Bi Yearly testing in 3rd. World Country

I have a St Jude pacer/Dedefibrillator installed early 2017 . I moved to Philippines 3 months later. I go to a cardiologist at Makati Medical, in Manila.  I get tested every 6 months to keep an eye on my batteries, and to check for any events. I have a leaking Mitral valve (moderate) and I have to time my return to the US for battery replacement & valve inspection (probably time for repair). My point: The Cardiologist charges me: $37.00 for the test, shares the results on screen and answers my questions, then hands me the print out from Merlin at the end of the session. My Rythm specialist in Florida charged me a $175.00 co pay per session  and wouldnt even let me look at the Merlin screen.  


A Question

by IAN MC - 2021-12-15 14:41:47

When it comes to healthcare I'm not sure which is the 3rd world country.  Is it the Philippines or the U.S.A.  ??



by Julros - 2021-12-15 16:50:36

My provider expects quarterly checks, 2 remote, 2 inperson for which I am charged about $150 each, out of pocket. My only arrhythmia is occaisonal a flutter with a slow ventricular response. I can request a print-out, but I must submit this request separately after each visit. The only changes ever made were to adjust output after healing, and when I requested rate adjustments. 

Plus, they want twice yearly provider visits, for which the main activity seems to be a weigh in and blood pressure check. 


by AgentX86 - 2021-12-15 18:01:45

In theory, I'm supposed to have two in-person and two remote per year.  I pay between $0 and $25.  Next year (Medicare) it will be between $0 and $0 (after $200ish annual deductible).  The total charge for the test is something like $50 for the device tech and $150 for the EP to read it.  I just had an echo.  I'll see how that goes (my cost is/was $0).  It'll be the same next year, too, though my insurance premiums will go up somewhat.  The killer next year will be the drugs.  Eliquis will be something like $125/month.  I have two other expensive drugs (for glaucoma and gout) and my wife one for her diabetes.  The others are virtually nothing.

As far as seeing your results...  In the US, anyway, by law they're required to give you access to any information that's in your patient record. Imaging may be expensive to get, thought it's all digital now so it would be hard to justify it. I haven't tried.



by Julros - 2021-12-16 00:13:08

My echo cost the insurance $2000, and my cost was $500. I could have told them my heart function was improved based on symptoms. But I suspect because they know they can get money for it, they order it. Same with pacer interrogations and office visits. 

Philippines, Insurance

by Griddlebone - 2021-12-16 05:08:01

I wouldn't consider the Philippines a 3rd world country so it must be the USA! In a non-pacemaker situation, I have experienced the same thing seeing a doctor onboard a cruise ship for bronchitis. No insurance is accepted and my out of pocket costs for an X-ray, diagnostic breathing therapy (similar to but something short of a PFT), and meds was less than $200. My spouse also had pinkeye on this cruise and went to an urgent care center on a Hawaiian island and after insurance paid their portion his out of pocket costs were a bit more than mine. I also got pinkeye from him. It was a miserable cruise.

The reason medical costs are so high in the USA is because private insurance runs the show. To say any more gets into politics, but the proof is in the pudding, I say. Actually, I have found that folks of all political stripes agree with my first sentence, they just disagree what to do about it. I'm not going there.


by AgentX86 - 2021-12-16 13:52:46

No, the reason health care costs so much in the US is that government is involved.  We have the best government money can buy.

There are also issues like drug costs being born by the US because other countries won't pay for them.  It's either something or nothing (like books). Canada will also ignore intellectual property and make the drugs in Canada if they're charged too much.  Again, something or nothing. It's a lot more complicated than saying it's "private insurance", though that was forced by government too.

Intellectual Property

by Canuck99 - 2022-01-06 21:44:56

Must disagree with X86 as Canada respects intellectual property and all-time sensitive patents. When generics are allowed, we produce very few but source from cheaper source counties. Our health care does have issues but out of pocket expenses and stealing intellectual property is not what we do.

You know you're wired when...

You can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.

Member Quotes

I can honestly say that I am feeling absolutely amazing!