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health care countries

I need to find a country where it will be cheap to get medical care coverage. Which country will give me the best coverage at the least expense?. In the next 5-10 years i may need intensive care as i have sone chronic conditions, I am in my 60's. If I cannot find a better country, i may have to return to usa for medicare,which i realky do not want to do. I only speak English, thanks.

Depending on your condition and location convenience, some of the cheapest countries for cheapest health care according to various surveys are as follows..

The Americas: Cuba/ Brazil/ Costa Rico/ Mexico


Europe: Hungary/ Poland


Asia: China/ Singapore/ India/ Thailand


Hope this is helpful..
Good luck
Zeeshan

Thanks. Of those listed Thailand looks cheapest to live besides India. Suprised Singapore is on your list, can't believe it's cheap there judging from travel costs.

No problem.Yes, Singapore  has a govt run healthcare system and offered to both locals and expats alike.

Though Singapore is definitely not inexpensive when it comes to living standards. Its one of the most expensive places to live in globally.

I lived in both Singapore and Thailand and can compare:

- Singapore's public (government run) polyclinics and hospitals are surprisingly inexpensive and the standard of care is world standard.  Locals and permanent residents pay subsidized rates which make it cheaper still.
There are of course also costlier private hospitals, but they do not vary much in terms of medical quality, only available luxuries (for which they attract rich patients from neighbouring Asia and the Middle East).
However, you will have problems getting a long-term visa, as Singapore does not like unproductive people like pensioners. A short-term visa for medical treatment, however, is always possible.

-  Thailand has a very cheap public health system of clinics and hospitals but, as I have encountered first-hand, the medical standard fits the price - it's lousy!
Then there are also huge and famous private hospitals, which live off medical tourism (again from Asia and Middle East, but for dental treatment increasingly also from the West). According to my wife (who works in the medical business and visited many hospitals) they are among the best in the world (and are cheaper than the private hospitals in Singapore.
There is a possibility to get a residence visa in Thailand, but political instability and greed for bribes make the yearly renewal a gamble.

- Consider Malaysia, where the MM2H programme gives pensioners like you a permanent visa. It is medically somewhere between Singapore and Thailand, with slightly less awful public facilities, still world-class private ones - and the possibility to quickly travel to the other two for treatment if the need arises. It is also English-speaking (like Singapore, but unlike Thailand).

Edited to add: A feature of all these three countries, and many others, is that all medical facilities are for-profit organisations who will treat you only as long as you pay. If your money runs out, you will be left dying on the road - literally! To avoid that, move to a country with a social security programme including public health coverage, like most of Europe: You pay a certain insurance contribution based on your income and get all necessary treatment free of extra charge - e.g. in Germany the contribution for a foreign pensioner is EUR350-700/month, but you can only join up to 55 years of age.

Beppi gives some more specific info. If you know of any good countries that welcome expats into their public insurance plans, I'd like to know. I was considering Ecuador, until I read all of the thread under Ecuador health care on this forum. They have the right idea offering easy resident visa (relatively speaking) , but have failed in it's implementation. Several years ago they gave AIDS to several patients, including children on dialysis, failed to honor access to credula holders in an emergency, etc. Brazil is on Xeeschan's list, anyone know the real story there?

Btw, I am in Dumaguete Philippines now. Doctors and common lab work are dirt cheap here, but services are severely backwards-no decent mri machines, unavailable labwork. Doctors who are unprofessional by western standards, and no recourse if they commit malpractice. Insurance is available but at high cost and no guarantee they will pay up.

I have no idea about the health systems of Ecuador or Brazil. But in general, you get what you pay for - no reasonable country will welcome you with open arms and give you good health care at loss-making prices. If it is cheap, there is a reason for that - usually that not much is invested and thus the quality is poor.
For me personally.  health is the last thing I would save at!

I disagree. As with products you buy, there is no correlation between what you pay and what you get. Witness all the high cost poor quality care I've experienced in the usa. What matters more is the level of competence in gov. leaders and people in medicine. Anyone else have info on other countries   especially those having socialized open medical care. Colombia is rated highly by the WHO.

So is Cuba.

Cuba is definitely worth considering. But judging from their discriminatory travel costs (gringo tax), I wonder what they would offer a long term expat. I have read that their public system for the poor is poor but have no direct experience. One problem with these Marxist countries is the leaders are dictators, so they can impose any changes they want wout warning.

You originally asked about cost and quality of medical care - in which Cuba is widely admired throughout the third world.
Now you also talk about travel cost, living cost and political system.
What next?
If you want everything, you will not find a suitable place in this world.
Maybe you should stay where you are - being poor and needy in the rich world is definitely better than being so in a foreign, chaotic and less developed place.

For "intensive care" (home nursing), Thailand or Philippines may be your best bet; for cheap medical treatment, maybe Cuba - or possibly somewhere in the EU. But I think you're going to have to compromise somewhere down the line. You don't get nuthin' for nuthin' in this life! My wife and I are approaching 80, and live in a high-cost little Island with excellent medical facilities but expensive. In our "Living Wills" we ask that we not be transferred to the USA on any account, and that if serious treatment is required we be allowed to take our chances in either Cuba or Jamaica. By and large, we think the medical skills in those places are the equal of all but the best and most ridiculously costly of hospitals in the USA.

(And we have also signed up for a suicide clinic in Switzerland for when treatment becomes futile!)

I would recommend Thailand. Having used hospitals there have never encountered a problem. Good doctors, reasonable costs.

stumpy :

I would recommend Thailand. Having used hospitals there have never encountered a problem. Good doctors, reasonable costs.

Stumpy. Can you confirm that one doesn't have to formally reside in Thailand to take advantage of the low-cost medical treatment? It's the standard medical-tourism package, isn't it? Thanks.

No need to reside in Thailand for reasonably priced medical procedures.
Prices are higher in the upmarket Bangkok hospitals but shopping around and comparing prices will help.

Prices will have gone up but in 2008 I arrived in Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand from South Sudan with Typhoid and Malaria.
Ambulance picked me up from the plane, had 3 nights in ICU in a private room, doctor and nurses 24/7 and 2 nights in recovery. Cost was US$750.

Last daughter born in same hospital 2006, US$250.

A lot of doctors, particularity those in the larger Bangkok hospitals have been trained in USA. Bhumrangrad Hospital Bangkok is American owned. Other doctors in other areas like Ubon and elsewhere have had exposure to American medicine during the Vietnam war.

As I said above, the really cheap (and often awdul) medical deals in Thailand are in the public system only open to residents (as far as I know). But many private hospitals geared towards medical tourism offer world class care for comparatively low prices.

Hi folks,

I think Retirededucator's queries were pretty genuine and they did demand thorough discussion. Yes, there are great places everywhere.. and there are pros and cons that need to be analyzed.

I do believe that threads that dont have legal or legitimate standing and have a straight YES/NO answer should be answered and closed or deleted.

But threads like these should be encouraged with all possibilities of discussion.

Z

beppi :

You originally asked about cost and quality of medical care - in which Cuba is widely admired throughout the third world.
Now you also talk about travel cost, living cost and political system.
What next?
If you want everything, you will not find a suitable place in this world.
Maybe you should stay where you are - being poor and needy in the rich world is definitely better than being so in a foreign, chaotic and less developed place.

Z, the OP has been banned, so I don't know if the discussion will be going farther, at least on his part.

Romaniac

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