When Wayne Wright needed knee replacement surgery, his wife wanted him to undergo the operation in an American hospital, but Wayne did his research and all signs pointed to searching for a solution overseas, more specifically to Health City Cayman Islands. Because Wayne’s company is self-insured, finding an affordable, high quality medical facility was a critical element in the decision-making process. Wayne’s company’s insurance agency contacted Companion Global Healthcare, a medical tourism facilitator that works with 18 hospitals around the world and understands that healthcare outside the United States is much more affordable than it is in America.
Wayne, who is from Marshal, Texas, was pleased and reassured to find that the list of hospitals and doctors he needed to consider had been vetted by the insurance company. Ultimately, when it was time for him to decide which option to pursue, Companion Global gave Health City the highest endorsement due to the proximity to the United States, the quality of the doctors and the facility, as well as the cost factor. In fact, due to the savings he realized, Wayne added another procedure at Health City – a second knee replacement.
Dr. Alwin Almeida, Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon and Joint Replacement Specialist at Health City, performed the bilateral single stage knee replacement. “Because he was quite fit and medically cleared for a bilateral surgery at the same time, we operated on both his knees at the same time…and the very next day after surgery he was up and about. By the third or fourth day, we were ready to send him back to the resort,” remarked Dr. Almeida.
“Over the past decade, Companion Global Healthcare’s staff have visited JCI-accredited hospitals in almost 30 countries. Over the same period, an increasing number of employers have recognized the value of surgical care available in select facilities outside the United States,” stated David Boucher, President of Companion Global. He added: “It was a pleasure to serve members like Mr. Wright (and) we look forward to more consumers experiencing first class care at Health City Cayman Islands.”
Initially, Wayne’s wife, Teresa, didn’t want him to leave their familiar surroundings and have surgery in a foreign country. But after witnessing the success of the operation and Wayne’s post-surgery experience, her opinion has changed.”I really thought he would be in a wheelchair until we went home…but he was never in a wheelchair,” Teresa marveled. “I was just amazed because the only person I knew in the States that had bilateral knee replacement went to a nursing home from the hospital for rehab and could not take care of themselves.” Says Wayne with a hearty laugh: “I think today, Health City converted her.”
Before his operation, Wayne couldn’t walk more than 30 feet without feeling pain. Now, having undergone surgery at Health City, he is even more convinced that he made the right choice by coming to the Cayman Islands facility. Although he experienced some soreness at the incision site – a fairly typical post-surgical occurrence – Wayne reported that he felt no pain upon walking. “Right now it doesn’t hurt at all, other than just the healing process from the incision, in rebuilding the muscles. But as far as pain, I don’t have pain in my knees now.”
Having performed more than 4,000 procedures in his career, Dr. Almeida knows that success depends on much more than just the outcome of the operation. Physiotherapy and the amount of effort a patient applies to his or her rehabilitation play a big role in determining whether a patient will enjoy an improved quality of life after surgery. With respect to Wayne, the surgeon noted: “He’s doing extremely well with regard to his rehab, and he’s quite pain free.”
For Wayne, knowing the full cost of his medical treatment (and recovery) in advance of the surgery added to his satisfaction. Health City’s single bundled pricing policy gives patients upfront disclosure of the cost of the hospital stay, anesthesia, medications and physician’s fees.
“[There were] no surprises. No stack of bills that thick. The bill was one page, four lines on it, and that’s it.”Speaking about their Health City experience, Wayne and Teresa have nothing but high praises not only for the doctors who treated Wayne, but also for the nurses and the hospital’s support staff. “Everyone was so concerned with our care and our well-being,” said Teresa. Added Wayne: “It was just a great experience. I mean I could not ask for anything to have been better.”