Medical Care In Goa

“Kathleen, today’s issue and Paul Terhorst’s glowing piece on the beaches of Goa got my attention. I have a friend who lives in Goa. He’s sung the praises of the place to me for years. I just haven’t been able to get there yet.


“My mom and I are doing some serious searching for a place to visit for six months to a year and, then, perhaps to spend more time in. India hadn’t been on our list until Paul’s pieces emerged on your wonderful e-zine. Then the Mumbai horror, and it was off the list again.


“Now, after reading today’s piece on the beaches of Goa, mom said let’s give it a try. She’s 84 and entitled to change her mind…


“The big question for us is: What about medical care? I know that medications are much cheaper. I know that medical and dental office visits are less expensive. What about hospitalizations? I’ve read on Indian hospital websites that no one will be admitted without an up-front cash payment or medical insurance. While hospital care is much less expensive, it still could cost thousands of dollars to be hospitalized, couldn’t it? Any information you can provide will be appreciated.”


— Ellen S., United States


Intrepid Correspondent Paul Terhorst (now in Laos…watch for his reports from the road starting soon) replies:


“I believe hospitalizations are much cheaper in India than in the States. I’m not surprised hospitals require some kind of payment up front, especially from a tourist or temporary resident.


“One further consideration: The best hospitals will be in the big cities, and Goa is quite far from any of them.


“A friend wrote to say he just had a small stroke in Goa and got ‘good’ care in the most expensive hospital there. Total cost was about US$400.


“I hope this helps. This is a complicated and personal topic, and each of us has our own take on it.”

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