unbroken, the height of the disc space is collapsed in less than 50%, protuberance visible on lateral MRI is not greater than 30-40% in the light of the vertebral canal – more information: https://radiopaedia.org/articles/mri-classification-system-for-lumbar-disc-degeneration), therefore to be able to decide if the patient qualifies for DiscoGel injection, the doctor must see his actual recent MRI images.
More information: https://carolina.pl/en/discogel/
Carolina Medical Center is an orthopaedic clinic and hospital situated in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, in a new 15 story building and it occupies 7 floors. There are 4 operating theatres in the hospital, each of them equipped with octagonal laminar air conditioning system which protects not only a patient but all medical team from bacteria during the operation.
One of the floors is dedicated to the post-operative ward where there are 21 single and double bedrooms, all with bathrooms, TV, telephone, internet connection and catering services provided.
The Diagnostic Imaging Centre is also located in the hospital building and performs prompt diagnostic tests using:
Our clinic provides post-operative care as we have created Physiotherapy Centre and Physical Movement Centre. The physiotherapy room is about 530 square meters (5 705 square feet) in size, outfitted with a balance platform with biofeedback, a Red Cord system for joint stabilization and sports rehabilitation, a Power Plate, equipment for functional and forcible training and equipment for physical treatment, to name a few.
February 13, 2018 Tweet
Health screenings are an excellent way to catch health problems early on and seek the appropriate medical treatment quickly. Top international hospitals offer health screening programs and many have dedicated health screening centers. From the center, your designated doctor can recommend specialists and be a source of information for you about your health and the hospital. Here are five private hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, which are recognized international hospitals, along with links to the health screening packages. Contact the hospitals directly for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur
Prince Court Medical Center
Sunway Medical Center
Subang Jaya Medical Center
KPJ Ampang Specialist Hospital
December 8, 2017 Tweet
I just visited Malaysia again for my annual health check up and it was efficient and affordable as expected. I combined it with a vacation that I took there as I’m familiar with the country and like visiting Kuala Lumpur. My health screening at a private hospital in the Ampang area of Kuala Lumpur was $331. It included a range of preventative tests that I would not have received in the U.S. (even with insurance) including an abdominal ultrasound which allows the doctor to visually examine the liver, kidneys, pancreas, gall bladder, lower portion of the aorta (for plaque build up), and the prostate.
In the same hospital, I also visited a dermatologist to get a skin health screening since I live in a very sunny climate. The cost for a very thorough exam and consolation with the specialist was $75. The administrators at the health screening center set it up for me very quickly.
My last appointment was with a dentist in the central part of the city that I’ve visited before and for a dental checkup and teeth cleaning. The cost was $40 and it went very quickly with no wait time in the office. The dental clinic was in a small mall.
The total for all of the appointments was $446 and it was a very easy and convenient to combine everything with my vacation. I’m also happy to have established relationships with the doctors and dentists who were friendly and very helpful. Based on my experience, I consider Malaysia a very good option for medical care for those who live there and for medical travel for those who plan to visit the country.
November 18, 2017 Tweet
When you go through a health screening program at an international hospital, an abdominal ultrasound is usually one of the tests included. The ultrasound takes images your abdominal organs to determine their visual health. One condition they are able to detect is fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is a liver illness that occurs when too much fat is stored in the liver cells.
The impact of fatty liver disease can be inflammation of the liver which can lead to scarring of the liver tissue, cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure when too much scarring occurs. In the United States, fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver illness which affects as many as 100 million people according to the Mayo Clinic.
Fatty liver disease if more common in people aged 40 to 50 years and can be caused by obesity, high blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes, and excessive alcohol use. Initially there may be no outward symptoms, but if the disease progresses, then symptoms may include fatigue, an enlarged liver, and pain in the upper right abdomen.
Risk factors include high cholesterol, high levels of tryglycerides in the blood, and obesity. To prevent fatty liver disease it is recommended to eat healthy with a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nut, and legumes. It is also helpful to maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
As mentioned, an abdominal ultrasound can help detect if fatty liver disease is present and if the liver is experiencing any inflammation as a result. Most international hospitals offer the abdominal ultrasound test as part of a health screening program and a yearly screening can help detect the disease at its early stages.
November 9, 2017 Tweet
According to an article in the New Straits Times, Malaysia continues to grow as a top destination for medical tourism. Revenue derived from 200 private hospitals, especially from a smaller group of elite hospitals is increasing. This has been helped as these hospitals market themselves for medical tourism in the region and across the globe.
The elite hospitals include Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Prince Court Medical Center, Sunway Medical Center, Subang Jaya Medical Center, and Tropicana Medical Center.
Many of these hospitals have garnered international recognition through awards and because Malaysia has been listed as a top destination for international living and as a general tourist destination. Kuala Lumpur is on of the top ten fastest growing destinations for tourists.
Medical tourists to Malaysia seek health screening programs, cosmetic surgery, dental care, neurological care, cancer treatment and orthopedics. Increasingly, cardiology and IVF treatments have become centers of excellence. In addition to medical tourism, Malaysia is a location for medical living, where visitors from overseas by condos near top hospitals for retirement and medical living.
By 2020, estimates indicate that there could be 1.2 million medical tourist arrivals to Malaysia, up from roughly 900,000 in 2016.
November 6, 2017 Tweet
The nutrition team at Clinica Las Condes in Santiago, Chile, has developed healthy and flavorful recipes that allow patients to live better. Clinica Las Condes is a Joint Commission International accredited hospital in Santiago and is a part of the Johns Hopkins health network. Located in the upscale neighborhood of Las Condes, it offers a wide range of medical specialties and treatment options.
Its International Patient Center provides more information at this link. Learn more about the nutrition team from this video: “The Best Recipe”
October 31, 2017 Tweet
8 Foods to Get Your Daily Vitamins
The following eight foods may keep you healthy. Each food listed has more vitamins and minerals that you can eat as a snack instead of heading for high sugar drinks for a lift.
Low levels of vitamin B12 and folate are common in patients suffering from depression, and studies show that a lack of these essential nutrients can also inhibit the effectiveness of antidepressants. Getting the proper amount of folic acid and vitamin B12 is crucial for proper neurological function, and one cup of cooked asparagus (around 10 spears) offers 50 percent of your daily requirement.
Have the highest concentration of the trace mineral selenium; eating just four grams will provide more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake. Several studies and literature reviews provide evidence that supplementing a diet with extra selenium may help improve mood. People who lack this essential nutrient are more likely to be depressed.
The University of Maryland Medical Center claims that 90 percent of Americans don’t get enough chromium in their daily diet. A half cup of broccoli provides 11 micrograms of chromium, almost 50 percent of the recommended daily intake. This trace mineral works directly with mood regulators in the brain, and it aids in managing levels of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin.
A steaming pot of chili is a comfort that fills the soul and the tummy, especially when it’s made with kidney beans. What sets kidney beans apart from other legumes is their folate content, with one cup of cooked beans providing 58 percent of the daily recommended value. Studies dating back to the 1960s show that patients with depression often exhibit a folate deficiency.
Chilly mornings and overcast skies affect our natural intake of vitamin D, a nutrient especially important for alleviating depression as well as managing calcium in the blood, bones, and gut. Fortunately, sunlight is not the only source of vitamin D; it can also be consumed inside at the dinner table. Portabello mushroom farmers expose their crops to additional lighting, which boosts the vitamin D content by almost 3,000 percent. Increasing vitamin D intake has been used as an easy and cost-effective way to lessen the effects of depression.
Within sunflower seeds are two important mood regulating nutrients: magnesium and folate. A deficiency in magnesium can result in feelings of fatigue and nervousness, while a dearth of folate leads to irritability, depression, and insomnia. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides the body with 28 percent of the daily-recommended intake of magnesium and 20 percent of the recommended amount of folate. Use sunflower seeds in trail mixes and salads.
Pistachios are one of the healthier options. Raw pistachios are filled with essential nutrients and have a number of health benefits, helping you to control your body weight and lowering your risk for heart problems. Dry roasted pistachios provide 25 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-6, 15 percent of the daily value for thiamine and phosphorus and 10 percent of the daily value for magnesium. They may also help to lower cholesterol
Swiss chard contains magnesium, an essential mineral for neurological health. Magnesium is not prolific in the American diet because of our overreliance on refined carbohydrates that have their minerals stripped away. A deficiency in this mineral, however, can lead to a number of different mental health-related symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, confusion, and sleeplessness. Swiss chard is excellent in a raw salad and tasty cooked with lemon juice and olive oil.
Enjoy getting healthy with these great foods, seeds, and nuts!
August 9, 2017 Tweet
As India becomes a major hub for medical travelers, it’s considering ways to make it more convenient for health tourists to find top hospitals. One project involves establishing help desks at major airports to facilitate the needs of patients arriving who may not have already selected a hospital.
India’s Ministry of Tourism plans the facilitation desks at six airports starting with Mumbai in October and expanding to New Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad. These are the cities where the top hospitals exist. The centers will have trained personnel to guide patients if they have already come up with a short list of medical providers. If the patients haven’t done any research, the staff will provide them with a list of accredited hospitals in the area.
The influx of medical tourists to India is driven by low costs for world class care. In some cases treatment costs can be 10% of the cost in the U.S. However, when many patients arrive, they haven’t researched hospital choices at all and the help desks will give them a informed start so that can efficiently find the best care and not be potentially misled by paid operators within the airport or city.
August 6, 2017 Tweet
Providencia is a commune or district in Santiago, the largest city in Chile. It is a hub of commerce and upscale urban residential streets. It’s a nice area to visit and stay while in Santiago for medical tourism as it’s near to top hospitals in the city.
Two Joint Commission International accredited hospitals nearby to Providencia are Clinica Las Condes (https://www.clinicalascondes.cl/HOME) and Clinica Alemana de Santiago (https://portal.alemana.cl/wps/wcm/connect/ingles/home). Clinica Las Condes in located in the Los Condes district of Santiago which is a northeast suburb and a short subway ride from Providencia. Clinica Alemana de Santiago is also located nearby in Vitacura, a northeast suburb as well and reached easily by taxi or subway.
The advantage of staying in Providencia is having access to a wide range of hotels and vibrant city life with shops and restaurants that give Santiago much of its character. Sights to see are the Bellavista neighborhood with its colorful bohemian mix of restaurants and shops. Avenue de Providencia itself has many shops and cafes. With the high density of shops it’s easy to get daily things done prior to your treatment and afterwards during recovery.
Providencia is just east of the city center and borders San Cristobal Hill on the northern side. It’s an area well known by taxi drivers and there’s easy transportation to the main airport – Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL). Santiago is an overnight flight from the U.S. usually through Houston or Atlanta. Flights depart in the evening and arrive in the mid morning in Santiago. Returning home, flights depart in the evening from Santiago. A tourist immigration fee of $160 was previously charged upon arriving in Chile but it has been discontinued. Tourists can stay for up to 90 days with a valid passport.
July 28, 2017 Tweet
India has been at the center of health for thousands of years. Ayurvedic medicine which was developed there in the first century B.C. focuses on balance in the body and moderation of diet and lifestyle. Today, India is again at the forefront of medicine by offering top hospitals that delivery high quality medical treatment and care at very low costs.
For example, state-of-the-art heart surgery can cost as little as $1800 whereas the same surgery in the U.S. may cost $90,000. Because of the affordability, Indian doctors perform many more heart procedures, for example, than other doctors around the world. The high volume has resulted in excellent clinical outcomes.
The doctor’s experience combined with top technology and a focus on care that stems from Ayurvedic roots has put India on the map for medical tourism. Although the majority of international patients arrive from nearby countries such as Bangladesh and the Middle East, the hospitals are attracting patients from Europe and America as the benefits to visiting a top hospital in India become known.
The hubs in India for leading healthcare are Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Here are five top hospitals in India for medical tourism from these cities.
