Patients Offered Transplant Tours Of Mexico 1-17-2011

Sarah BudusonReporter,
TEMPE, Ariz.A Tempe company will soon offer tours to Mexico for uninsured patients in need of life-saving medical care.

"If there are people out there who need a kidney transplant and they don't want to die and they don't have the means, I bet they'll find their way to us," said Dr. Curtis Page, the chief executive officer of MedToGo International, a Mexico medical tourism company owned and operated by U.S. doctors.
Page expects to be able to begin setting up uninsured patients who need kidney or bone marrow transplants with top-notch Mexican doctors in a few months.
Page said the cost of a transplant operation in Mexico is about one-fourth to one-fifth the cost of an operation in the United States.
"They need to have a donor here in the U.S., though. It's not like you go to Mexico and get a kidney. It doesn't work like that," said Page.
MedToGo International has sent close to 300 patients to Mexico for surgeries since 2005.
Page said patients often receive bariatric, knee replacement or other expensive surgeries in Mexican hospitals that insurance companies refuse to cover in the U.S.
Page said many Americans' perceptions of the quality of Mexican health care are incorrect.
"They are tremendously modern," Page said.
Currently, there are three kidney transplant patients waiting for Page to arrange an operation in Mexico.
Page said uninsured transplant patients should look abroad for life-saving help.
"People have a choice. They either die, or they figure out away to innovate and find a solution," Page said.
Arizona lawmakers cut coverage for some transplant operations in 2010. Since then, two transplant patients denied coverage have died.

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