Andrew Boldt discusses – Medical treatment in the US is world leading but isn’t readily accessible to us in the UK. Is it?
This is half right, half wrong.
It is true that the technology, investment, research and skill availability in the US will on average lead to a more positive outcome to an episode of medical treatment, particularly in relation to a critical illness such as cancer for example.
I personally travelled to Boston in the US in 2012 and was lucky enough to meet with experts from Harvard Medical school and enjoy a guided tour of some of the hospitals that make up one of the most highly respected medical facilities in the world. The density of technology and expertise in one area is quite incredible as well as the way these institutions are willing and able to collaborate to deal with specific situations and share on-going best practice.
It is with good reason that we so often read stories in the UK press of cancer patients in particular who have raised sufficient funds to pay for treatment in the US, and often of their seemingly miraculous recovery; I certainly can’t ever remember reading of a US cancer patient coming to the UK for treatment which for me speaks volumes.
Having been there myself and witnessed the gulf in what is available in the US and UK I would certainly wish for anyone, particularly those I care about, to have the opportunity to benefit from the increased likelihood of survival and recovery from critical illness that the best of US medical treatment seems to provide.
As to the second part of the hypothesis for this discussion…no, treatment in the US is now accessible and not prohibitively expensive for those of us in the UK.
At the end of 2012, Insurance Tailors were involved in the launch of a new type of medical insurance policy which is specifically designed to give people in the UK access to the leading critical illness treatments provided by the top 1% of hospitals in the US and in association with the experts from Harvard Medical School.
I would suggest looking at the policy summary for a full list of the conditions covered by the policy but above all the product has been designed to provide people diagnosed with cancer with the best possible chance of survival and recovery from their illness; put very simply there are treatments available in the US that have been successful for decades which are still not available in the UK and the level of investment in research and development in the US v UK means that the gap is unlikely to be closing anytime soon.
The policy provides cover for the costs associated with the following:
Verification of initial UK diagnosis by experts at Harvard Medical School who will then create an optimum treatment plan based on this diagnosis.
Return travel to and accommodation in the US for the member plus one companion.
All hospital, consultant and treatment related costs up to $2m per episode of treatment (this budget has never even been half used up to date), including required recovery time until it is recommended to return home
Vitally the policy is also very affordable (see here for full pricing) by economies of scale and by removing cover for “non-critical” medical treatment (where UK medical insurers spend the majority of their money) the costs compare very favourably to a UK medical insurance policy and are comparable to what a family of four might expect to pay for flights to the US, let alone any medical treatment.