Narayana Health – Bengaluru (Bangalore)
Narayana Health was started by Dr. Devi Shetty who began as a heart surgeon, treated Mother Teresa, and founded Narayana Health in 2000. Their first hospital was in Bangalore and they now have several hospitals in the city and have expanded to more than 20 across India delivering high quality and affordable care. The hospital provides treatment in over 30 specialties with cardiology and cardiac surgery being a center of excellence. In 2016 they treated over 15,000 international patient from 78 different nationalities. Narayana Health has also opened a hospitals in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, called Health City Cayman Islands where some of its top doctors work. They have an efficient international patients center at this link: http://internationalpatientcare.narayanahealth.org
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital – New Delhi
The Apollo Hospital Group is one of the largest hospital healthcare groups in the region. It was started by Dr. Prathap Reddy in 1983 to delivery affordable healthcare to Indians with the highest quality. Since its founding it has treated 42 million patients from India and 120 other countries. It’s a pioneer in integrated health and ‘tender loving care’ for its patients. It is accredited by the Joint Commission International and its centers of excellence include cardiology, bariatric surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, organ transplant, and cancer care. Its international patients department is at this link: http://www.apollohospdelhi.com/international-contact-us
Medanta Medical City – Gurugram (New Delhi)
Medanta Medical City was found in 2009 by by Dr. Naresh Trehan who was a surgeon at NYU Medical Center. Medanta has a campus that is 2.1 million square feet and has 1,600 beds. The hospital provides services in 22 different specialties and each specialty has its own floor to create a hospital within a hospital effect. The hospital also has cross-specialty and cross functional committees to determine the best course of action for each patient. With some of the best doctors in the world, Medanta provides best in class medical care at affordable prices. They treat over 20,000 international patients per year. The International Patients department is at this link: http://www.medanta.org/international-patient/
Fortis Memorial Research Institute – Gurgaon (New Delhi)
Fortis is a large integrated healthcare provider in India. It operates hospitals across India, many of which are accredited by the Joint Commission International including Fortis in Bengaluru (Bangalore). It’s flagship hospital is the Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurgaon near New Delhi. It has some of the most advanced technology for a hospital in the world. Fortis sits on a spacious 11 acre campus with 1,000 beds. Its centers of excellence include cardiology, neurology, cancer treatment, and orthopedics. FMRI also has an extensive health screening program called Health4u. Their international patients department is at this link: https://www.fmri.in/international-patients
Asian Heart Institute – Mumbai
The Asian Heart Institute (AHI) in Bengaluru is one of the top heart hospitals in the world. The hospital was established 13 years ago and has treated over 300,000 patients with incredible success rates. For bypass surgeries the success rate is 99.83%. For cardiac surgeries the success rate is 99.4%. The hospital is JCI accredited and focuses only on the heart. The hospital has a patient centric design and it was ranked the top hospital in India for complex heart surgeries. Their international patients center is at this link: http://www.asianheartinstitute.org/international-patients/
July 21, 2017 Tweet
Central Kuala Lumpur has several top international hospitals that offer health screening programs, often promoted as Executive Health Screenings. They are very helpful and affordable preventive health programs and offer a extensive range of tests that are usually not included in a standard physical at U.S. hospitals.
For this reason, they’ve become popular among medical travelers and expats. A typical health screening program lasts a couple hours, depending on how busy it is. When you start in the morning, the tests will be finished before noon. Since results won’t be available for another couple of hours for review with the health screening doctor, it’s a nice opportunity to see the local attractions and eat. Here are four things to do while waiting for the results.
Visit KLCC Mall and Park
Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) is the location of the Petronas Twin Towers along with a large multi-level mall called KLCC Suria. There are a variety of food courts, coffee shops, and restaurants along with several adjoining hotels such as the Mandarin and Grand Hyatt. There is a large outdoor park which many of the restaurants overlook. It’s easy to spend several hours here while waiting for your health screening results.
KLCC is accessed by a short cab ride from Prince Court Medical Center, Gleneagles Hospital, KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialists Hospital, and the National Heart Institute.
Local Vegetarian Lunch at a Buddhist Temple
Because you can’t eat for 12 hours before the health screening, you are most likely very hungry after the tests. If you want to eat healthier, there is a famous and large Buddhist temple, called Dharma Realm Buddhist Monastery, which is within walking distance from KLCC that offers an expansive vegetarian lunch buffet. For very reasonable prices you can eat great food in a peaceful setting. During the lunch hour it becomes very busy, but the line moves quickly and there’s plenty of seating. You also get to try the local food styles.
Malaysian Lunch at Great Eastern Mall
Across the street, Jalan Ampang, from Gleneagles Hospital is the Great Eastern Mall, called G Mall by locals. It has a variety of nice restaurants, shops, a grocery store on the basement floor and also a money exchange kiosk. It is popular with expats living in the Ampang area and has coffee shops and events as well. If you want to try authentic Malay food, they the Cozy Corner cafe on the third floor, is enjoyable.
Japanese Village at the Pavilion Mall
A short cab ride from Prince Court Medical Center is the Pavilion Mall which is another large and fun mall in downtown Kuala Lumpur. It has a range of high end shops and food courts along with great restaurants on the top floor. It also has an authentic Japanese village on the top floor as well so you can enjoy matcha tea and sushi while waiting for your results.
If you prefer to stay at the hospital, they have nice cafeterias and coffee shops and most health screening programs will provide a voucher for lunch.
July 17, 2017 Tweet
An executive health screening at an international hospital has many benefits related to preventative health. The screening tests for a variety of health indicators including radiology tests to inspect internal organs and bones. One of the important tests performed is to measure bone thickness of the patient to determine if there is bone loss.
The test is called a Bone Densitometry (DEXA) and it is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine the risk of developing fractures. It works like an X-Ray and images the lower spine and hip.
Measurements are made on the images and compared to the bone mass of a young adult (T-Score) and the bone mass of other people in the patient’s age group (Z-Score). If the bone mass is less than the average, it will be highlighted and your risk of developing fractures will be assessed. The doctor will be able to give recommendations for increasing bone mass which may be related to diet and exercise.
Bone health is very important to monitor and this test is helpful to do that. Most people reach peak bone mass at age 30 and then experience slight loss of bone mass as they age. Many factors contribute to bone mass including diet, physical exercise, age, and hormonal levels. Maintaing a healthy bone mass will reduce the risk of fractures and changes in posture throughout the aging process and allow for optimal mobility.
July 16, 2017 Tweet
Medical tourists seeking treatment in Thailand can now stay longer. By doing so, Thailand wants to attract more medical travelers, become a world class medical hub, and continue to be a top medical and wellness tourist destination. The change is meant to increase convenience and access to medical care in the country.
The new measures have three parts:
The 14 countries included in the long-stay visa include: USA, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, France, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Denmark, and Canada.
Be sure to check with the local Thai embassy or consulate to confirm your eligibility for the new immigration policies for medical travelers before embarking on your visit.
July 15, 2017 Tweet
Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently won an award from Frost & Sullivan as the 2017 UAE Emerging Medical Tourism Provider of the year. Burjeel Hospital was established in 2012 and receives medical tourists from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as well as from many other nations.
Burjeel Hopsital provides treatment for all major medical specialties and has world class equipment, but also places a huge emphasis on the process and ‘art’ of healing which includes top care form the staff, a comfortable environment, and personalized attention. Their guest first philosophy is key element of the care.
Burjeel Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission International and was the first private tertiary hospital opened under the auspices of the standards defined by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
The hospital has 209 beds and 10 operating rooms. It provides services to international patients so that they have an efficient and comfortable experience and arranges pick up at the airport. Abu Dhabi has a world class infrastructure so the inbound medical travelers will find it convenient to travel to Abu Dhabi and Burjeel Hospital for care.
July 14, 2017 Tweet
Having completed an executive health screening at a hospital in Malaysia while working in Kuala Lumpur for a brief time last year, I was impressed with the quality of the program and had these thoughts to share about it.
As men and women today face more challenges of career and family commitments, they must take charge of their health and well-being. A Health Screening is important to do annually just as dental check up is a regular commitment as well. There are many hospitals in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand that offer health screenings for men and women where health is affordable and the quality is high.
It’s easy to make an appointment at a hospital for a wellness physical that includes several options and costs. A simple health screening includes a vitals, basic blood and urine tests, ECG, and a chest xray. Additional tests which are usually included are lung function and abdominal ultrasound.
The health screening will also include consultation and physical examination and a review of a with a physician to analyze your results. There are several other tests that can be included that apply to women or men specifically. The costs vary according to the packages and options chosen.
On the day of the test, fasting the night before is necessary to give accurate readings. Be sure to bring shorts and gym shoes for heart stress tests where you walk on a treadmill. After the health screening test are complete a free coupon for a lunch is usually given to the patient to use in the hospital’s cafe. You won’t go home hungry.
The tests are analysed and then read to the patient at a later time of the date or on another date chosen by the patient. The results of the test are kept for two to three years and if you return to the same hospital, the physician will compare results and look for trends. If you show continual improvement, then you know you are on the right track!
July 10, 2017 Tweet
Bangkok has emerged as a top international city with a rising economy and major tourist destination in Southeast Asia. Now the second largest economy in the region, it also was the most visited city in the world per a Mastercard report in 2016 with over 21 million visitors.
While many people visit Bangkok for business or to try the unique street food, a growing segment of visitors are arriving for medical care. The top hospital in the world for medical tourism, Bumrungrad International Hospital, is centrally located in Bangkok and has been the anchor for a growing list of top hospitals serving medical travelers.
Here are five top hospitals in Bangkok. The first four are located in central Bangkok.
Bumrungrad was established in 1980 by an American team with 200 beds and now is one of the largest hospitals in Southeast Asia and has 580 beds. It sees 1.2 million patients per year of which 520,000 are international patients from 190 countries. It cares for 5,000 outpatients a day and has 150 interpreters on staff to handle patients from all over the world. Bumrungrad is accredited by the Joint Commission International. The hospital is located off Sukhumvit Road at Soi 3 and has an excellent health screening program.
Bangkok Hospital was established in 1972 and was one of the first private hospitals in Thailand. It is accredited by the Joint Commission International and has branches all across the country including Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. It is centrally located in Bangkok and its centers of excellence are in cardiology and cancer care. It covers all medical specialties and has a top orthopedic center.
The Samitivej Hospital group is one of the leading private hospital groups in Southeast Asia. It has six hospitals and the Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital is its main branch located in central Bangkok. It is accredited by the Joint Commission International and has 275 beds and 400 specialists. The hospital provide services to international patients including the large expat community in Bangkok. It has a top liver and digestive center and an orthopedic center. It is located several blocks off Sukhumvit Road at Soi 49.
BNH Hospital (originally ‘British Nursing Home’ Hospital) was the first private hospital in Bangkok established in 1897. Its modern facilities were built in 1996 and it serves the local and expat community. BNH Hospital provides all medical specialties and has a top Women’s Health Center and medical Check Up center. The hospital is located just south of Lumpini Park.
Yanhee Hospital is a top hospital in Bangkok for cosmetic surgery. It was founded in 1984 and services patients from all over the world. It has 400 beds and is accredited by the Joint Commission International. Its top procedures are face lift, tummy tuck, eye lid restoration, breast augmentation, and nose shaping. It is located north of the the Bangkok city center in Bang-O.
July 9, 2017 Tweet
Most health screening programs at international hospitals, especially ones in Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, include an abdominal ultrasound. This is a key test of the health screening program and an important element in preventative health.
The abdominal ultrasound collects images of the organs of the abdomen or upper belly. It is a harmless test since it uses sound waves to create images. The radiologist applies a gel to the abdomen and rubs a handheld device across the gelled areas to create the images.
The organs and body structures that are checked include the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys. The test also checks the abdominal aorta which is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the lower part of the body and legs.
The test can identify aberrations which may signal the onset of disease or other health problems including tumors. It may find gallstones, inflammation, or polyps in the gall bladder. It checks the healthy of the liver by looking at its size and shape. It may find an enlarged spleen or find problems with the pancreas. It may also identify an aneurysm of abdominal aorta.
All of these conditions can result in pain around the belly, so this should be discussed before the test with the radiologist so that he or she can focus on that area if pain is felt. During the test the patient simply lies on their back and may be able to watch the monitor as well.
Because many illnesses can be discovered easily by imaging the organs with the ultrasound, this test has so much value when done on a regular basis. Many physicals in the U.S. may not include this test so it is a benefit when visiting an international city with top hospitals which provide this test to have it done.
July 8, 2017 Tweet
If you live in the U.S. and are considering medical treatment outside of the country at an international hospital, there are several locations in that are easy to reach and provide top care. Here are five popular locations with excellent hospitals and dental clinics that all happen to start with the letter C.
The Cayman Islands are just a three and a half hour flight from NYC and are a popular vacation spot in the Caribbean. It’s also the location of a top hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission International. It’s located on Grand Cayman and was developed by Narayana Health, a large health care company in India. It’s called Health City Cayman Islands and the doctors are top notch with great track records. The hospital caters specifically to medical tourists. The orthopedics and cardiology departments have excellent doctors. They also offer executive health screening programs.
Cancun is a popular tourist destination in Mexico and one of the safer areas of the country. It’s also just a three and a half hour flight from NYC and has a good inbound tourist infrastructure. There are two parts to Cancun, the hotel area along the beach and the main city. In the beach area are several excellent dental clinics including Sunset Dental and Ocean Dental. In the city, Hospital Galenia is a Joint Commission International accredited hospital that has a top cancer center and is also popular for orthopedics.
Costa Rica is a tropical country in Central America that’s a five hour flight from NYC. About 40,000 people from the U.S. travel to Costa Rica for medical care each year, the majority of which is for dental treatment. San Jose is the capital of the country and where most of the medical centers are located. Because Costa Rica is popular tourist destination with a large American expat community, inbound travel is easy. Top dental clinics include Meza Dental, Nova Dental, and Flikier Dental Institute. Top hospitals include Hospital CIMA San Jose and Hospital Clinica Biblica both of which are accredited by the Joint Commission International.
