BANGKOK - With the cost of surgery escalating rapidly in the United States, Thailand is quickly becoming a low-cost affordable alternative for U.S. citizens. And for the 40 million U.S. citizens without health insurance, it's a tempting prospect.
When Robert Thompson, 52, a retired Miami Beach resident watched the "60 Minutes" show in 2005, he immediately knew it was for him. Unable to pay the $40,000 that U.S. surgeons wanted to charge for his heart bypass surgery, he learned that the same procedure would cost him only $5,000 in Thailand.
Hong Kong - Scientists throughout 14 mainland China cities, Taiwan and Hong Kong are now preparing for what will be the largest embryonic stem cell clinical trial in the world. Beginning in 2008, over 400 patients with spinal cord injuries will be injected with stem cells from umbilical cord blood. They will be given lithium to help stimulate cell regeneration.
BEIJING- About 400,000 Chinese children die every year in China due to inadequate medical care, according to a Chinese government advisory group, which urged that more financial resources be invested into the health care system.
According to the Chinese advisory group, most of these deaths occur in rural areas. Approximately 50% of rural China's children do not receive any medical attention.
CHICAGO - The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the cost of caring for aging Americans will add 25 percent to the nation's healthcare bill by 2020 unless
people act now to stay healthy.
CDC researchers report that currently 80 percent of Americans aged 65 or older have at least one chronic disease that could lead to premature death and/or disability.
VIENNA - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) announced that counterfeit medicines, some of them sold over the internet, are flooding unregulated markets in many emerging nations with sometimes deadly results.
Quoting World Health Organization (WHO) findings, anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the medicines used in developing nations are now believed to be fake, according the INCB 2006
report. These medicines were found in a variety of locations, ranging from local village markets to internet websites.
BRASILIA - Brazilians are the world's worst abusers of diet pills and the biggest producers of two potentially dangerous weight-loss drugs, according to a study by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
According to the study, the per-capital consumption of anorectics, or diet drugs, is almost forty percent higher in Brazil than in the United States.
In This Issue
Liz Di Bernardo