FAQ & Links


Frequently Asked Questions

Guatemala City

1.  How can the prices for quality medical care vary so greatly between different countries?

Answer: Compare the Guatemalan and American doctors. Both studied at prestigious universities and earned advanced medical degrees. They perform the same procedure with the same care and skill, and work in modern world-class facilities.

Patients should know that the reason they can pay $10,000 instead of $70,000 for their surgery is because the Guatemalan surgeon does not have the burden of huge malpractice premiums, or the payroll expenses for a team of insurance processing clerks in his office.  American doctors also pay staggering licensing and permitting fees, hospital privileges, inflated rent and union-approved wages.  If their business expenses are ten times those of the Guatemalan doctors, then they will have to increase fees to the patient at the same rate.

2.  How much help can I expect from Guatemala Medical Travel and how much will it cost?

Answer: From your arrival and first consultation, to your 100% successful recovery and return home, we prepare, negotiate and confirm every aspect of your medical experience in Guatemala.  It’s like having a friend take your hand, introduce you to all the best contacts, and stay by your side throughout every procedure.

The budget for your complete medical package is discussed and agreed in advance of your arrival.  There are no added costs or bills, just sensible and fair pricing from start to finish.

3.  Do Guatemalan doctors and hospitals accept my medical insurance?

Answer:  Most hospitals and cancer treatment centers in Guatemala accept most forms of American insurance.  Check in advance for approval, or pay cash and submit receipts to request reimbursement.  In the case of emergency treatment, it is our experience that both private insurance and Medicare will reimburse the patient.

4. How do you guard against adverse outcome or malpractice?

Answer:  Avoid any remote chance of ever having an adverse outcome by using a medical advocate.  Medical mistakes happen because of lack of communication.  If the patient has an outspoken "watchdog" confirming and scrutinizing every move from the initial consultation right through 100% recovery and voyage home, the chance of someone making a mistake is almost zero.  Besides, the doctors are so exceedingly cautious because they know that the outcome of their work affects the impression of the entire country of Guatemala to the rest of the world. Foreign patients are absolute VIP's, receiving extraordinary attention from the GMT agents, surgeons, hospital administration and everyone else in between.

5.  If we encounter complications during the surgery, can I take legal action against the doctor?

Answer: The concept of malpractice lawsuits is unique only to America, and is not acceptable business practice in other countries. Even with the most common surgical procedures, there are certain risks that your doctor will discuss with you.  For patients concerned about not having legal recourse in a foreign country, they can buy "adverse outcome" insurance in America before they leave home. It's expensive, like $3000-$4000, but the U.S. insurance company will pay out if your facelift or hip replacement is not exactly how you expected, and it’s far more economical than paying the an extra $50,000 for the U.S. doctor and hospital with malpractice coverage.

6.  How can I open my account with GMT and start finding my new Guatemalan doctor?

Answer: The best way to start is to contact us by email with a few sentences about your medical history, and the exact treatment you are seeking. Attach any relevant medical reports or photos so that we can introduce you most accurately to the Guatemalan physicians. In few days, the doctors will respond with their general diagnoses, recommendations, alternatives and price estimates. As a client of GMT, you will be personally guided throughout the experience, from arrival and consultations to recovery and airport transfer, all pre-paid as one “all-inclusive” package.

7.  Lori, have you had personal experience before using doctors in other countries?

  1. After a knee injury in Turkey in 1998, a local orthopedist made a “house call” to my room at the Istanbul Intercontinental, and provided excellent treatment and painkillers for about $50.
  2.  On two separate visits to Thailand, in 2000 and 2003, I had dental check-ups with x-rays and cleaning for about $17.
  3.  I wanted to get all my inoculations and malaria pills before my first trip to India, but I found only a few clinics in Washington and New York that offered the full series, and for $500. I waited to get to London, England and bought all the shots and pills for $5 at the local national health clinic.
  4.  My father was travelling to Mexico regularly for his annual chelation treatments in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Chelation therapy has been used in Germany since the 1930’s as a highly effective and low-cost blood filtering system. It is still not approved in the US because the patent on EDTA expired years ago, so the pharmaceutical companies can’t make a profit on it.
  5.  My husband David went to four local doctors in Florida trying to get treatment for his terrible stomach pains. After spending seven months and $16,000 in cash for tests and exams, the doctors prescribed him high doses morphine and oxycontin, and he was down to 110 lbs. They never diagnosed his cancer because we had no health insurance and they would lose money treating him. At the end of our options in America, David flew to Eastern Europe where he received immediate surgery and excellent medical care. He died in Prague, nine months later, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 37.

8.  If these doctors speak English and were educated at American universities, why didn't they stay in the United States?

Answer: That’s a very personal decision, but U.S. Homeland Security requirements make it exceedingly difficult for foreigners to live and work legally in America. And, in the Latin culture family ties are very important, so the doctors may prefer to remain closer to their extended family environment. Guatemalan doctors work very hard to earn their credentials out of a deep devotion to keeping people healthy by utilizing the latest technological advances. Perhaps many of them would rather continue their practice in a country where it is most appreciated, without the burden of government and legal interference, than to join America's failing bureaucratic medical system.

