30 July 2008

Medical tourism hits New Zealand


Americans requiring complex surgery will be able to have operations in

New Zealand after the launch of a Kiwi medical tourism company.

Medtral was set up late last year to attract uninsured Americans or those looking for a cheaper option for surgery to come to New Zealand.

The company, whose creator is New Zealand obstetrician and gynaecologist Edward Watson,

will initially do surgery in private Auckland hospitals but aims to expand to Wellington and Christchurch within about five years.

It intends to do up to 1000 complex operations a year on United States medical tourists over the next next five years, but says the surgery on foreigners will not mean Kiwis miss out.

More than 100,000 private surgeries are done every year in New Zealand.

Watson is in the US seeking business.

Medtral director Andrew Wong, who is also chief executive of Auckland's MercyAscot private hospital, said the company would soon operate on its first patients.

One patient is Eugene Horn, of Williamina, Oregon, who needs both knees replaced at a cost of $US200,000 ($NZ216,000).

Source By : stuff.co.nz

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