Excellent infrastructure… strong investor rights… appreciating property markets…
Biggest salsa festival in the world… plus important theater and poetry festivals… biggest flower festival in the region (taking place every August)… and second-biggest Carnival (after Rio)…
World’s most colorful river… and more species of butterflies than anywhere else on earth…
I’m talking about Colombia…
Which is also South America’s oldest democracy… and one of the three happiest countries in the world… because, as everyone I know who has spent time in the country agrees, the focus is family and friends… Colombians have their priorities in order…
Medellín is the cheapest real city in the world. That distinction used to be held by Quito… but, at the current dollar-Colombian peso exchange rate, Medellín is the better buy by far…
Here’s something else you should know about Colombia:
Medical tourism has increased by 62% since 2010.
The United States is ranked 37th globally for the quality of its health care.
Colombia is ranked 22nd.
Meantime, the costs of health-care services in Colombia are one-fourth to one-fifth as much as those in the United States.
Why wouldn’t you go to Colombia for care if you were able?
One Medellín expat, Jeff, a physician from the United States, recently shared real-life story after real-life story of other expats who’ve sought health care in this city…
Starting with his own story of seeing a dentist for an annual checkup.
Jeff scheduled the appointment online through his local insurance provider, he explained, and was charged US$1 for the visit. He scheduled a follow-up visit for a cleaning… which, again, cost him US$1.
Then, Jeff continued, a dental implant with a crown came loose. For this he made an appointment with a private, English-speaking dentist who referred him to a specialist. The cost of that visit was zero.
The implant specialist saw Jeff for the next day and worked on the crown for an hour-and-a-half to make the repair. The cost was US$50.
Another expat, Susie, Jeff continued, had abdominal pain and went to a local Emergency Room where she was seen by an MD. The cost of the ER visit, the diagnostics, and the prescription for treatment was US$46.
John, Jeff continued, contracted a terminal illness while in Medellín. He was in and out of the ER several times and admitted to the hospital. Finally, at his request, John was sent home for palliative care. The treatment extended over one year and included doctor and nurse care in John’s home. The total out-of-pocket cost was US$50.
Medellín also has assisted-living facilities… where the all-in cost is US$2,000 per month… including comfortable and pleasant living space, good food, and all medical care.
Jeff made another noteworthy point. Not only is medical care much less costly in Colombia than in the United States… but so are prescription drugs.
Jeff showed me a chart. On it were listed 12 common drugs—from Cialis to Zithromax —along with their average costs in the United States and their costs (in generic form) in Colombia.
In each case, the cost in Colombia was one-half to one-tenth as much as the going U.S. price.