Colombia is an emerging center for medical tourism and offers top quality healthy care that’s affordable. While the country has had safety concerns in the past, it’s currently a top place to live. Medellin, the location of the best hospitals in Colombia, is the highest rated city to live in South America along with Santiago, Chile. Medellin has excellent public transportation, inbound infrastructure, and a spring like climate year round. Medellin is well know for its history of excellent medical care and its hospitals are top rated in South America. The highest rated hospital is Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe. There are also a range of smaller medical clinics and dentists.
Chile is one of the top countries in South America for its economy and health care system. It’s an overnight flight from NYC lasting ten hours and forty-five minutes. Santiago is a very modern city and the best city in which to live in South America along with Medellin, Colombia. It has an extensive health care system with the strongest hospitals in Santiago. Santiago has a great subway system to navigate the city and top accommodations. Two hospitals which are Joint Commission International accredited are Clinica Las Condes which is in an upscale part of the city and Clinica Alemana de Santiago. There are a range of additional large hospitals and dentists.
You can discover more about the hospitals at ClinicTrip.com
July 7, 2017 Tweet
Personalized Medicine is a growing medical field that inspects a patient’s genes to improve the prevention and treatment of disease. It can also be called Precision Medicine or Individualized Medicine. Your genes may determine many things about your long term health or risk of disease. Studying your genes provides relevant medical information that doctors can use to keep you healthy.
There is more than one kind of clinical genetic testing. Some genetic tests are done to see if you’ve inherited a disease or likely to inherit a disease from your parents. This can apply to sickle cell anemia. Other tests look to see if your genes have transformed or mutated which might indicate the likelihood of developing cancer. More recently, genetic testing has evolved to provide detailed information about all of a person’s genetic code, called whole-genome sequencing, which may lead to even better analysis of a person’s potential for health.
All three kinds of genetic testing use the information gathered about one’s genes to customize the treatment for that person so that they get optimal care with the most precise prescriptions for health and in the most accurate way. Since not every person is the same or responds to treatment in the same way, this can lead to fewer side effects and more effective treatment than a general approach to wellness or mainstream treatment options.
Keep in mind that clinical genetic testing is different from commercial genetic testing which is done to determine ancestry, healthy traits, weight management analysis, and wellness markers.
Clinical genetic testing is used for the very complex analysis of disease prevention and treatment and may increase the long term health success for each individual especially as this field of study and type of care progresses.
June 29, 2017 Tweet
Top international hospitals are always researching and implementing new methods of treatment to prevent and cure chronic illness. Here are two trends that may expand treatment options for patients in the future.
Functional Medicine is changing the approach to healthcare. This approach to healthcare considers lifestyle factors as reasons for a change from healthy to chronic sickness. These lifestyle factors may include diet, risky habits such as smoking or drinking, and stress factors on the individual. By managing and changing the patients lifestyle, the goal is to return them to wellness rather than just treating the symptoms of the disease. You can read more about Functional Medicine on ClinicTrip here.
Regenerative Medicine is the treatment of damaged body tissue or organs to help them fully heal by regrowing the damaged areas back to normal. This can be done by providing modified stem cells to the damaged areas to help them regrow. It can also be done by transplanting organs form living or deceased patients, or eventually growing the organs in a lab in the future. Lastly, this type of medicine can focus on the body’s naturally ability to rejuvenate and heal on its own. You can read more about Regenerative Medicine on ClinicTrip here.
The following healthy article was submitted by a ClinicTrip user:
Our liver is one of the most complex organs in the body. It performs more than 500 functions and is also the largest organ in the abdomen. The liver is a housekeeper, cleaning the body constantly. Some of the most important functions include:
In order to digest fats, the liver releases bile that breaks down the fats which aids digestion. The more proteins and fats digested, the more the liver has to work. The liver also has to work when alcohol is consumed, drugs are taken including several prescription and OTC medicines, and when excessive fats are eaten which can come from fast food, processed food, and fried foods.
How do we pay the liver for its service? Eat a proper diet – not too much fat and or junk food and less or no alcohol or drugs. Eat healthy food without chemicals or additives. Read the labels on processed food. If the label list is very long, then look for something that does not have all those chemicals and is made with natural ingredients.
Although the exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, it is thought to be related to excessive damage to the liver. Obesity may increase the risk of liver cancer due to its links with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis which is a liver disease caused by scarring of the liver or loss of liver cells can be caused by the Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C viral infections. Too much alcohol can also cause liver damage.
It is important to have your liver checked regularly which can be done during an annual health screening at an international hospital. Exams and tests for the liver may include a physical examination, blood tests, CT scans, an MRI, an ultrasound, and a biopsy. A yearly comprehensive physical is important because it is preventative and may help catch liver problems early enough so that lifestyle changes can be made to return it to health.
June 27, 2017 Tweet
Bumrungrad International Hospital is one of the largest private hospitals in Southeast Asia and sees about 520,000 international patients per year from 190 different countries according to their website. It was the first hospital in Asia to be accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). With 580 inpatient beds and 1,200 physicians and dentists, it’s a busy place.
Bumrungrad is located at 33 Soi Sukhumvit 3 which is off of the popular Sukhumvit Road in the Wattana area of Bangkok. The nearest elevated rail stop on the BTS line is Ploenchit station and the area has nice accommodations for those wanting to stay near to the hospital. It is possible to walk from the Ploenchit station to Bumrungrad, but it’s a good hike and in hot weather that may not be for everyone. A taxi will get you to the hospital from the station much more quickly.
Many hotels are located around the Ploenchit station especially on Thanon Witthayu Road. The area is fairly upscale with several embassies nearby and with the Central Embassy Mall which is accessed from the BTS platform. The mall has an elegant Thai food court modeled after a Thai village on the basement floor along with a popular grocery store.
Because of the traffic in Bangkok, it is recommended to stay near the hospital as travel times around the city can be much longer than the distance appears because of the congestion. Ploenchit also offers many nice restaurants and other malls with food courts that are just one or two stops away on the BTS. You can reach Ploenchit on the light rail from the international airport – Suvarnabhuhi Airport (BKK). Remember to change lines at the Phaya Thai station where the City Line from the airport connects with the BTS line to Ploenchit.
This article was submitted by a ClinicTrip user.
New findings on green and black tea leaves suggest that they lower the risk of dementia.
Regularly drinking a cup of green or black tea may cut the risk of dementia among older adults by 50 percent. The National University of Singapore conducted the research.
Findings published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, also show that for those who are genetically at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, regular tea consumption may cut their risk by 86 percent.
Earlier research has linked drinking tea with better cognitive performance and a lower risk of cognitive decline by 86 percent. The research team studied the tea-drinking habits of 957 healthy Chinese adults age 55 and older from 2003 to 2005 and then tested their cognitive function every two years until 2010.
What they found is that regular tea drinkers (those who drank at least a cup, and up to three or more cups, a day) had the most benefits in terms of brain health..
Both green and black tea were protective, but they need to be brewed from tea leaves, either loose or in tea bags, lead author Feng Lei, assistant professor at the university’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, said in an email. The results don’t apply to fruit or herbal teas.
Tea leaves contain flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potentials that may protect the brain from vascular damage. Ready-to-drink teas made from powder, on the other hand, have only a small percentage of the amount of the flavonoids of brewed tea, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Even though the study was conducted on older adults, the results could apply to all groups, as well, Feng said. He called it “a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure” that might pay off big in later life. So, buy green or black tea leaves and steep up a pot of healthy tea. Drink tea every day and you will feel healthy and relaxed! Move over coffee, tea is taking the lead!
June 25, 2017 Tweet
Regenerative medicine is the treatment of damaged body tissue or organs to help them fully heal by regrowing (or regenerating) the damaged areas back to normal. The body already does this in some areas. For example, when you get a small cut on your skin, the wound heals by itself and in a short time you can’t see where the cut was. Regenerative medicine aims to have this happen on every part of your body, internally or externally, that is damaged or hurt by disease, by an accident, or even from aging.
There are three types of regenerative medicine. The first is called Regeneration. To start regeneration, doctors provide specific cells, such as stem cells, to the damaged areas and the cells multiply and rebuild the tissue or organ. This treatment has been done for a long time with bone marrow transplants. In a bone marrow transplant, new blood stem cells are transplanted in the marrow to help regrow the marrow. This procedure has been helpful in treating blood cell related cancers. Now doctors want to apply this process to regrow lungs and other organs damaged by disease.
The second type of regenerative medicine is called Rejuvenation. Many have already experienced some type of rejuvenation treatment such as when you go to the spa and detox or have a facial. The goal is to help the body naturally refresh and feel better. The aim of rejuvenation treatment is to have the body use its own mechanisms to self-heal damaged parts of the body including the heart, lungs, and nerves in a similar way that a broken bone repairs itself.
The third type of regenerative medicine is Replacement. Replacement uses healthy cells, tissue, or organs from living or diseased donors to be transplanted to the patient for a full recovery. This is already done with heart and kidney transplants. However, research is now focused on creating organs in the lab using stem cells and bio-printing technology so that transplantable organs are more available and less likely to be rejected by the patient’s body.
Much of the research involves stem cells. Stem cells are unique because the can be managed to develop into different types of cells needed for regeneration. For example, a stem cell can be transformed into brain cell, lung cell, or heart cell. Research is focused on obtaining stem cells from the patient (instead of from embryos) or bio-engineering stem cells for the regeneration process. For example some stem cells can be collected from a patient’s skin.
All of this research is important because it can increase the speed and likelihood that a patient’s damaged tissue or organs can be healed on their own or replaced with a bio-engineered organ so that they can resume their lives normally and healthily. Further, diseases, defects, or accidents that caused irreparable damage may have commonplace procedures in the future with regenerative medicine that greatly reduce the suffering of those afflicted.
You can learn more about Regenerative Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
The following article was submitted by a ClinicTrip user.
One to two handfuls of pistachio nuts a day may keep heart disease at bay. Researchers have found that they may help to lower cholesterol and keep arteries healthy. Three ounces of pistachios a day can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. The nuts are rich in nutrients that reduce hardening of the arteries, a main cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Volunteers in a U.S. study supplemented a low fat diet with pistachios. Some ate 1.5 ounces of pistachios, while others had double that amount, either as a snack or putting the nuts in cereal, muffins, and pesto sauce. A third group did not eat any pistachios.
The length of the study was one month and the cholesterol levels were analyzed. The results showed that cholesterol levels were significantly lower among the pistachio eaters. Those who ate the most nuts experienced the biggest decrease in cholesterol.
Eating three ounces of pistachios a day cut cholestrol levels by 8.4 percent with bad cholesterol (LDL) dropping by 11.6 percent.
The results showed that pistachios, when eaten with a healthy heart diet, may decrease a person’s cardiovascular disease risk profile.
Pistachios are rich with an antioxidant called lutein, usually found in green leafy vegetables and brightly coloured fruit. Lutein helps prevent cholesterol from clogging arteries. It is best to eat unsalted pistachios as too much daily salt intake can raise blood pressure.
The study was carried out by researchers at Pennsylvania State University.
June 22, 2017 Tweet
This article was submitted by a ClinicTrip user.
How many people have trouble sleeping at night? Do you toss and turn, read a book, watch a movie on your iPad or computer, or drink a glass of warm milk to try and sleep?
Do we have too much on our minds or too many problems at work?
You’ve tried a sleeping pill and still can’t sleep. The morning comes fast and your brain is in a fog from not enough sleep or the sleeping pill is still working on your brain. What is wrong?
A good night’s sleep keeps your brain healthy and in top form – ready for the day. How do we attain this?
Here are some things to consider. Sleeping pills may raise your risk of permanent memory loss according to studies. Cognitive behavior therapy may be more effective than sleeping pills. Also, the quality of sleep may be more important than the number of hours you sleep.
Nearly one third of people over the age of forty take sleeping medications. Thirty-three percent take over the counter medications for a better sleep. According to an AARP Survey, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for older or younger adults. In a 2015 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who underwent CBT for insomnia fell asleep about 20 minutes faster and were awake nearly 30 fewer minutes at night than those who didn’t undergo therapy.
2016 Consumer Reports found that people who take over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping aids made dangerous dosage errors. Long term use (60 days or more) caused memory problems in older adults and is linked to an increase in dementia. Taking the meds for 60 days or more caused memory problems in older adults, according to a 2013 study in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
How do we change our sleep patterns to avoid taking medication?
If you find these steps hard to do, make changes slowly and relax. Limit those tense phone calls in the evening and take them in the morning when your brain is rested.
It’s worth a try and you will be healthier and more active during the day for the jobs at hand.
Sunway Medical Center is located in Petaling Jaya, a large and affluent southwest suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was recently awarded the best international hospital for 2016 by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ), a medical tourism industry publication. The hospital was established in 1999 by the Sunway Group, one of Malaysia’s largest business conglomerates which is involved in education, healthcare, hospitality, property, and construction.