9.  Is it safe to travel to Guatemala?

Answer: Travelers to Guatemala should take the same precautions they would when visiting any large city. A good Guatemala travel guide will give the traveler valuable insights regarding local customs and tourist information. If patients follow our recommendations throughout the journey, they will likely be as safe as they are in their home town.

Links

Our Providers
Cabeza y Cuello Dr Michel Nuyens, Ear-Nose-Throat Specialist
Cardio Care Cardiology Group Cardiology care
CEDAF Audiology Audiology, hearing loss, balance, cochlear implants
Centro Procrea Dr Emilio Novales Aguirre, Gynecology and In-Vitro Fertilization
Centro Visual G y G Ophthalmological Specialists
Clinicas de la Cruz General and cosmetic dentistry, prosthodontics
Clinicas Ovalle General dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, implants
Dental Center of Specialists  Oral surgery and Preventive Care with Dental Specialists
Hope International State-of-the-art Cancer Treatment Center
Hospital Herrera-Llerandi Dr. Guillermo Claverie, orthopedist of Herrera-Llerandi
Medi Center Cancer Treatments, Anti-Aging and Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine.
Nova Aesthetics Dr. Stefan Preuss Sterkel, Plastic Surgery and Hair Transplant Center
Vision Integral Integral Ophthalmological Services  
Yoga Antigua Reduce stress, breathe freely, gain strength, flexibility, and peace of mind. 

Medical Procedures
MedLinePlus.gov Health information from the US National Library of Medicine
Medical Marijuana Therapy Research on Clinical Applications For Cannabis (Medical Marijuana Therapy) A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 — 2011

Medical Tourism
Deliotte Health Solutions Medical Tourism, 2013 Report.
Health Tourism Magazine Medical Tourism Association publication.
Hospitalist Information about medical tourism’s growing popularity.
Int'l Med Travel Journal Why do you need a medical tourism facilitator?
Medical Tourism Magazine Excellent articles about medical tourism. 
Patients Beyond Borders Excellent information on Medical Tourism.

Professional Affiliations
American Chamber of Commerce American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala
AGEXPORT The Association of Guatemala Exporters
INGUAT Guatemala National Institute of Tourism
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala U.S. Embassy in Guatemala

Travel & Accommodations
Antigua Plaza Spanish Language School
Around Antigua Maps, weather, travel tips and news
Aventuras Vacacionales Sailing and Diving in Guatemala and Belize
Caoba Organic Farms Antigua, Guatemala
Casa Dulcita Four bedroom furnished home in central Antigua
Maya Lake Realty Real estate broker in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, vacation rentals & home sales
George’s Travel Club Amazing Guatemala tours with George Sansoucy
Grand Tikal Futura Hotel Luxury accommodations with low-cost medical tourism packages
Michael Sherer   Travel writer and Antigua resident
Parlama Sport Fishing Sport fishing in the Caribbean or on the Pacific coast 
Retire Early Lifestyle You Can Travel and Live the Life You've Dreamed About
Trip Advisor / Antigua Good hotel and restaurant info

Patients
Akaisha Kadderly Author of The Adventurer’s Guide to Guatemala and Retire Early Lifestyle.
Hand Reconstruction in September 2012.
Robert Gascoine     Yachtsman, cartographer, marine conservationist. Bahamas and the Caribbean. 
Polyp removal in January 2013.
Kathleen Bodden-Harris Author of Quest on the Marl Road.  Cayman Islands. 
Dental, Ortho, Eyes in January 2014. 
Sierra Harding  Virtual Executive Assistant.  Seattle, Washington, USA.  
Physical Exams in February 2012.
Captain Victoria Impallomeni Charter boat captain and wilderness guide in Key West. 
Cataract and Retina Surgery in September 2010.
Mia Howe Real Estate Broker and waterfront specialist in the Florida Keys. 
Dental Care in March 2010.
John Van Zwieten  Corporate Executive Growth Specialist from Santa Cruz, CA. 
Physical Exams in March 2011.
Judy Sadlier  Casa Dulcita vacation home in Antigua, Guatemala. 
Physical Exams in May 2011.
Mary Waggener Dermatology procedure in June 2011.
Sam Rodgers    Retired, “Sandbar Sam” on the Rio Dulce on-line newsletter.  
Dental Surgery in May 2011.
Murrell Weissinger Real Estate Broker from St. Augustine, Fl. 
Cosmetic surgery in September 2011.
Sara Warner    RE/MAX Real Estate broker in Caye Caulker, Belize.
Tumor Surgery in Feburary 2012.
Vicki Damon  Award winning creator of silk fashions and paintings.  Bahamas. 
GMT Client/Guest in June 2012.   
Dr. Amy Rothenberg   Naturopathic physician in private practice in Western Massachusetts.
GMT Client in May 2012.