A 47-year-old woman whose CT scan shows several pulmonary nodules visits a doctor in Shanghai. The doctor, who that day may have seen as many as 200 patients, tells her she mostly likely has cancerous lesions in her lungs and will need chemotherapy and surgery to remove all 7 of them. He doesn’t perform a biopsy.
Fortunately, this woman is one of a growing number of people in China who are seeking medical care in the United States, and can afford it. In her case, a medical tourism agent in China reached out to Ruth Wu, President of Premier Global Care (PGC) and Ruth stepped into action. After an appointment with a pulmonary doctor at Penn Medicine, it was determined that the woman did not require chemotherapy or surgery, as the lesions were too small and low in density to be diagnosed as malignant. Instead, the doctor told her not to worry and suggested a six-month follow-up.
Premier Global Care, a newly created medical tourism company was established to fill the growing need and desire for China’s growing middle class to receive life saving medical care in the United States. China’s medical care procedures are standardized and due to high volume, doctors are forced to seek the fastest treatments, leading to increased medical errors. Every year an average of 60,000 Chinese seek medical assistance abroad, especially for conditions related to China’s pollution problem. A recent article in Time Magazine reported that by 2020 lung cancer cases in China are expected to top 800,000.
For the past year, PGC has been working in China to create personalized medical tourism packages for Chinese people seeking anything from critical medical care and In Vitro Fertilization to corporate executive physical exams.
Once a patient has connected with PGC, Ruth Wu will work with her team to create a personalized package.
First step to a personalized package – review the patient’s medical records and connect with the hospital in Philadelphia (or other US city) most suitable for the patient’s case to come up with the best treatment plan. After discussing the plan with the patient and his/her family, the PGC team will handle all necessary details which may include: obtaining a Visa; arranging housing and transportation to and from hospital and doctor appointments; providing translation services, organizing tourist excursions for family members, and providing other needs such as weekly food shopping.
Once the patient returns to China, PGC continues to provide assistance with prescription refills; medical report translation and other needs that may arise such as remote follow up sessions.
PGC has brought over 30 patients from China to the United States, most often to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, Ruth Wu works closely with Philadelphia International Medicine, which matches international patients and physicians with access to a network of world-renowned doctors, surgeons and hospitals.
Sometimes time is of the essence, as in the case of a three year old girl who had received radiation in China for a tumor that was growing inside her mouth. Unfortunately, by the time the toddler arrived at New York’s Lenox Hill hospital, the cancer had advanced and doctors were unable to save her life.
“I accompanied Baby Yao to Lennox Hill Hospital. It was heart breaking to see that we got to Yao, a precious 3 year old, too late for treatment. I ask myself often what if her parents had sought out help a few months earlier,” says Dr. John Bennett, CEO of Premier Global Care. ”
PGC is currently managing 4 patients in the Unites States and their prognosis is great. One of those patients is a 34- year old woman who was recently diagnosed in China with cirrhosis of the liver. Chinese doctors told her that she had ten years to live. Follow-up tests in the United States determined she did not have cirrhosis of the liver – she was fine.
“She and her husband are so happy about this result” says Ruth Wu. “I have a mission now to help more patients to get the proper care and to avoid unnecessary procedures.”
About Premier Global Care (PGC)
Premier Global Care is a medical tourism company leveraging Devon International Group’s years of experience in the healthcare and medical industries. PGC is dedicated to advanced medical treatment and personalized patient services.
About Devon International Group (DIG) www.devonintlgroup.com
DIG is a multinational group of businesses spanning the healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and international industries. DIG’s nine companies employ over 500 people in 20 countries. The Group routinely partners with entities ranging from small private companies to Fortune 500 enterprises to help achieve its goals of driving affordability and access in healthcare, technology and other industries.
DIG has built an extensive relationship in northern, mid and southern China over the past 15 years, and has an office in Shanghai and a factory in Nantong.