The Sunway Group is very innovative and driven to think about the future and that can be seen in the quality and efficiency of the hospital. For example, each department has its own pharmacy so that prescription medication can be dispensed quickly to shorten waiting times. The hospital has 535 beds, 130 consolation suites, and 12 operating theaters. They are also expanding the existing location with a new Cancer & Radiosurgery Center and another 10 level tower with single inpatient rooms and consultation suites. They also plan to open new locations in Kuala Lumpur and possibly other locations around Malaysia.
One advantage Sunway Medical Center offers to patients, especially medical tourists, is that the hospital is connected to the other Sunway Group properties which include a nice resort and spa, water theme park and mall so that there are things to do for family who accompany the medical tourist and a place to stay for the recovery period. The complex is also attracting permanent residents in nearby condos from a variety of countries who have found the area affordable and want to live next the hospital and Sunway entertainment areas.
Centers of excellence include fertility, cancer care, cardiovascular care, and orthopedics among many others. The hospital has all related clinics including eye, dental, and skin care. A standard single room costs RM268 or US$62 per night (http://sunwaymedical.com/room-rates/) which is very reasonable for the region. They have a friendly dedicated international patient center who can converse in a variety of languages and will assist with every step of the visit to and stay at the hospital.
Getting to the medical center is from Kuala Lumpur International Airport – KLIA (KUL) by taxi is easy and takes about 60 minutes. Once at the hospital, the professionalism of the staff will make it clear why this hospital is a top center for medical tourism.
Learn more at: http://sunwaymedical.com
The following article regarding healthy eating was submitted by a ClinicTrip user.
To lower your risk of chronic illness such as high blood pressure, stomach cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, kidney stones, and other ailments avoid processed foods with high sodium and sugar content. Below are some examples of simple healthy foods. By preparing your own food and using these ingredients, you will eat healthier, manage portion control better, and control salt levels. Here are ten foods, herbs, spices and condiments that have general health benefits.
1. Freshly squeezed lemon is a natural preservative and also a good salt substitute. Juice from limes, grapefruit and oranges are also preservatives.
2. Vinegar is a great low sodium food. Vinegar can be flavored with herbs and spices for dressings, marinades, and other foods.
3. Less sodium soy sauce is another salt alternative. It can be used as salad dressings, vegetables and soups. Soy sauce has a rich flavor and can be used as well as stir-fries and vegetables sautés. Make sure to choose the ‘less sodium’ version of this product.
4. Fresh ground ginger enhances sweet and savory dishes and salad dressings.
5. Oregano gives wonderful flavor to any food, salads, seafood, and pasta.
6. Cinnamon can regulate blood sugar and helps to lower cholesterol. It is a great alternative for salt.
7. Cumin has a powerful peppery flavor with citrus overtones and can be used in sauces and curries.
8. Chopped rosemary and ground rosemary can be added to many dishes to add flavor such as pizza, tomato sauce, beans, potatoes and soups.
9. Basil can be used fresh or ground and adds flavor to pizza, tomato sauce and soups.
10. Fresh coriander makes salads, soups, and stews delicious.
There are many healthy eating sites that will provide you with information on good food. They are excellent resources to look at and may help you eat better and healthier during the week.
June 11, 2017 Tweet
The following experience regarding a hearing loss evaluation and hearing aid recommendations was submitted by a ClinicTrip user residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Do you have problems hearing conversations when you are in a crowded room? Have you had damage to your hearing or it just something you avoid and don’t want to visit a doctor to have your hearing tested?
When I had my health screening at Gleneagles Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I decided to have the hearing test included. I knew I had some hearing loss and wanted to see if it had changed. The results came back and it showed that I have more hearing loss in one ear and less hearing loss in the other. It was confirmed.
I was also told that the ringing in my ear came from the brain, not from the ear. I always thought it was because of an explosion near my ear. Well, it turned out that the explosion affected the brain and not the ear.
I was sent to the auditory clinic when I was at the hospital and the technician placed hearing aids near my ear. They attached to the ear and were hidden comfortably behind the ear. She adjusted the aids until I could hear every sound and every conversation around me. I couldn’t hear the ringing in the ear any more which was a big relief.
The hearing aids were from Norway and were easy to wear and very light. The technician said that they were the best ones on the market. They had other brands of hearing aids as well. The next question was the price. I knew that hearing aids in the U.S. were very expensive. Friends back home told me what they cost. The Norwegian aids in Kuala Lumpur were half the price of the ones in the U.S.! They were very affordable and some people may have the costs covered with their medical insurance.
So, it you have hearing issues while living in Malaysia go to Gleneagles Hospital in Kuala Lumpur in the Ampang area and get your hearing tested. If you need hearing aids, they are happy to help you decide which aids work best for you and I found the experience very helpful and efficient.
May 6, 2017 Tweet
There are several aspects of medical tourism that are important to consider – the quality of the hospital and doctors, the costs, and logistics of traveling to the medical center. One aspect that is often overlooked is the quality of the recovery period. Many procedures may require a week to several weeks of recovery before the patient is able to return home. During this period the patient heals and the doctor monitors the results of the treatment. More complicated procedures may even require a second treatment.
Several top international hospitals around world are located in areas that are very beautiful and the cost of living is moderate to low so that the stay is peaceful, affordable, and enjoyable. Here are five hospitals that let patients recover in paradise.
Penang Adventist Hospital is a JCI accredited hospital located on the stunning island of Penang off the northwest coast of Malaysia. Penang was one of the first hubs for medical tourism known for excellent health care, affordable travel, and amazing scenery. Located in the center of Georgetown, the main city on the island, the hospital is nearby to the popular beach destination of Batu Ferringhi with peaceful resorts and a variety of lodging. Quiet affordable hotels throughout the city are available. Because of this, patients are never far from the hospital and have access to enjoyable attractions highlighting the tropical forests on the island, great beaches, and beautiful sunsets.
Medellin is know as the cit of eternal spring due to its beautiful climate. This Colombian city is going through a renaissance in culture and livability and is rated as the top city to live in South America along with Santiago, Chile. Pablo Tobon Uribe Hospital is JCI accredited and listed among the top 10 hospitals in South America. The excellent transportation, beautiful parks, and small towns surrounding the city make it an ideal place to recover and relax.
— Touring Medellin (@touringmedellin) May 2, 2017
— Cancun Oncology (@CancunOncology) August 2, 2017
Somos el primer centro médico privado costarricense en obtener la licencia marca país Esencial Costa Rica. https://t.co/WSoIWvMTg1 pic.twitter.com/hkNkp9kZmq — Clínica Bíblica (@Clinica_Biblica) March 23, 2017
Tweet Translation: We are the first private Costa Rican medical center to obtain the national brand license – Essential Costa Rica.”
Costa Rica is on many travelers list of places to visit. In just a 3 1/2 flight from Houston, visitors have this small tropical country to explore with beaches, jungle, volcanos, and coffee farms. Located in the capital of San Jose, Hospital Clinica Biblica is JCI accredited and offers high quality care in a beautiful setting. With more than 40,000 Americans traveling to CR for health care each year, the country is very accepting of those visiting for medical care and offers the convenience of a popular tourist destination to get around during the recover time.
Bangkok Hospital – Hua Hin is JCI accredited and belongs to the long established Bangkok Hospital network. Hua Hin is a small beach town that’s a popular place for residents of nearby Bangkok to enjoy the coast, get out of the city, and avoid the larger beach town of Pattaya. The town is a very relaxed setting for medical care.
The nice beach atmosphere in Hua Hin is perfect for recovering and costs are lower than Bangkok as well. With many hotels available and great food at every turn, you just may want to stay longer than needed. There are non-stop coach buses from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to Hua Hin for 270 Baht (~$US 8).
May 5, 2017 Tweet
Salt inspires conversation on whether salt is healthy or not. People argue that too much salt is bad and too little salt is good. A moderate amount of salt is beneficial for the kidneys. The correct balance of salt helps regulate body fluids and helps moisten dryness, especially in the winter when the weather is cold.
WHY IS SALT VITAL TO HEALTH?
Salt is essential for body health. The more salt ingested increases the body’s requirement for fluids. So, after a heavy salt loaded meal, drink plenty of hydrating water. The kidneys will flush out the heavy dose of salt. Salt also helps with digestion and may soften abdominal swellings and intestinal obstructions. Salt also aids with bowel movements.
Early signs of excess salt intake include unusual thirst, dark urine, a darker complexion, clenched teeth and bloodshot eyes. It is usually sodium that is over-used in the diet.
Insufficient salt sometimes seen in salt/sodium-restricted diets diminishes strength, sex drive, intestinal gas, vomiting, and muscular atrophy. But these symptoms may also arise from many causes other than lack of salt.
Potassium and sodium should be in balance in the body. An excess of one depletes the other. Healthy choices for balancing salt or sodium include: potassium-rich foods such as vegetables, leafy greens, legumes, grains, fruit and herbs.
Substitute very sweet potassium foods such as rice syrup, honey, figs, yams, etc. counteract high levels of alcohol and high sugar cravings resulting from excess salt. These foods not only produce a better quality balance to salt/sodium than alcohol and refined sugar, but will also control further salt cravings.
Always read the labels on prepared foods and packaged foods. Choose foods that are lower in salt and chemicals that make you want to eat more of the product. Salt is made up of sodium and chloride and it is the sodium that is put in the labels on nutritional information in products.
HOW MUCH SALT DO WE REQUIRE FOR HEALTH?
Converting Salt to Sodium: sodium grams x 0.4 = amount of sodium in grams
Multiply the grams of salt by 0.4 to get the amount of sodium in grams. Multiply this figure by 1000 for sodium in milligrams and this will give an accurate measure of the milligrams of sodium in salt. One gram of salt equals 400 milligrams of sodium. Read the sodium amounts on prepared food and this will give you a benchmark of your sodium intake.
Converting Sodium to Salt: Sodium grams X 2.5 = miligrams of salt.
To reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease, the Heart Foundation recommends adults eat less that 6 grams of salt (2400 mg sodium) a day. This amounts to one teaspoon per day. Children should eat less salt than 6 milligrams per day.
EAT MORE FRESH FOOD
Reduce your intake of fast food that can be high in salt. Eating more fresh vegetables and fruits to counter your intake of salt and will still satisfy your desire for more high salt food. Try taking salads and other vegetables to work with you instead of those salty foods. Make a decision to make three days of eating with less salt and slowly change your diet habits.
It only takes a few days to help reduce the salt if you are determined to keep your body in good health! Become a label reader of prepackaged foods to determine how much salt you are getting in your diet.
Life is better with less salt!
May 3, 2017 Tweet
April 4, 2017 Tweet
Being in the Southeast Asian countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore may put travelers and expats at risk for dengue fever. Mostly, DF occurs during the rainy seasons.
I have lived in Malaysia for twenty over years, working in the city of Kuala Lumpur and hiking in the rainforests. During that time, I was stung by mosquitoes without any problems. I always wore a long sleeve T-shirt and long pants covering my skin and also applied mosquito repellent.
The condos are sprayed with repellent to kill any mosquitoes in and around the buildings. Consequently, I did not seen many mosquitoes in our area.
However, one day, two years ago I was visiting a friend who lived in a house in an upscale area. She wanted to show me her new garden. At that time I was wearing a short-sleeve T-shirt and long pants.
As we stood admiring her garden I was bit twice on my upper arm. Two welts appeared and I just ignored it.
The next day I began to feel ill. I looked up dengue haemorrhagic fever and found that I had the early stages of the fever. There was no vaccine available and no specific medicines for dengue fever. I immediately called my doctor in the U.S. and he told me to take a certain medication. I did, but without any results.
I then went to a local doctor in our area and also looked up dengue on the CDC for what to do. Dengue had to run its course and I had to drink water to avoid dehydration.
I went for daily checks at the doctor’s office on my blood. Platelet counts were low. I drank more water. For four days I drank large amounts of water but it was not enough. Finally on the fifth day, the doctor checked me into Prince Court Medical Center, a large private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
The nurses checked my blood pressure every two hours and the platelet count began to drop. An IV gave me the required hydration. Later, the platelet count normalized and I began to recover. By the second day in the hospital I was able to return home fully recovered.
There are four types of dengue and I had one type. I could still be bitten with another type and go through the cycle again. Only, each time it becomes worse and death may occur.
People with a compromised health condition should not travel to areas where dengue is found.
According to the CDC, with more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for infection, dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics.
Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Interestingly, mosquitos only carry dengue if they bite someone who has the fever. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection from the virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. Standing water, especially, is a common place for mosquitoes to breed and to be avoided if possible.
When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death. It is very helpful to know where to get treatment locally if you have chance of being infected.
February 19, 2017 Tweet
It’s fairly common to read about patients traveling overseas for medical care that have a bad experience or even a fatal experience. These are very tragic situations. Many times, however, the patients sought medical care or treatment from hospitals, clinics, or doctors that were not established or legitimate providers in their fields. It is commonly seen for patients seeking plastic or cosmetic surgery. The risk of having a terrible outcome goes down when medical travelers seek treatment from established practitioners.
