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  #1  
Old 09-16-2014
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Dental and medical care while cruising.

Over the last 7 years of cruising we have visited dentist in several countries between Panama, Trinidad and Canada, usually receiving reasonably priced good quality dental care.

Today in Panama City, Panama Nell had a wisdom tooth extracted in a modern office, by an excellent dentist for a total cost of $90! The entire visit too less than an hour.

Three years ago we both had extensive work done by an excellent Mexican dentist for 30% of US cost.

Dental care at reasonable prices is one of the perks of cruising.

Phil
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Last edited by Yorksailor; 09-16-2014 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 09-16-2014
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re: Dental and medical care while cruising.

This is something that I have always wondered about. Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-17-2014
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re: Dental and medical care while cruising.

As mentioned above, very reasonable dental care available. Had dental work done in Mexico and Thailand. First class care and often the dentist had been trained in the US. Yearly check up and teeth cleaning is 25 bucks here.
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Old 09-17-2014
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re: Dental and medical care while cruising.

What I also wonder about often is how many people actually cruise without health insurance.
Not really fitting with the thread Yorksailor, sorry.
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Old 09-17-2014
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Medical care while cruising.

Unless you have a massive budget to buy worldwide health insurance which includes the USA then ensuring comprehensive medical care can be very difficult.

We maintain excellent 'repatriation insurance' through Divers Alert Network (you do not have to be a scuba diver) and good insurance in the USA via Medicare and Obama Care both of which have proved to be excellent over the last year. However, this combination might not work if you need emergency surgery in a foreign country. My Medicare supplement includes $50,000 of emergency coverage outside the US but for Nell we would have to pay cash!

While medical care is often good and much cheaper outside the USA without comprehensive health insurance, and many cruisers have no health insurance, you are courting disaster. One friend had a $40,000 bill when his appendix burst and caused serious complications and another friend had to be airlifted out of Grenada because the health care services in Grenada were inadequate to take care of a very serious injury.

Please let this thread be a source of information, personal experiences with foreign medical care and how cruisers can best provide health care for themselves and not a tirade against US medical costs and Obama Care. Also while many of us are US citizens I would also like to learn how other nationalities handle the health care problem.

I plan to add to this thread as I have time and gain useful information.

Phil
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Old 09-17-2014
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Re: Medical care while cruising.

very useful thread!
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Old 09-17-2014
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Re: Medical care while cruising.

Self-help resources:

"When There Is No Doctor," David Werner, Carol Thuman, Jane Maxwell

Ship Captain's Medical Guide, GOV.UK
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Old 09-17-2014
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re: Dental and medical care while cruising.

Many cruise without medical insurance because the costs of seeing a doctor are miniscule compared to seeing one at home. (On private ins in Australia).

As the OP says, the treatment was excellent. The doctors and dentists the cruisers go to are really very good... Or word gets around.

Also the cruising lifestyle is very healthy.

My total health expenses for 6 years adrift are about $400 and that includes removal of a non cancerous tumor on my back by a proper surgeon.

After reading that thread the other day about all the crap people want to take in their medical kit - its value is much higher than most will ever spend on medical on a round the world cruise.
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Old 09-17-2014
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re: Dental and medical care while cruising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Many cruise without medical insurance because the costs of seeing a doctor are miniscule compared to seeing one at home. (On private ins in Australia).

As the OP says, the treatment was excellent. The doctors and dentists the cruisers go to are really very good... Or word gets around.

Also the cruising lifestyle is very healthy.

My total health expenses for 6 years adrift are about $400 and that includes removal of a non cancerous tumor on my back by a proper surgeon.

After reading that thread the other day about all the crap people want to take in their medical kit - its value is much higher than most will ever spend on medical on a round the world cruise.
Thank you Mark. In the end this is a risk each person will assess to take or not. Or simply put have no choice other times.
I agree the cruising life is overall healthy, or at least it could be. Overall people should try to lead healthy lives regardless they are on land or at sea. Ok, I wont start on that, I am a bit of a nutcase when it comes to healthy living, health related aspects. You start me on that subject at one point you will be looking for something to shut me up.

However, I respectfully disagree, on the first aid kit. A lot of minor situations, or minor accidents can easily be kept minor with the right well researched first aid kit, and without they can easily turn into serious situations. Not to mention a lot of other inconvenient situations that would just make someone's life miserable otherwise.
Especially when traveling to different areas around the world, one gets exposed to all sort of pathogens that the body still need to be introduced to, or overcome with a bit of help.
Its hard to select a first aid kit when you trek mountains, you have to be minimal, and look at the weight of it and the size of it, but on a boat, one could put a good kit together, especially if one travels far and long and especially of one doesn't want to depend on doctors.
Its also often a state of mind. Get too worked up over what can go bad and wrong and voila, they happen.
A balance there is the best approach, a good kit, a healthy life style, and a good state of mind.
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Old 09-17-2014
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Re: Medical care while cruising.

I have been cruising for 13 years.

The ONLY country I buy health care insurance for is the USA. Everywhere else I pay as I go.
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