Croatia, a somewhat hidden healthcare gem in the Mediterranean
Medical tourism has quickly become a more viable option for healthcare in the past decade. So how is it that Americans do not consider it an option when they are making important healthcare decisions? We are no longer living in a world where the best doctors, procedures or treatment facilities are nestled within the United States. Now, more than ever before, doctors seek education in America before returning to their native country to practice, collaborate and educate. These doctors bring their prestigious degrees and training together with their culture’s way of approaching healthcare, creating an incredible way to experience medicine.
In Croatia, a somewhat hidden gem in the Mediterranean, this medicine magic is at full force. Doctors who boast impressive resumes have settled here, in what can only be described as an ancient paradise, to spread the gospel of their exemplary way of treating their patients. Pre & post procedure protocol is unmatched as patients are afforded plenty of face time with all personnel involved in whatever treatment they are receiving. Some might describe the experience as somewhat intense and overwhelming initially, having a surgeon be so invested in your recovery or taking the time to patiently answer all questions pre-surgery. The fact is, we simply are not used to this type of access to our physicians, which seems incredibly bizarre once the alternative is experienced.
What would you pay for that kind of treatment? The notion of having such personalized care is so foreign to us that we assume that it must cost a king’s ransom and then some. Most will be surprised to find that it doesn’t. Often times, procedures are done at more than half the price a person would pay in the U.S. Once again, the assumption that we have the best of the best is misleading. Standing only at 34th in the world in terms of healthcare quality, you have to wonder why that is? Why is it that we can’t seem to compete?
And again, Croatia is showing us just how it is actually done. Not only do patients receive top notch care and attention throughout the duration of their procedure and recovery, but they receive it in incredibly luxurious surroundings. Patients are finding that with the extreme price difference on the medical side of their trip they are able to afford a beautiful place to stay while they recover. And everything is designed with the patient at the center, ensuring ease and comfort all the way. Nurses are scheduled to come to you, chefs curate delicious menus, housekeepers see to it that you have everything could possibly need. The pampering is unbelievable! Such treatment would cost a fortune anywhere else, but in Croatia it is just their way. They believe that health and wellness are tied together and that inherent belief is what lends the nation its incredible healthcare.
The financial rewards for partnering with high value, low cost providers in Croatia can be very impressive. Let’s take a knee replacement for example. We can pay $30,000 to $60,000 not including rehab etc. in the US. In Croatia, you can have a top notch EU surgeon perform the most up to date procedure including rehab for around $9,000. After including $6,000 for travel and waiving co-pays and deductibles the savings can add up. Not to mention the lower presence of MRSA which is as low as 0.65% at some facilities in Croatia where the average rate in the US is 14%.
Finally, looking at taking advantage of US laws, Croatia has some procedures that are not allowed, or performed yet in the US, but are safe and FDA approved in the EU. Regenerative Medicine can help put Croatia providers on the Medical Travel map!
Here are a few links to articles about our recent trip to Croatia, where we were introduced to providers and spoke at a conference.
Bagatin Clinic News
The Business Daily (Croatian News)