The value of medical travel is at its best when the quality of care is high, the wait times are short, and the costs are at a discount compared to what patients have available in their home country. If patients try to undercut any of these benefits and costs even further by going to non-established medical providers, they put themselves at great risk which doesn’t make the equation pay off any more.
It is always recommended to research the medical provider first even when it’s a referral from a friend. The top ones are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) organization and are usually the large hospitals. If you are seeking medical treatment, even for cosmetic surgery or dentistry, that is not from a JCI accredited hospitals or clinic, make sure they have a well known reputation for success and are a legitimate operation in anyway that you can including researching their credentials in their home country. Even visiting the facility first and interviewing the doctors, well before any treatment, is recommended as well. By not leaving anything to chance, you increase the likelihood of success and a positive outcome.
February 6, 2017 Tweet
Mexico is rated as one of the top countries in terms of value for medical tourists. It has a variety of medical hubs throughout the country and one of the them is the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula. The main city in the state, Cancun, is well known for being a popular tourist destination, but also has a Joint Commission International (JCI) qualified hospital called Hospital Galenia. This hospital is well situated for inbound medical tourists, has a variety of centers of excellence, and also provides health screenings which is an ideal for people visiting the area.
This video testimonial from Hospital Galenia is from a patient who received knee transplant surgery.
January 14, 2017 Tweet
As high quality health care outside of the U.S. become more known, more patients are opting to travel for health screenings and basic procedures. The advantages include no wait times, affordability, and in many instances, superior care.
Several countries which offer world class health care and medical facilities also have a low cost of living and enjoyable climate. For this reason, they are not only great places for medical travel, but also for full time living as an expat or as a retiree. In fact, many housing developments in these countries are near hospitals for those who wish easy access to a medical provider.
These three countries are international health care hubs and enjoyable places to live, especially for those who are planning on needing frequent medical attention.
Colombia – World class care in a beautiful city
Colombia has always been at the forefront of medical care in South America and now hosts several of the top hospitals on the continent. Many are located in the city of Medellin which is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’.
Many of the first major organ transplants in South America were performed in Medellin and they continue to set the pace of advancement with a world renowned medical community. Because of this living well is a priority in Colombia and the quality of life in Medellin is rated very highly. Just a 7 1/2 hour flight from Chicago, Colombia is a good choice to research for one’s health and living needs.
Costa Rica – Large retirement communities rely on it’s health care
According to the U.S. state department, as many as 50,000 Americans live in Costa Rica and another 40,000 visit for medical care each year. These numbers would indicate that the health care and living standards are very high. Just a 3 1/2 flight from Houston, it’s possible to do an overnight trip to San Jose, Costa Rica, but many choose to stay longer.
Costs are low and the quality of care is very high. Even though Costa Rica is a tropical country, the higher elevation of San Jose gives it good year round weather. A doctor’s visit may only cost $50 which means you can enjoy your life and stay healthy at a low cost.
Malaysia – Top health care in English
Even though Malaysia (between Singapore and Thailand) is a 24 hour journey from the U.S., its quality health care and lower costs are helping the country see a boom in medical tourism. Because it was a former British colony, English is widely spoken especially by the health care community and doctors.
Many private hospitals, such as Gleneagles KL are recognized worldwide by medical tourism journals and provide ultra modern medical care with high standards of inpatient convenience. Inbound transportation is easy though Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The main hub for hospitals are Kuala Lumpur and Penang Island in the north. Medical tourism is a focus for the country so expect great service. The living standards are high with great food and low prices and excellent affordable holiday spots for recovery after a procedures.
You can search ClinciTrip.com for top hospitals in each of these countries. If you don’t require immediate care, try a health screening at one of the hospitals to become familiar with the services and the local culture. You just may decide to stay!
December 27, 2016 Tweet
Statistics show that men don’t get regular medical check ups or spend as much time as they should focusing on health which exposes them to chronic illnesses which could have been prevented with early detection or monitoring. Common illnesses which could have been avoided include heart disease and diabetes.
There are various reasons for men not monitoring their health including lack of time, not having a primary care doctor, confusion whether or not insurance will pay for it, not feeling sick, and not having the patience to visit a doctor. Because of this several public service campaigns exist to encourage adult men to visit the doctor more frequently for physicals or other health evaluations.
Not having enough time is a very common reason that is difficult to overcome, especially when some doctors require scheduling months in advance. A great way to deal with this issue is to encourage men to get a check up during vacation. A health screening at an international hospital is a standard and comprehensive preventative health evaluation that only takes a couple hours, but is easy to schedule at top hospitals and clinics in major tourist destinations.
Top travel destinations such as the Cayman Islands, Cancun, Costa Rica, Panama City in North America and Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Cebu City in Southeast Asia all have top hospitals with established health screening programs, sometimes called executive health screens.
The screenings can be booked online through the hospital website or by email and usually can be done the next day, although its always good to book ahead of time. Costs for such programs can range fro $300 to $500 dollars and be paid by credit card. Compared to the cost of a physical in the U.S. with blood work and similar tests, it’s a fraction of the price.
Even more valuable, the health screening program usually covers more tests than a normal physical. Beyond blood work, vitals, physical tests, and urine analysis, most health screenings include a chest x-ray, heart stress test, and abdominal ultra sound.
The abdominal ultrasound is particularly helpful since it images the abdominal organs to detect problems in the pancreas and digestive tract. Add-ons to most health screenings include colonoscopies and advanced cancer marker tests.
After the results have been collected, a formal meeting with a physician is set up to review the data and make recommendations. The doctor can detect problem areas that may be related to infections, heart issues, and cancer markers, as well as overall nutrition deficiencies, diabetic concerns, liver and kidney function problems, and weight issues.
The tests are simple, carried out very quickly, and take no longer than a couple of hours on the morning of a vacation day with enough time left over to relax on the beach afterwards. The time spent can help many men get a good picture of their health, which they may not otherwise get, and help them make good lifestyle decisions in the future!
September 25, 2016 Tweet
Medellin is Colombia’s second largest city with 2.64 million people and one of the economic centers of the country. Due to its pioneering medical research and cluster of top hospitals, it has become a hub for medical tourism in Latin America and beyond.
The South American business journal America Economia based in Santiago, Chile, ranked 100 hospitals on the continent in 2015 and Medellin had eight on the list with the highest ranked hospital, Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe, listed as 9th overall.
It’s no surprise that Medellin has emerged as a major hub for medical tourism. They city’s medical teams have been pioneers in several medical procedures, especially organ transplants. In 1973, its doctors performed the first kidney transplant in Colombia. In 1979 they also performed the first liver transplant in South America. In 2008 they performed the first trachea and larynx transplant in the world [Source].
The growth of medical tourism to Medellin has also been link to the improved quality of life in the city. In 2013 Medellin was listed as the most innovative city in the world by the Urban Land Institute and the Wall Street Journal. Recently it was listed with Santiago, Chile, as one of the best cities in which to live in South America. It also has the complete transportation infrastructure for inbound visitors and patients.
Medellin has propelled itself as a leader in medical research and healthcare through a powerful ecosystem which utilizes local resources to advance the quality of care. This includes setting the highest medical standards to attract international patients, expert knowledge management and shared learning to improve every aspect of the care value chain, and partnering with local industries.
As a result this cluster of health care organizations offers world class services to the growing international patient community. These organizations include the previously mentioned Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe, Hospital Universitario de San Vicente, Hospital Las Vegas, and Clinica Cardio VID among others. Dental clinics include Alta Estetica Dental, Clinica Odontologica VID, and Dental Center.
As medical tourism continues to grow globally, Medellin is well positioned to become a major hub for patients who are willing to travel for better treatment and care. The flight duration is 7 hrs and 23 min from Chicago on Delta with 1 stop in Miami. Along with its salubrious weather and friendly people, patients can expect to find high quality care at hospitals and clinics in Medellin during treatment and afterwards through recovery and a welcoming global city.
September 20, 2016 Tweet
The cities of Los Algodones, Tijuana, and Nogales are well known as quick excursions into Mexico for fun food and souvenir shopping for Americans living near the border in California and Arizona. Now, many cross the border for high quality dental care at low prices.
With prices as much as 70% lower than U.S. dental care costs, many are choosing to walk across the border for implants, crowns and bridges, All-on-4, veneers, and root canals. The savings are not only attracting those who live near the border, but also those from across the U.S. since the flight and hotel costs along with the dental work is still an enormous discount.
Here are a few dental care options in each town to consider.
Los Algodones is near Yuma, Arizona, and just a walk across the border puts you in the highest concentration of dental offices in the world. The town is safe and flooded each day with dental tourists seeking the quality care that the area offers.
Sani Dental Group
Sani Dental Group was founded in 1985 by D.D.S. Enrique Jimenez and is promoted as the most prestigious dental clinic in the area. It attracts patients from across the US and provides all major dental work with a price list on their website.
Other dentists include Dental Solutions Los Algodones, Castle Dental, and Alamo Dental Clinic.
Tijuana is now a city of nearly 1.7 million people and is one of the largest border crossings in the world. Just 45 minutes from San Diego, it has high quality dental care options. As a hub for dental tourists from southern California, it’s an affordable option.
Sam Dental offers high quality care, per their website, and emphasizes honesty. Their services include dental implants, oral surgery, and cosmetic dentistry. They also will pick patients up at San Diego International Airport and drive them across the border. The clinic is a member of the American Dental Association.
Other dentists include Dr. MEXICO Tijuana Dental Center and Smile Tijuana.
Nogales, Mexico, is just across the board from Nogales, Arizona, and about 45 minutes from Tuscon, Arizona. While it doesn’t have as many dentists as Los Algodones or Tijuana, it does attract many dental tourists from Arizona and is easy to access.
Dental Laser Nogales
Dental Laser Nogales, per their website, has been operating in Nogales for 15 years and offers an experienced team, excellent equipment, has their own laboratory, and all services are performed on site. They are bilingual and offer free diagnostics.
With the wide range of dental care options in these three cities across the US-Mexico border and with the large discounts compared to costs in the US, the dentists are worth considering.
Note: ClinicTrip does not endorse the dentists mentioned in this article and recommends that patients research all options and discuss with a physician before selecting any dentist in the U.S., Mexico, or abroad.
September 4, 2016 Tweet
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a major hub for medical tourism and health travel. With over 140 medical organizations accredited by the Joint Commission International, it has hospitals and clinics to suit every medical need.
The UAE is located at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula and has a vibrant population of 9.2 million people. It is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and busiest airport, Dubai International Airport. The largest cities are Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the capital, and Sharjah.
Dubai is a six hour flight from London and a 12 hour flight from NYC. It has an excellent infrastructure which makes getting to hospitals effortless and the hospitality to make hospitals stays as comfortable as possible. It is also an excellent tourist destination so that recovery times can be enjoyable.
Because of the wide range of medical options in the UAE, medical travelers should take time to research what is available. These three hospitals are excellent candidates to start.
Burjeel Hospital is Abu Dhabi’s largest private tertiary hospital. It is equipped with the advanced facilities and equipment for diagnosis, and also has renown specialists and medical personnel. It has 282 inpatient beds, 10 operating rooms, and a wide range of patient suites. Centers of excellence include cardiology, opthalmology, oncology, and fertility (IVF). Located off Al Nadja Street, Burjeel Hospital focuses on healing beyond just medical treatment. By creating a beautiful atmosphere and offering caring staff, the positive energy assists with bringing patients back to wellness.
American Hospital Dubai
American Hospital Dubai was the first private hospital in the Middle East to be accredited by the Joint Commission International. Established to replicate American medical standards, the doctors are North American Board Certified or have equivalent training programs as found in the U.S., UK, or Canada. The hospital also joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network which gives it access to the latest research and practices of the Mayo Clinic and allows it to collaborate on medical efforts. American Hospital Dubai has an extensive international patient department and estimates that 20% of patients come from outside of the UAE. Centers of excellence include a heart and vascular center, orthopedics and total joint reconstruction center, and a wide range of health screening packages. Located on 19th Street just off Oud Metha Road next to the Movenpick Hotel, it’s easy to reach in Dubai.
Zulekha Hospital was founded in 1992 in Sharjah by the esteemed Dr. Zulekha Daud and has 150 inpatient beds. The hospital specializes in bariatric surgery, minimally invasive surgeries, and joint replacement surgeries, and high risk cardiac care. In addition to supporting UAE patients, Zulekha Hospital also provides support for international patients with an extensive international patient department which provides travel booking assistance so that visiting the hospital is frictionless. Patients requiring dialysis during vacations to the UAE can also rely on Zulekha Hospital to provide excellent service for this treatment. Zulekha has an additional 79 bed hospital in Dubai.
Because of the high quality hospitals in the UAE, it makes sense to consider it as a health destination, either directly or while on vacation. The Emirati culture of caring for patients throughout the entire experience and the focus on returning patients to full health is what makes these hospitals so valuable for the health traveler.
July 8, 2016 Tweet
Many international hospitals offer top notch eye care clinics with highly trained ophthalmologists. Here are three common procedures that people seek for better vision.
