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Old 14-09-2020, 12:15   #1
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Question Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

I'm planning an extended 7 month stay in the leeward islands, and as I'm not insured, I figured now would be a good time to get some dental work as well as a colonoscopy.

Any suggestions or experiences with pricing of such services out there? Where best to go? I'll be starting out in Antigua. TIA!
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Old 14-09-2020, 12:26   #2
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

Only med tourism I know of in the E Carib is for resort like cosmetic surgery, but others may know more.

Here in the W Carib/Central America, Mecidal Tourism is definately a thing for whatever you need. My first choice would be Guatemala City...excellent first world healthcare at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 14-09-2020, 12:37   #3
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

A different approach to consider in the US:
Dental: Don't be afraid to call around to American dentists asking for best cash price for services such as a root canal, fillings, extractions. I understand that in some areas the dental industry is taking a hard hit from Covid; if you've got cash you might be surprised what you can get in the US. If prices in the Caribbean are similar to Thailand or Mexico, you wouldn't be saving much money by going outside the US. Of course I'm not talking about Hollywood smile services.

Colonoscopy: for colon cancer screening, if a person does not have specific risk factors, then periodic stool testing alone is adequate (less than $100). Otherwise, the risk of serious complications from a screening colonoscopy is worse than 1 per 2,000.

If you don't have insurance, consider looking into direct primary care AKA concierge medical practices. Typically an internist or family doc who charges ~$75-$125/month for unlimited access, typically same or next day appointment available. Fee only covers doc's services but routinely they've negotiated steep discounts on meds, lab testing, radiology, and sometimes even certain procedures (like colonoscopies). This isn't insurance, it's sort of like club membership where members have access to doc services (maybe including suturing or even simple scopes for cost of materials in the office).
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Old 14-09-2020, 12:51   #4
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

I got a tooth repaired in Grenada for $51 US. List price in the US was $380 US. The dentist I went to is walkable from Prickly Bay or Mt. Hartman Bay and does implants as well. The Dominican Republic is cheaper, but it is better to know some Spanish.

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Old 15-09-2020, 09:40   #5
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

I live on Martinique and medical there is price controlled by the French government due to their single payer system. Although I’m in the French system you would be paying in Euro’s and it’s very safe and affordable. I have a root canal and crown done for 275.00 US dollars.
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Old 15-09-2020, 09:59   #6
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Only med tourism I know of in the E Carib is for resort like cosmetic surgery, but others may know more.

Here in the W Carib/Central America, Mecidal Tourism is definately a thing for whatever you need. My first choice would be Guatemala City...excellent first world healthcare at a fraction of the cost.


My wife and I have lived in Guatemala for almost 11 years. I second the above. Without considering $$, I prefer getting treated in Guatemala City for anything dental or medical as long as the doctor has done whatever the procedure is many, many times. I would suggest going elsewhere if you need a new procedure or if you have a rare condition that is not often treated in Guatemala. But for example I went to a Urologist in Guatemala City for bladder stones. I learned that he had done a couple of thousand kidney transplants. He removed bladder stones with laser on an outpatient basis in the modern outpatient operating room in his office. Colonoscopy worked the same way. Better care for a fraction of the cost. More warm, not rushed attention from MD's unlike in the USA. Most test results are available the same day or next day. Testing locations if not in the same building as the doctors office then they are almost always walking distance.

The only problem is you will have the prevailing trade winds from the East to deal with when returning from Rio Dulce, Guatemala, other than cruising the Belize and Yucatan coasts. Depending on where you are in the Caribbean you are probably better off flying through either MIA / FLL or Panama City.
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Old 15-09-2020, 11:50   #7
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

I needed a specialist doctor in Martinique and I failed to find one. I think Martinique and Guadeloupe suffer from deficit of medical doctors.


I have no insurance and paid 100%. It was not very expensive.



b.
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:11   #8
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

