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Economic Turmoil Creates Boom for Medical Tourism
Date:4/3/2009

Medical tourism company WorldMed Assist says economic downturn has created an uptick in his business as more people find themselves either without employer-provided insurance or with benefit plans that have been dramatically scaled back.

Concord, CA (PRWEB) April 3, 2009 -- As economies began to falter last fall, there were many predictions how this would play out for the young but booming medical tourism industry. With six months of shaky economic news to look back on, some interesting trends are starting to emerge, most of which are adding fuel to medical tourism's growth.

"We're finding there's a definite dip in requests for surgery overseas where there's no medical urgency, such as tummy tucks, chiseled noses and dental veneers," said Wouter Hoeberechts, CEO of WorldMed Assist, a company at the forefront of medical travel for North Americans. "But we're also seeing an uptick in patients who need serious surgery -- such as knee replacements, bypass surgery, spine fusion, hip resurfacing -- but can't afford insurance, were disqualified by pre-existing conditions, or have had to rejigger their health plan to cover only catastrophic situations."

WorldMed Assist's study of recent patients reveals that more than 90% travel for procedures that would have been covered, if they'd had a typical employer-provided policy. "Because our focus has always been on the more serious surgeries, the net effect on our business of the economic turmoil is tremendous growth. We are glad to be able to help so many in need," Hoeberechts said. "With employer-provided insurance slipping away or costing individuals more, combined with most procedures costing 85% less overseas than near home, we're seeing a spike in patients who find medical t
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