When the natural lens of the eye becomes clouded, usually with age, it impairs vision. The term ‘cataract’ refers to the clouding of the lens. To correct the problem, an eye surgeon can remove the lens and replace it with a synthetic one restoring full vision. The procedure is minimally invasive and done on an outpatient basis. It is one of the more common eye procedures performed globally.
Glaucoma refers to an condition when fluid pressure builds up in the eye and causes damage to the optic nerve impairing vision. Glaucoma occurs when fluid doesn’t drain properly out of the eye or is blocked. The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Treatment can start with eye drops to improve fluid flow and reduce pressure. If eye drops are ineffective, then surgery may be required to create pathways for the fluid to flow. This can be done with laser therapy or filtering surgery. Visions loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered so it’s important to get regular eye exams as a preventative measure.
Laser Vision Surgery (LASIK)
Laser surgery is a refractive surgery performed to reduce dependency on contact lenses or glasses. LASIK surgery is a common refractive surgery to reshape the cornea so that light entering the eye can be properly focused on the retina for better vision. LASIK is done on an outpatient basis and can be completed quickly and without pain.
Regular eye exams are recommended for early detection of any vision complications. Check with your local eye doctor before traveling for eye treatment.
July 1, 2016 Tweet
Like all surgical procedures, a doctors dexterity in repairing the body is crucial not only for the patient to resume a healthy life, but also to minimize the number of surgeries required for a positive outcome and the number of times anesthesia must be used. For orthopedic surgery this is certainly the case, where a surgeon must precisely align bones and balance ligaments for optimum results.
With advancements in surgical technology, robotics can now assist doctors with the surgeries they perform. For orthopedic surgery, this has been very helpful. Using the robotic system, a doctor can reduce surgical errors and increase the success of joint repair or replacement with very precise positioning of implants and alignments.
Knee and hip replacements are common procedures for those who have aged and experience pain from joints wearing out. Replacements are also done for those who’ve had trauma and for those who’ve suffered from arthritis and had joints become deformed from the condition.
Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI), located on Grand Cayman, is the first hospital in the Caribbean to offer robotic assisted orthopedic surgery and one of a few select hospitals in North Amercia that has this capability. The Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic are other top hospitals offering this as well. Because of the robotic system, HCCI has elevated it’s orthopedic department to a ‘Center of Excellence’ for the institution.
HCCI’s Senior Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Alwin Almeida describes more about the technology in this video.
June 30, 2016 Tweet
Dental care is one of the driving specialties for medical travel. It is estimated that 50% of all medical travel to Costa Rica, for example, is for dentistry and orthodontics. In fact, statistics indicate the 500,000 American traveled out of the country for dental care in 2013. Reasons for seeking dental care in places such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Malaysia include lower costs (30% to 70% savings compared to U.S. prices), high quality treatment (many dentists are trained in the U.S.), and professional services. Dental care also has fewer risks of complications and a quicker recovery period than other medical specialties and procedures such as plastic surgery or bariatric surgery. In addition most procedures are done on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient leaves the same day at the treatment.
Here are some of the most common outpatient treatments popular for dental travel.
If a single tooth needs to be replaced from injury or decay, it can be done with dental implants. The procedure involves inserting a prosthetic tooth into the jaw bone holding the other teeth. The implant is a titanium screw and the tooth or crown is made of porcelain.
The purpose of a dental crown is to completely cover a damaged tooth. The cap is placed over the tooth and cemented to it permanently. The crown can be adjusted to have the same color as the other teeth of the patient. Crowns can also be applied where there is not enough enamel or tooth to fill the gap between the other teeth, or to prevent loss of a tooth due to a weakened condition.
A dental bridge is used to fill the gap of a missing tooth. In this procedure three crowns are connected together. The two end crowns a cemented to the existing teeth (called abutments) and the middle crown (called a pontic) is used to fill the gap of the missing tooth. The abutment teeth are covered with a crown over each one to support the middle pontic. It is important to fill gaps from missing teeth because the existing teeth will shift into the gap area causing chewing disorders and possible jaw pain.
Few people will travel overseas just for teeth whitening. However, this treatment can be combined with other treatments such as those listed above, during an dental exam, and for other related dental procedures. Some may choose to do teeth whitening simply while they are on vacation in an area that has qualified doctors. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure done to remove stains on the teeth or other discoloration or to generally lighten pigmentation on the teeth. This procedure is usually fast and convenient for those combining dental care with leisure.
Costa Rica has become a popular dental travel hub due to its proximity to the U.S. (3 hour flight from Houston), high quality, and lower costs. Be sure to research the dental clinic and doctors before commencing with treatments and involve your local dentist as much as possible. In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Malaysia have also become centers of dental tourism, either at private clinics or at clinics within accredited hospitals.
June 26, 2016 Tweet
Functional medicine is a new way of understanding non-communicable diseases and how to treat it them. Current approaches to medicine focus on symptoms and diseases and treatment with medication. Functional medicine sees chronic illness as a result of lifestyle decisions, and tries to identify causes and underlying factors so that the mechanisms of ill health can be addressed naturally and systemically.
Functional medicine takes a more holistic approach to health, is preventative in nature, and addresses the upstream drivers of disease – diet, environment, and management of stress. It also focuses rigorously on gut health and analyzes the microbiome and its relation to chronic illness. It pays special attention to inflammation and how chronic inflammation internally spawns disease.
This is a major shift in thinking regarding medicine. Most approaches to disease are reductionist, meaning that doctors and scientists look for a single cause which is linked to the problem and in general linked to that disease. In other words, the disease is treated, not the patient. Functional medicine looks at the disease from the position of the patient to see what factors have shifted the patient from good to bad health and how they can be corrected.
According to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, “Our physicians are able to support the healing process by viewing health and illness as part of a cycle in which all components of the human biological system interact dynamically with the environment.”
Proponents of functional medicine believe that it can improve patient outcomes, reduce the burdens of chronic illness, and create healthier communities. Considering that an increasing number of individuals suffer from more than one chronic illness and take multiple medications daily to manage the symptoms without addressing the core health issues, this new style of medicine may be able to help relieve suffering and the costs associated with it.
June 25, 2016 Tweet
Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil knows quite a bit about heart health. As Chief Cardiac Surgeon at Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI), he has treated over 5,000 patients with heart conditions and diseases. He is a leader in the field and an expert on cardiovascular surgery.
Dr. Binoy was trained in India. He completed his MBBS at Government Medical College in Kerala, India, and his MS at Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Pondicherry, India, in 1997. He has worked at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India, receiving advanced training (Masters in Surgery) in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. He also worked at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
He has been with Narayana Health since 2001, except for the 3 years at the hospital in Sidney, and now works at Health City Cayman Islands in Grand Cayman which is partly owned by Narayana Health. He carries out procedures on adults and children with a focus on heart revascularization (restoring proper blood flow). His special interests are minimally invasive heart surgery, surgery for aortic aneurism (tears in the major blood vessels), and heart valve replacement.
He speaks fluent English as well as several Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam.
With heart disease on the rise in the U.S. due to a variety of factors and with the cost of medical care increasing even with changes in the health care system, Dr. Binoy is an excellent and highly qualified doctor and heart surgeon to consider for medical travel.
Health City Cayman Islands is just a 4 hour flight form NYC and has an efficient and knowledgeable international patient office to assist with the initial inquiry, consultation, operation, and recovery. HCCI is a partnership with Narayana Health, a major healthcare provider in India, and Ascension, a U.S. company. HCCI is a Joint Commission International accredited hospital. You can learn more about Dr. Binoy here. Visit Health City Cayman Islands international patient site here. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 22, 2016 Tweet
Cardiac rehabilitation focuses on lifestyle changes to improve the condition of the heart. While improving heart health can and should be done at anytime, most people learn about it after they have been diagnosed with a heart condition or after they have had heart surgery or cardiovascular surgery.
According to doctors at Penang Adventist Hospital on Penang Island, Malaysia, cardiac rehabilitation can help you recover from a heart attack or cardiac surgery, prevent future heart problems, and address risk factors which can lead to heart disease. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, being under constant stress, having diabetes, or performing limited physical activity.
There are four phases of cardiac rehabilitation. The first phase is performing basic activities as you would at home such as walking and limited stair climbing. If you are recovering from major heart surgery, then activities will include sitting up in bed and simple range-of-motion exercises.
Phase two is usually supervised at a physical therapy center on an outpatient basis which includes regular exercises, increasing activity, nutritional counseling and monitoring. Phase three and four focuses on long term lifestyle changes including diet, developing and maintaining regular exercise programs, and weight loss targets.
The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to return the patient to an active life with a strong heart and a major reduction in risk factors that can cause heart problems in the future. Preventative health is the best way to take care of your heart and consulting your physician is the best way to start!
June 18, 2016 Tweet
Cosmetic or plastic surgery is one of the more popular reasons patients seek medical travel. Most procedures are done on an outpatient basis meaning that there no overnight stay at the clinic or hospital. The costs of the treatments at overseas hospitals can be more affordable and the risk of complications during recovery are much less compared to major surgical operations.
There are now many dedicated clinics at international hospital hubs that cater to medical travelers seeking cosmetic surgery. Brazil is the top destination dubbed the ‘World Capital of Plastic Surgery’, but Thailand and Malaysia are popular as well. Because of the focus and experience these clinic have in this specialty, the quality of the treatment can be quite high. These locations also after comfortable resort style accommodations for recovery. Below are several of the most common procedures for which patients will travel.
The face lift procedure (rytidectomy) removes or reduces the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of the face caused by age and is an anti-aging treatment. The procedure addresses face issues such as sagging skin, droopy cheeks, neck bands, and deep lines and folds. Post operative conditions include bruising, swelling, and discomfort in the face for 10 to 14 days.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is one of the more popular treatments since it solves a small but common problem of excessive and sagging skin on the lower and upper eyelids. This causes bags or bulges under the eyes and wrinkles. Eyelid surgery reduces bulges under the eyes and excess skin above the eye improving appearance. After surgery, eyes may be bandaged for a day and swelling and bruising around the eyes may occur for one to two weeks.
Advances in hair transplanting have resulted in fuller heads of hair without the scarring typically resulting from the removal of a strip of skin. The new method called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) takes individual hairs from the sides and back of the head and then they’re transplanted individually into the balding areas. The day after the procedure the patient may resume normal activities (except for washing the hair for 3 days or as advised by the physician).
Breast surgery is performed to enhance or correct the shape of a woman’s breasts. By using implants or fat transfers from the body, breast size and volume is increased as desired or restored due to age or weight loss. Discomfort from the surgery can last for two weeks and scarring from the incisions may take six months to soften or fade.
Enhancing the buttocks is done for two reasons – to provide a rounder shape or to remove excess and sagging skin to give a more tone appearance. The first is achieved with implants or fat transfer, but the second can be achieved with a laser assisted procedure that is minimally invasive and helps sculpt the muscles of the posterior and remove excess fat.
Nose Shaping (Rhinoplasty)
The nose knows. Nose shaping surgery is often chosen to enhance and to alter the size, shape and angle of your nose. It is also done to bring the nose into better proportion with the rest of one’s face. It can be done to correct structural problems with the nose that cause chronic congestion and breathing problems as well. Bruising and swelling from the procedure will usually disappear within 2 weeks.
Several international clinics focus only on plastic and reconstructive surgery including Yanhee Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, Beverly Wilshire Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hospital da Plastica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Advanced Hair Clinics in Athens, Greece.
June 13, 2016 Tweet
Many potential medical travelers are hesitant to seek health care overseas because they lack the initial personal connection with the hospital or doctor. If a private practice is located in the community or at a nearby hospital, it takes a short visit to meet the healthcare provider and develop a feel for their capabilities and commitment to your health.
This is much harder when the healthcare provider is overseas. Some medical travelers overcome this by going on vacation to a international hospital hub and making an initial inquiry into the hospital, even if they don’t have a specific illness. By doing so, they take care of the upfront familiarization process without having to go out of the way to do so. They may also schedule a health screening so that they learn more about the services of the hospital, which is an important first step to gauge an international healthcare provider.
If you are unable to combine tourism with the exploration of healthcare options, then telemedicine or telehealth is another viable option. Telemedicine use technology to interact with a healthcare provide who is not in the same room as you. It can happen locally, when a patient is connected to monitoring devices which are viewed at a nearby hospital or care center (used especially to monitor elderly people with chronic illness) or it can be used across continents to discuss potential illness and the ensuing medical travel.
In the second case, images and simple diagnostics can be sent, potential screenings can be done, and more importantly, preliminary discussions can happen between the patient, local physician, and the overseas doctor. Sometime teams of doctors can be present in the discussion with telemedicine technology linking everyone together.
Telemedicine can also assist in post-operation situations where the recovery needs to monitored carefully. In many cases, the patient will plan to remain overseas for the recovery period. However, when the patient returns home, telemedicine can continue to monitor and evaluate their status. Wound management is where this technology can be applied in a beneficial way.