Quote:
If prices in the Caribbean are similar to Thailand or Mexico, you wouldn't be saving much money by going outside the US. Of course I'm not talking about Hollywood smile services.
I will never go to another dentist in the US. Not sure where you think that these discount dental services are in the US. This has never been my experience and most US dentists are only trained in general dentistry. You need a proper endodontist for root canals. US dentists will talk you into amalgam fillings which are 49% mercury. I lost a tooth because a terrible dentist on Kauai (Shawn Murphy, Hanalei Dental) installed something called a silver point instead of gutta percha causing me pain for years. My old Guatemalan dentist said they hadn't used silver points since the 1950s. I get all my work done with Zirconia ceramic. For a fraction of the prices in the US. There is a great new dentist on the Rio Dulce with a modern clinic and they have their own dinghy dock (in San Felipe near Abels). He had an aesthetic practice in the city and is an oral surgeon. He can do full reconstructions, implants, orthodontics, you name it. He has become quite popular among the cruisers there. Not as cheap as in Thialand though. I have been to some pretty good dentists in Mexico as well but not as good as Dr. Fernando. I have no idea about the eastern Caribbean islands and don't think that there will be much medical tourism there.
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Old 17-09-2020, 06:22   #9
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
... If prices in the Caribbean are similar to Thailand or Mexico, you wouldn't be saving much money by going outside the US. ...
Do you have hard data to back that up?

It certainly doesnt match my experience nor that of many others I know. The prices Ive paid in the past in the USA were many times higher than those in Central America. My last crown replaced in Guatemala was $250. This was in a first class dental clinic, USA/Euro trained docs, 3D scanned + molded, 3D printed on site while I waited in their comfy lounge w WiFi, fit perfect the first time, and now, a few years later, I cant tell its there and zero problems. Very different than my experiences in the USA in terms of both price & quality.
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Old 17-09-2020, 07:00   #10
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Do you have hard data to back that up?

It certainly doesnt match my experience nor that of many others I know. The prices Ive paid in the past in the USA were many times higher than those in Central America. My last crown replaced in Guatemala was $250. This was in a first class dental clinic, USA/Euro trained docs, 3D scanned + molded, 3D printed on site while I waited in their comfy lounge w WiFi, fit perfect the first time, and now, a few years later, I cant tell its there and zero problems. Very different than my experiences in the USA in terms of both price & quality.
My wife and I have lived in Guatemala 11 years. The excellent dental and medical Care in Guatemala is a fraction of the price in the USA.
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Old 18-09-2020, 17:37   #11
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Augi View Post
My wife and I have lived in Guatemala 11 years. The excellent dental and medical Care in Guatemala is a fraction of the price in the USA.
I agree, dental/medical care is awesome in Guate (as long as you are not in the public side of the system) and very affordable. We now live in Panama, but still prefer to return to Guate for medical care when possible.

I was hoping the original poster of that comment could provide some evidence to back up his statement that there is really not much difference in cost. Certainly is radically different than my experience.
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Old 18-09-2020, 18:37   #12
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

That was Singularity. What part of the US are you where you can dial cheap dental? Maybe you can. Not in the town I am in.
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Old 17-10-2020, 15:27   #13
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbs Up View Post
I will never go to another dentist in the US. Not sure where you think that these discount dental services are in the US. This has never been my experience and most US dentists are only trained in general dentistry. You need a proper endodontist for root canals. US dentists will talk you into amalgam fillings which are 49% mercury. I lost a tooth because a terrible dentist on Kauai (Shawn Murphy, Hanalei Dental) installed something called a silver point instead of gutta percha causing me pain for years. My old Guatemalan dentist said they hadn't used silver points since the 1950s. I get all my work done with Zirconia ceramic. For a fraction of the prices in the US. There is a great new dentist on the Rio Dulce with a modern clinic and they have their own dinghy dock (in San Felipe near Abels). He had an aesthetic practice in the city and is an oral surgeon. He can do full reconstructions, implants, orthodontics, you name it. He has become quite popular among the cruisers there. Not as cheap as in Thialand though. I have been to some pretty good dentists in Mexico as well but not as good as Dr. Fernando. I have no idea about the eastern Caribbean islands and don't think that there will be much medical tourism there.
Thumbs Up,
Do you have any idea what the dentist in San Felipe near Abel’s charges for a crown or implants? Do they have a website?
Thanks
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Old 17-10-2020, 22:53   #14
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

If you have face book or messenger it is :https://www.facebook.com/cledentriodulce/
Messenger them (in English) and Ruth will get right back to you. I paid more for
zirconia but he specializes in porcelain. I forget the price maybe $300. per tooth but just ask. Also he will also diagnose bite/tmj problems.
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Old 19-10-2020, 07:33   #15
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Re: Medical tourism in the Caribbean?

Just for comparison sake, I had a crown replaced last year at Centro Dental in Guatemala City for $250. Centro Dental is a big clinic, first class all the way, all the latest tech. So, I suspect that a dentist in San Filipe would be at least in that ball park.
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