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Healthcare varies across countries, and cost is no exception.
If you’re thinking of travelling or moving abroad, it’s important to be aware of these changes. No operation is cheap, but some of the differences between different countries and operations can be astonishing and International health insurance is just one way of protecting yourself against unexpected costs.
According to the International Federation of Health Plans (2013), the average cost of spending the day in hospital in the United States is almost nine times more expensive than in Spain.
In addition to this, common procedures such as hip replacements, cost on average £27,549 in Hong Kong – more than double the cost of undergoing the same procedure in the United Kingdom.
An appendectomy, the removal of the appendix and one of the most common operations in the UK, costs an average £5,512 in the UK. Whilst the UK isn’t the most expensive place to undergo this surgery, the cost is still five times more expensive than in Argentina, where it can cost just £1,099.
The lowest costs for operations typically come from Argentina, the Netherlands and Switzerland whilst the highest costs are largely from Hong Kong, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The most expensive operation listed here is the coronary artery bypass graft which is a procedure that improves blood flow to the heart. At its most expensive, this surgery can cost as much as £48,048 in the United States, compared to just £10,042 in the Netherlands (the lowest reported cost) – a difference of £38,006.
An MRI scan which is designed to provide detailed pictures of organs and other structures inside the human body is the lowest costing procedure listed here. In Switzerland, an MRI scan costs £88 on average but can cost as much as £761 in the UK.
Operations such as the ones listed here are extremely common, for example 7% of people in the UK will get appendicitis at some point in their life. In order to avoid facing large bills such as the ones outlined above, it is important to ensure that you and your loved ones are adequately covered when thinking about travelling or moving abroad – especially in countries that have more expensive hospital stays and operation costs.
Find out more information about what is covered in an international healthcare plan. Alternatively, you can get a quote now.
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