The technology will only continue to develop and can make medical tourism more efficient and safe for patients, but also give doctors more reach before and after procedures. As medical tourism increases, it will help hospitals deals with the influx of patients more effectively. Although telehealth can’t guarantee a successful outcome, it does help reduce some risks with patient-doctor communication before and after treatment.
May 29, 2016 Tweet
Photo Credit: www.healthcitycaymanislands.com
The Caribbean islands have wooed travelers from all over the world with a salubrious climate and friendly people. Island breezes and swaying palm trees are enough to put even the most busy people at ease for a while. Its proximity to Florida and the East Coast of the U.S. make it an easy destination to reach. As a world away, but still close to home, it’s a wonderful escape.
While the islands have an abundance of first class resorts, the Caribbean now has a first class hospital in the Cayman Islands which is a healthcare option for medical travelers who want the best of both worlds – an affordable quality international hospital within easy reach of the U.S. and a beautiful healthful environment.
Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) is the second Joint Commission International accredited private hospital after Doctors Hospital in the Bahamas and is aiming to turn the Caribbean into a medical tourism hub. A joint venture between Narayana Health group from India and U.S. based Ascension, it opened in February 2014 and offers high quality care at affordable prices compared to healthcare costs nearby in the U.S.
For example, here are four procedures with prices comparisons between Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) and U.S. average prices.
Heart Bypass (CABG x 4)
HCCI: $31,680 vs. U.S.: $151,533
Heart Valve Replacement
HCCI: $30,960 vs. U.S.: $186,548
HCCI: $15,840 vs. U.S.: $105,049
HCCI: $15,840 vs. U.S.:$69,214
The Affordable Healthcare Act in the U.S., while helping to insure millions of Americans, has not slowed the pace of growth of medical tourists seeking care outside the U.S. Commons concerns for medical tourists are being as near to home as possible, being in a comfortable environment, and receiving higher quality care than is available in their home city. Health City Cayman Islands provides all of this with the extra benefit of offering an ideal location for recovery before returning home, a benefit that many overlook.
Health City Cayman Islands has several centers of excellence including cardiac surgery, cardiology, orthopedics, pediatrics, endocrinology, pulmonology.
It also has a helpful international patient desk that can help schedule your appointments at the hospital. Their goal is to make the patient’s experience exceptional from arrival to departure using world class specialists and leading edge technology. The hospital offers bundled pricing that includes the initial consultation, all physician visits up to two weeks post-surgery, the operating and medication fees, along with all transportation costs and inpatient services.
With a resort style setting, top medicals services, and affordable prices, Health City Cayman Islands has established itself as the premier hospital in the Caribbean and an ideal location for medical travel.
March 28, 2016 Tweet
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, a small country in Southeast Asia situated between Singapore to the south and Thailand to the north. Formally a British colony, proficiency in English is very high in the healthcare community and a key strength of the doctors and administration officials at the major hospitals. KL, as it is known locally, is an influential city in the region with modern buildings, an award winning airport and effective transportation throughout the metro area.
KL is a multicultural city with a pleasant mixture or Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities along with a large expat community. Because the country is so hospitable and friendly to visitors, it has become a hub for medical travelers who find good value in the extensive and high quality international hospitals located in the city and throughout the metro area.
Here are five popular hospitals that have received either international recognition, are popular regionally, or have a very strong reputation locally and among the expat community.
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur is located in the heart of the burgeoning and popular Ampang area of northeast Kuala Lumpur. The hospital is owned by the large Parkway Pantai Group which includes Mt. Elizabeth Hospital and Gleneagles in Singapore. It is a modern hospital which has won international recognition among medical tourists and has a very popular Executive Health Screening program serving many of the business expats, embassy personnel and foreign diplomats in the area. Centers of excellence include oncology, women and children’s health, cardiology, orthopedic, and neurology. The hospital is adding another ten story building with an integrated laboratory system, service apartments and a hotel. Just off Ampang Road and not far from the city center, access is easy and convenient.
Sunway Medical Center started with one building in 1999 and has now expanded to 5 with another complex on the way. Located in the planned development of Bandar Sunway in the KL suburb of Petaling Jaya which includes Sunway Univeristy, Sunway Resort, Sunway Lagoon which is a theme park, and various condo complexes. Its very modern facility is designed for maximum efficiency with a pharmacy located in every department to speed up the fulfillment of prescriptions. Centers of excellence include oncology, health screenings, digestive health, and fertility. Post operation recovery is simplified at Sunway Medical Center with the resort facilities nearby.
Prince Court Medical Center is a private health care facility located centrally in Kuala Lumpur and very close to the KLCC shopping center. It is wholly owned by Petronas which is Malaysia’s national petroleum company. Its ultra modern, sleek, and “green” design give it a relaxing and spacious feel. Well known for its Executive Health Screening program, it is also well known for gastroenterology, cardiology, burn management, IVF , oncology, orthopedics, and radiology. Popular as well among the expat community, it has received international recognition and attracts top doctors. Located just off Jalan Tun Razak, it’s easy to find and access.
Subang Jaya Medical Center is the flagship hospital in Malysia for Ramsay Sime Darby Health which is a joint venture between Ramsay Health of Australia and Sime Darby which manages palm oil plantations in Malaysia. The hospital is located in the KL suburb of Subang Jaya another suburb southwest of KL and bordering Petaling Jaya. The hospital has operated since 1985, won numerous awards, and is accredited by the respected Joint Commission International. The hospital has an efficient Health Screening Program, advanced technology, and top expertise in a variety of medical specialties. Two other hospitals are owned by the same group in KL – newly built ParkCIty Medical Center and Ara Damansara Medical Center.
Opend in 1995, KPJ Ampang Putri Specialist Hospital is the first hospital of the largest hospital network in Malaysia, KPJ Healthcare Berhad which operations 25 hospitals in the country. Located in the Ampang area of KL, it is Joint Commission International certified. It offers services for a wide range of specialties including renal, cardiology, OBGYN, gastroenterology, and endocrinology.
As medical tourism continues to expand in Kuala Lumpur, these hospitals are an excellent choice when preparing for one’s health care needs and offer the convenience and expertise needed to make medical travel to the city worthwhile.
November 26, 2015 Tweet
A health screening is a valuable way to detect changes in one’s health. A valuable component of preventative medicine is the colonoscopy. This test means looking inside in the colon which is the large intestine and is the last section of the digestive system. A common disease that occurs in the colon is colorectal cancer which begins as a polyp and then progresses to a cancerous tumor.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in the U.S. when incidences of men and women are combined. It can take as many as 10 to 15 years for a polyp to develop into cancer, so early detection can prevent this form of cancer from developing by finding and removing the polyp.
During a colonoscopy a gastroenterologist inserts a long, thin flexible tube via the rectum. The tube has a camera on its tip which allows the specialist to see the inside lining of the colon. The test can take from 5 to 30 minutes depending upon the condition of the colon.
To prepare for the test, the patient will usually take a laxative 12 hours prior to the examination to clean the colon. During the test the patient is either partially or fully sedated. Afterwards the patient will rest in a recovery area until the effects of the medication have worn off. At this point the doctor will review the results.
The procedure does have risks including colon perforation, hemorrhaging if a polyp is removed, and allergic reactions to the sedation medicine. However, the risks are considered low and the value of the screening is very high. Many international hospitals have health screening departments and provide this test. Consult your physician to determine if this test is necessary for your health.
This video from Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, gives a full overview of the colonoscopy procedure.
November 22, 2015 Tweet
The liver is a vital and important organ in the human body. The liver filters blood coming from the digestive tract before it goes to the rest of the body. It also detoxifies harmful substances. It is the largest internal organ and works 24 hours a day.
Because the liver is a complex organ it is susceptible to many complications such as hepatitis which is inflammation of the liver. Inflammation can be caused by viruses and also lifestyle factors such as alcohol, obesity, and allergic reactions. When the liver is scarred from chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease, or fat build up it leads to cirrhosis. This condition prevents the liver from functioning properly.
When treatment is unable to prevent damage to the liver, a transplant is the last option for patients with end-stage liver disease. There are two types of transplants. The first is deceased donor liver transplant and the second is living donor liver transplant. If the wait time is too long for the first type of transplant, the second type, LDLT, can be a viable option. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“You may have a shorter waiting period and equal or improved life expectancy with a living-donor transplant.” ~ Mayo Clinic
During an LDLT procedure, the surgeon removes the entire damaged liver of the recipient and replaces it with a portion of the healthy liver from the donor. It’s expected that the livers of both parties will grow back and be healthy. Two additional benefits of the LDLT procedure are that it allows scheduling of the procedure so that the recipient can be properly prepared and the quality of the graft may be better since it is received from a healthy donor and the cold ischaemic time (duration which the donor tissue is on ice) is shorter.
Several international hospitals have centers of excellence devoted to liver transplants. Investigating and researching the best options locally and globally early on for LDLT can optimize your chances for a return to proper health.
November 14, 2015 Tweet
Having your blood pressure measured during a routine visit to the doctor may seem like such a common test that we don’t pay much attention to the results. Most of the time the physicians assistant will wright down the reading and tell you that you are within the normal range. However, when the readings go outside of the normal range, it can lead to major complications which is why the test is performed so regularly. It’s also a condition that can be control through lifestyle changes, so it’s important to understand what the readings mean and how you can manage it.
According to the NIH:
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, sometimes called hypertension, happens when this force is too high.
Normal BP is defined as 120 over 80 mmHg. Some factors naturally cause BP to rise such as age. For this reason, the first stage of HBP is defined as 140 over 90 mmHg. Other conditions may raise BP even further to 160 over 100 mmHg which is the second stage.
It is important to keep BP in the normal range since it can impair health over the long run. Conditions which arise from HBP include chronic kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, eye damage, and aneurysms. Many kidney transplants are required due to kidney failure as a results of chronic HBP.
There are many causes of HBP including genetic and biological factors. However, the most controllable factors are environmental or lifestyle factors. Here are a few that contribute to HBP but which can be managed:
HBP can be controlled and it should be a reading that has value to you in your quest for optimum health. If you are happy with your BP readings then you are prepared for better health outcomes in the future. If you feel the reading could be lower, there are steps you can take today to bring your BP into the normal range.
November 11, 2015 Tweet
Osteoarthritis results from joint cartilage wearing out over time and is one of the most common forms of arthritis in adults. It’s most common in the knees, hips, spine, and hands. Inside a joint, cartilage acts as a cushion. It surrounds and preserves the ends of bones where they connect to from the joint. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis worsens over time and no cure is available.
Several factors increase the risk of osteoarthritis including being overweight or obese, joint stress, joint injury, and muscle weakness. Symptoms include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, and loss of flexibility among others. Treatments include lifestyle changes such as resting more, avoiding activities that put stress on joints, wearing braces, along with proper controlled exercise and physical therapy. Medical intervention includes anti-inflammatory drugs and more serious medications. When pain becomes too severe, then joint replacement such as total knee replacement, total hip replacement, or hand microsurgery can be performed. All treatments need to be prescribed by a doctor after a thorough evaluation.
The best defense against osteoarthritis is to always protect one’s joints. This includes maintaining the ideal body weight to lessen pressure on the joints. Proper exercise to enhance flexibility, endurance, and strength is also essential. Pacing is important when exercising or doing taxing work. Ease into a workout especially when there is stress directly on the joints. Repetitive stress on joints over the long run can increase wear and tear. Finally, listen to your body. When it hurts, stop performing the activity and get rest.
Aging is the most noticeable predictor of osteoarthritis, but it doesn’t have to cause it. Taking care of your body and your joints will go a long way to keep them free of pain and maximize mobility throughout life.
November 2, 2015 Tweet
According to the National Kidney Foundation there are 122,403 people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in the U.S. as of October 2015. Of this, 101, 189 are for kidney transplants. In 2014, the number of kidney transplants that occurred was 17, 105. The numbers are alarming and should be a sign of caution for people who are concerned about their health.
The main function of both kidneys in each person is to filter blood to remove toxins which creates urine. When the kidneys become damaged they lose the ability to filter blood properly which puts the body at risk. One of the main causes of kidney damage is high blood pressure (HBP). HBP causes damage overtime to arteries and blood vessels. Since a high volume of blood is moved through the kidneys, damage to the blood vessels reduces the ability of the organ to do it’s job.
Here are five ways you can promote kidney health:
There are many other lifestyle choices which can impact kidney health. However, focusing on general wellness will give your kidneys the best chance for optimum health and keep all of your organs in great shape.
October 28, 2015 Tweet
Kuala Lumpur International Airport, known as KLIA, is an ultra modern airport located about 25 miles south of Malaysia’s largest city, Kuala Lumpur. Built in 1998, it is a major airline hub for Southeast Asia and home to two local airlines – Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia. It has won airport of the year three times in 2005, 2006, and 2007. There are many transportation options from KLIA to downtown Kuala Lumpur including taxi, bus, and light rail. The light rail option is describe here on the KLIA website.
