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DEPORTED IN PORTLAND: MEDICAL TOURISM VIA TIGARD AND BEAVERTON

deported in portland

If you need to be tough, but are a secret wussy man, bring the right back up.

I brought Jason Witten to get deported in Portland.

Not too many tougher than that.

Together we deported in Portland; both of us on just this side of crazy celebration, yet calm.

So I wore my game-watching worn Witten jersey to be deported in Portland for good luck. It’s the one I won’t wash until they win a Super Bowl again.

No Cowboy love on the surgery floor, but still a lively crew, especially when I asked if I could have the port. I know, creepy, but not a bad creepy.

“What will you do with your port?”

“Give to my wife on her birthday and creep her out. What else?”

“I’ve never heard that one before. Some people sell used devices on ebay and craigslist.”

“The do? Really?”

“Buyers travel to Mexico or India to have them installed.”

“Right, medical tourism. Ok.”

“Yes, and this is the lawyer paper I’d like you sign saying you accept this port.”

“I do.”

When it showed up it looked like an old hearing aid inside a hard plastic bottle inside a sealed plastic bag used for medical waste. I felt more creeped out it was ever in my body. Besides, how do I know it’s even mine?

But that was all later.

During the roll up to be deported in Portland, Witten and I reviewed the highlights and costs and the lure of medical tourism

An injection port here costs $10,000, give or take.

For that money I got a Chemo Port, Mediport, Cancer Port, Power Port. One of those. And it was a bargain.

Or was it? Would I rather spend ten grand for a port implanted in Portland by way of Tigard and Beaverton, or ten grand on a port implanted in India?

What would Jason Witten do?

If the cost for advanced oral cancer treatment – surgery, radiation, and /or, chemotherapy is $4400 – $8600 in India, what could a port cost?

Not ten grand, but it might come with complications, like how you feel every single sensation. I had a port and felt it a lot, especially when I bumped it. Hurt. Like. Hell.

It was weird enough enough walking around with a lump to guard without worrying if it was up to standard. And I had phone numbers to call. Perfect, right?

Who do I call in India if something popped, and it always felt ready to pop right out of my chest. Who would Jason Witten call?

Nothing goes better with a port than radiotherapy.

While I tuned in and got ready for radiation I wondered, “What would it cost in India?”

Cost of radiation therapy in India depends on several factors. The cost of three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (DCRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) lies between $800 and $1500 per cycle of treatment.

Not $80,000. Not $150,000.

In America:

For patients not covered by health insurance, radiation therapy can cost $10,000-$50,000 or more, depending on the type of cancer, number of treatments needed and especially the type of radiation used. Traditional external beam radiation tends to fall on the lower end of the range, while stereotactic radiosurgery — which uses a special machine to target the tumor — and proton therapy[2] tend to cost more.

If that doesn’t make medical tourism an attraction, what’s it gonna take?

India is a popular destination for cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and radiation treatment. This is because the cost of radiotherapy in India is much less than other popular countries and medical tourism hubs, despite the fact that the quality of medical treatment in India is at par with any other country in the world.

Medical hubs?

Many of these tourists will visit Bangkok’s Bumrungrad Hospital, which accounts for a third of Thailand’s medical tourists.  To put this in perspective, this single Thai hospital received more medical tourists than all of Singapore’s hospitals put together, and two-thirds as many as all of India.  India and Singapore together have fewer foreign medical tourists than Thailand, and these are not just for minor procedures but also major heart and joint replacement surgeries, among many others.  These hubs are also growing frantically, with 30% annual increases in foreign tourists as an industry standard and expected to be maintained for the foreseeable future.

India, Thailand, or Portland via Tigard and Beaverton

This is the reason why thousands of cancer patients travel to India to seek radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgical options for the treatment of their cancer. The best hospitals for cancer treatment in India have the latest machinery and technology used to conduct radiation therapy, both internal and external.

Skeptics have the worst questions on the operating table

“Can patients travel to India with their own devices to implant, or wait until they get there”

Ebay sells implant devices, if you’re in the market for 1958 pace maker.

Vintage and oh, so retro.

If you can’t find an insulin pump, at least you’ll find the gear to wear the monitor on Ebay.

Laughs all around. Ha. Another ha.

Tough crowd in a chilly operating room with the crew just back from lunch, and thirty minutes late but who’s counting.

“This looks good today, getting deported in Portland in an ICE room. Hey-O.”

The last thing I remember hearing was, “These are my favorite surgeries. It means they made it.”

Jason Witten and I gutted out a win that day.

 

About David Gillaspie

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