Medical Tourism: A Canadian Patient’s Perspective
Our patient’s testimonials from their experiences with Dr. Steven Kassman speak volumes. Below is a timeline of progress from a patient from Canada, Jeanne, who had both hips replaced. She had been walking with 2 canes for 3-4 months prior to her initial surgery on April 17th, 2014.
Dear Dr. Kassman:
After an exceptionally emotional and extremely positive experience, we thought it might be of some value to give you our perspective on this excursion to Phoenix from our home in Canada.
First, with respect to finding you here in Canada: we simply searched key words on Google.ca (the default setting for all Canadians). Your representative here in Canada leads the pack for “hits” to get information and referrals in the U.S. They seem to have the key words covered completely and they pop up early on all searches. Your Canadian representative gets five stars for referring you to us.
We had never ventured outside Canada for medical services so a reference/referral was essential.
Just taking a stab at a sea of surgeons is not only unwise but foolish.
From the presented options for hip replacements, it was not difficult to choose yours as the more desirable – even though you were much further away from us. However, your sunny weather didn’t hurt!
Your website is very informative and your quick responses to Jeanne’s email inquiries were very helpful when trying to decide whether to leave Canada or not. You had our confidence before we met. This was very critical when making such an important and emotional decision.
It was also comforting to benefit from your inclusive plan, which along with the surgery, included the hospital stay and the follow-up physiotherapist sessions.
Just as there are misconceptions about Canadian health care in the U.S., there are also misconceptions here in Canada about U.S. health care. For many, cost is a major concern. It seems as if Canadians in general have been led to think that the cost of U.S. medical services is beyond their reach. Those curious or brave enough to ask were all surprised at the reasonable fee we were charged. As our own doctor pointed out, “People are willing to spend that amount or more on a living room or a bedroom set and so should be able to do so for a new hip!” We would like to see more Canadians become aware of the availability and affordability of services and facilities like yours. Because we are not allowed private medical/hospital services here, many people suffer through a great deal of unnecessary pain as they wait for surgery even if they are willing to pay for treatment.
We cannot stress enough how valuable we found your service.
We really feel that The Surgical Hospital of Phoenix is an absolute jewel of a place for pre-op, surgery, and recovery. It is small, intimate, CLEAN, well run, and staffed by some very wonderful people. All were welcoming, friendly, extremely competent and very proud of their workplace: Gary whom we first met at the front desk, all the nurses, the technicians, Chef Doug and his staff, and of course Scott, the physiotherapist.
Scott Radomski, your physical therapist, is a jewel and it is very reassuring and comforting to have someone with his experience and knowledge making the home visits. Many concerns and questions get vetted through Scott. He is a valuable asset and certainly helped Jeanne feel confident and to heal quickly.
As for your home visits Dr. Kassman? Where else does anyone get that kind of service? Your calm, positive approach was key to our confidence in you. Jeanne found your visits and attention paid to her recovery and comfort were very reassuring. It certainly helped her make that important decision to go ahead with a much needed second surgery for the second hip.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you have done for us. It may be what you do for a living, but your professionalism goes above and beyond anything that should be expected of one’s doctor. We think you are “the best”!
Jeanne and Dan V.
One Week Later 5/28
I did so want to let you know that I am doing very well! I have been going up and down stairs here at home to do laundry and walking better each and every day. I am continuing with physiotherapy and I am finding it extremely helpful. It should come as no surprise to you that the therapist continues to be impressed with my progress.
Every day I am able to do more and more. Many do not believe that I even had hip surgery because I walk so quickly and effortlessly.
And while I do not want to burden you with emails as I know you receive more than your fair share, I am so eternally grateful for all that you have done for me – how can I not think of you with every step?
Have a wonderful day! Jeanne
And I am now driving, shopping and making dinner most days. It is truly unbelievable how well I am doing thanks to you. I feel stronger every day and on very little pain medication Your name comes up every day as friends, therapists, swim instructor and my doctor admire your work and are all overwhelmingly surprised at my recovery and progress.
Seems wrong somehow not to write to you every week to say thanks.
The last month has seen me return to my life with only a few little restrictions. I am exercising, going to physio 2x weekly (where therapist is more than pleased with my progress), cooking & baking, going to the cottage where I must go and down a knoll and take many steps to reach the dock, meeting friends for lunch. I am looking forward to entertaining houseguests this month, to return to my volunteer work at a nursing home, and to being able to subscribe to concert series in the fall. (We missed all of them last year as it was impossible for me to walk any distance or sit for any length of time.)
I think of you every day – honestly – and how fortunate I was to have you as my surgeon. I would not be where I am today without your care and dedication to do the best work possible for your patients. I suppose the best sign of how well I am doing is to say that are moments in the day when I actually forget about my hips altogether!!
Hello Dr. Kassman,
Just a quick hello to wish you and your wife a lovely trip to BC. Wishing you great weather and a very good time away.
I am doing very well and have been playing host to friends from Nova Scotia for over 10 days now and loving that I am keeping up with all the touring!
Needless to say your name comes up more than a few times – your ears must have been burning! You may be tired of hearing thank you but somehow I do not believe that I shall ever stop being grateful for having had you as my surgeon.
All the best is wished to you, always…
Jeanne (and a warm hello from Dan!)