Upon arriving at KLIA, you will most likely take the rail link inside the airport called Aerotrain to get to immigration and baggage claim. For most travelers, there is no need to fill out a landing card. Immigration usually goes very quickly as the hall is large with many stations. Within the airport there are a variety of food and beverage options and you’ll be able to get a first taste of the local cuisines.
If you plan to visit an international hospital in Malaysia, KLIA makes a very good first impression and is an efficient airport for arrival and departure.
August 2, 2015 Tweet
Between 2009 and 2013, the number of medical tourists arriving in Malaysia increased to 770,134 from 336,225 according to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC). These numbers are expected to grow as the sector receives more attention and a boost from the government which is eager to make the country a preferred destination for international patients. The construction of a world class airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), several years ago is an example of this commitment.
There are many strong factors which will aid this goal. English is widely spoken in Malaysia since it was a former British colony, making travel to and communication with hospitals easier. Further, because there is a pleasant mix of cultures in Malaysia, many hospital staff are used to communication with visitors from a variety of backgrounds. Second, there are a large number of world class hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, the largest city, and in Penang Island which hosts the second largest city and is a 45 minute flight up the west coast. Third, the cost of many procedures is much lower compared to the U.S. and wait times for procedures can be as short as a day.
Malaysia is building a core strength in performing high-end procedures such as heart bypass and orthopedic surgery non-invasively which shortens the recovery time for patients and reduces the time the have to stay at a hospital. This is important since many patients are concerned about how long they need to stay after a procedure before returning home without fear of complications.
While there are competing nations in the region such as Thailand, Singapore, and potentially Vietnam in the future, Malaysia offers very good value comparatively and is prepared for an increase in international patients originating from the region such as Indonesia, the Gulf states such as the UAE, and eventually the U.S.
June 30, 2015 Tweet
The popularity of health screenings at international hospitals is growing because they are so useful to analyze one’s health. To make the most of the program and maximize the accuracy of the measurements, the patient must do a few things to get ready. Here are five key ways to prepare for a health screening.
1. Fast for 12 hours before the the health screening program starts – all the way up to when the blood test is done. Fasting includes skipping all foods and liquids except for water. All medications may be taken except for medications that must be taken after food (such as anti-diabetic medicine).
2. Bring gym shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes for the heart stress test which is done on a treadmill. Depending on your physical shape, you may be actually running and sweating.
3. Drink lots of water prior to arrival. The nurses will ask to get a urine sample from you, so it is helpful to be ready to go. Also, for the abdominal ultrasound, your bladder will need to be full so that the doctor can get an accurate image. There will be water provided at the department as well. Some programs have radiology equipment inside the health screening department. Others will require you to walk to the Radiology Department in another part of the hospital. The administrators will explain how to get there.
4. Bring your passport. The patient form requires passport information.
5. Allow time for the screening program. It may take less than two hours, but depending on how many people are going through that day it may take longer. Most programs will provide food after all of the tests are done. Also, determine when you’ll be able to review the results. If your program is in the morning, then results will be available usually by 2pm in the afternoon. If you can’t review it on the same day, try to have a day and time in mind when you can come back in to meet with the doctor.
If you are able to follow all of these guidelines, then you are prepared for a very accurate health screening and analysis of your state of health!
June 25, 2015 Tweet
The health screening is a specialty of many international hospitals which prioritize preventative health or medicine for patients. It’s a group of tests which measure the different parameters of the body’s bio-systems to determine if a medical condition exists. The results from the program can alert the patient if one of their parameters is outside the normal range which may lead to long term chronic illness, indicate the presence or risk of cancer, or detect a virus or other communicable disease.
While a comprehensive health screening is easy to do for a hospital and fairly quick (it usually takes about 2 hours) it is not a common offering for hospitals in the U.S. or in other developed countries. In fact, most physicals in the U.S. are simply a blood work readout with a quick review by the doctor. However, in some cases, blood work is not even performed. By contrast, it’s a very standard and much promoted program in many international hospitals in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and India. It’s also gaining in popularity.
A typical health screening covers the following groups of tests:
– blood work
– urinary analysis
– physical analysis
– heart stress test
Vitals include the basics such as blood pressure and body temperature.
Blood work is done to check cholesterol levels, cancer markers, viruses such as hepatitis and HIV, and mineral levels.
Urinary analysis covers kidney and liver function along with hydration levels and urinary tract infections (UTI).
Physical analysis eye sight tests, hearing tests, flexibility, height and weight, BMI calculation, and lung capacity. A body examination is carried out to check for any abnormalities including an enlarged thyroid. A body composition test calculates fat and muscle levels.
Heat analysis includes an EKG and a heart stress test done on a treadmill. The stress test raises your heart rate to 85% of the maximum rate so that the cardiologist can see how your heart performs and then recovers.
The last tests are done in the radiology lab. They include a DEXA test which is a bone densitometer reading to check bone density levels of the spine and hip. Then a chest extra is done to check for abnormalities in the lungs. Lastly, an ultrasound scan of the abdominal organs is performed to check for abnormalities and tumors.
Of all the tests, the most valuable is the abdominal ultrasound. The radiologist is able to view the abdomen, pancreas, prostate, gall bladder and stomach to detect anything out of the ordinary. Such a test can find tumors in the pancreas, an enlarged prostate, or polyps in the gall bladder. It is a simple way to examine the condition of the patients organs in that part of the body where many chronic illnesses occur.
The screening also includes a thorough consultation with a doctor to review the results and make recommendations or even see a specialist if any concerns are highlighted. Additionally, if the patient visits the same hospital for the screening on a regular basis, the data from previous screenings is used to compare to current results to spot trends, positive or negative.
The cost for the health screening in several hospitals in Malaysia and Thailand is about US$400. It can vary, however, based on the hospital and any additional tests that are added. Some screenings, for example, are geared towards cancer prevention and detection, and can include a colonoscopy and/or mammogram. This out of pocket cost is fairly low considering the range of tests that are performed and the data that is collected, especially since it may be life-saving.
Focusing on prevention is the best way a hospital can help manage one’s health and catch chronic illness early on. The health screening offered by many international hospitals does this in a professional and efficient manner. Furthermore, once a patient goes through their first screening, they are more likely to think strategically about life decisions that impact their well-being!
June 15, 2015 Tweet
Several years years ago, when I was in my late 60’s, living and working in Malaysia, I had a devastating accidental fall from the top of an aluminum step-ladder. I was reaching for some items on a very high closet shelf when the ladder collapsed under me. I fell with full force on one side of my hip-bone.
I was in excruciating pain, unable to move even a fraction of an inch. I called out for help. My wife immediately commandeered an ambulance. They came promptly, scooped me up, and delivered me to emergency in a nearby hospital – all within about 20-30 minutes.
The physician on duty happened to be the top orthopedic surgeon in Malaysia. He had a scan made of my hip and he said, “I have bad news for you. Your hip is broken in five places and it will take 10 to 12 hours of surgery to make repairs. But before we take that step, we have to pull your leg out, as it has pushed through your hip and then we will take another x-ray.”
After the procedure, the doctor came to me again and said “I have some very surprising news for you. After we pulled your leg out, all five broken pieces returned back to their original position. You now have the option of either ‘hip-replacement surgery’ or ‘self-healing’ — with no surgery at all. The latter would require a hospital stay of 5 – 6 weeks, bed-ridden and in traction.
Upon checking with my physician in the USA I was shocked to hear that self-healing would not even be an option in America. He said surgery would be automatic. He said, “No hospital could accommodate you for the several weeks required.”
I chose self-healing, which proved highly successful. I had a private room with daily physio-therapy, continual nursing care, and frequent doctor visits. I ordered my meals from a daily menu. There was an adjacent private room in case my wife wished to stay over-night. The total cost for everything was approximately $12,000 (equivalent USD). This was followed by several weeks of rehab to allow the muscles to return to normal.
I healed so well, that I scaled Malaysia’s highest mountain peak of 14,000 feet (Mt. Kinabalu) within 12 months of the accident. I wanted to prove full recovery to myself.
This entire experience demonstrated to me the fallacy in the notion that the USA has the best there is to offer in medical care. It was a real eye opener, supported by other experiences I have had regarding the wonderful quality of medical care in Malaysia.
June 7, 2015 Tweet
Bangkok, the capital of and largest city in Thailand, is an established medical hub for international patients and has a wide range of internationally accredited hospitals, including Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the busiest medical centers in the world. The main entry point for patients is Suvarnabhumi International Airport located at the eastern edge of the metro area. It’s an easy airport to navigate and provides a variety of transportation modes into the city. The three most common forms of transit are taxi, the Airport Rail Link, and hospital arranged transport.
Upon arriving, most passengers will de-plane directly at the gate. However, some flights will de-plane onto the tarmac and passengers will load onto a bus which will transport them to the terminal. Once inside the terminal, passengers will walk to immigration, baggage claim, and customs which appear very similar to most international airports. After collecting one’s baggage, passengers proceed to the transportation departure points to Bangkok.
Taxis and hospital pick-ups are located outside Floor 1. Just follow the signs for taxis and request on from the Taxi Desk. Make sure it is a metered taxi. Fares start at 35 Baht and there is a 50 Baht surcharge from the airport. It is helpful to have 100 Baht notes to pay for the trip. Depending on one’s arrival time, travel by taxi could take more than an hour due to high levels of traffic and congestion.
If you are mobile enough to handle transit by light rail, then the Airport Rail Link (City Line) will could save time and costs. Travel into the city by rail is 45 Baht [roughly US$1.30] one way payable at the ticket window in the airport. The airport line ends at the PhyaThai station in Bangkok. You will need to exit the train and then either leave the station to catch a cab or connect to the BTS line. If you decide to continue on the light rail look for the BTS ticket window. The ticket fare for the BTS line varies by distance to the stations and can be up to 35 Baht. The ticket window will not issue a ticket but will provide change for your Baht paper money in 10 Baht coins. Once you have the coins, go to the nearby ticket dispensing machine, find the fare for the station to which you need to go, and insert the coins to get the ticket. Central stations include: Siam, Ploen Chit (near Sukhumvit Soi 1), Victory Monument, Chit Lom, and Thong Lo. From these stations, you can catch a taxi to the hotel or hospital.
Bangkok BTS Map: http://www.transitbangkok.com/bts.html
The photos below are a visual guide to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and show how to get to the Airport Rail Link. Upon returning to the airport for your departure flight, be sure to arrive at least two hours before the flight. Check-in lines and, particularly, immigration lines can be long and slow.
May 21, 2015 Tweet
Seeking treatment for a medical condition at an international hospital has become easier. In fact, the experience may be even better than at one’s local hospital. Here are several benefits to visiting a hospital overseas.
1. Shorter wait times – many international hospitals don’t have wait times to perform surgical procedures. Once one’s condition and treatment plan has been evaluated, surgery can be perform almost immediately.
2. See specialists more quickly – there are few barriers to seeing specialists at international hospitals. In fact, some hospitals may only have a small fee to meet with a specialists to evaluate your condition and treatment options.
3. Lower costs – based on most comparisons, costs at many high quality international hospitals are less than costs in the U.S. Costs in the U.S. for many treatments ranging from orthopedic surgery (hip replacement and knee replacement to angioplasty and heart value replacement) may be higher by a factor of 5 compared to international hospitals in Southeast Asia, India, or Latin America.
4. Equal or better quality – there has been an rapid increase in accreditations by international organizations such as the Joint Commission International of hospitals around the world, meaning the standards at certified hospitals are very high. In addition, the facilities may be more modern and the equipment newer and more advanced.
5. Evaluation of all options before surgery – while surgery may be the first option at hospitals in one’s home country, many international hospitals aren’t driven to perform surgery. Doctors may evaluate all options with you first including natural healing methods.
6. Better post treatment care for less cost – while surgery can be done almost immediately at many international hospitals, it is the post surgery and recovery time that will determine the success of the operation. Because costs are lower for inpatient rooms at international hospitals, you may be able to afford a longer stay at the hospital to recover from your procedure. Further, many hospitals recommend nearby resorts and spas where recovery can be done in a peaceful and nurturing environment.
7. Nicer inpatient rooms – because of the lower costs and newer facilities, inpatient rooms may be much nicer and offer private accommodation.
8. Hospitals take care of travel arrangements – many international hospitals are located in established tourist hubs, so travel to the hospital is streamlined. Hospitals have international patient teams that will assist with travel arrangements and visa requirements taking the stress out of the travel portion of the visit. Some of the larger hospitals may even have a counter at the airport.
9. High levels of efficiency – if a hospital in your home country seems slow, many international hospitals, by contrast, pride themselves in operational efficiency so that the patient’s experience is pleasant. For example, a hospital in Malaysia has a pharmacy in every department so that prescriptions are filled hassle free.
10. Combine holiday and medical travel – it is becoming popular for people to combine travel plans and even book vacations around a hospital visit. Many outpatient procedures can be done together with holiday travel rather easily. Having a comprehensive health screening while on holiday is one of the first ways people become familiar with medical tourism.