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The Real Cost of Medical Tourism

By Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2012-10-24T14:18:10Z

Photograph by Martin Bureau/Getty Images

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Heart Bypass Surgery

If you're going under the knife for an operation such as a heart bypass, you'll likely be more comfortable closer to home. Those without insurance may have little choice but to seek out cheaper options. Jonathan Edelheit, chief executive officer of the Medical Tourism Association, says India offers high-quality cardiology care and has many U.S.-trained doctors. The costs are a fraction of those in the U.S. since malpractice laws limit damage awards. Edelheit says many Americans go to the Wockhardt Hospitals throughout India. The Apollo Hospitals, which also have branches in various cities in India, are also popular and are accredited by the Joint Commission International, the international arm of the Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. hospitals. An option far closer to home: Costa Rica.

$144,000: Cost of heart bypass surgery in the U.S.
$5,200: Cost in India

Closer to home:
$25,000: Cost in Costa Rica