Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok’

Medical care goes global

March 3, 2010

As America’s meandering healthcare debate takes another turn, look beyond Washington, way beyond. Thousands of Americans every year go overseas for medical treatment that’s often cheaper, more advanced and more attentive than what’s available in the US. Although medical tourism specialists are moving into Central America to be closer to the US market, the epicenter of the global medical travel phenomenon remains Bangkok’s Bumrungrad Hospital. Bumrungrad turned to international patients in the wake of the 1997 Asian economic crisis that began in Thailand, and the current global recession, which dramatically slowed growth in medical travel, hit the hospital in the midst of a US$57 million construction and renovation project focused on the international market. In Bangkok, I interviewed Bumrungrad’s CEO Mack Banner for Asia Times about how Bumrungrad got to the top of the medical tourism pyramid and how it plans to stay there. While politicians fiddle and patients get burned, Americans’ best bet for affordable, quality medical care right now is in Bangkok.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

Novelist wrestles Asian trophy wives

October 18, 2009

Award winning novelist Christopher G Moore has been in New York this month for the US launch of Paying Back Jack, the 10th installment in his Vincent Calvino crime novel series. Moore also writes literary fiction – I’m a big fan of Waiting for the Lady, a novel set in Burma that centers on Aung San Suu Kyi – and books about Thai language. In addition to a favorite read of mine, Moore has been a friend for 15 years, and a mentor as both a writer and an expatriate in Asia.

In a show of extraordinary bravado or extreme foolishness, Moore recently tackled the subject of Asia trophy wives on his blog. Moore lives in Bangkok and is married to a Thai woman, so the subject is fraught with particular danger for him. But, as usual, Moore writes intelligently on this highly charged cross-cultural subject.

What I found astonishing was the article by Ying Chu that triggered Moore’s consideration of the question. The article is an outstanding example of how vapid popular magazines have become. I’ll simply add one footnote: of all things I’ve previously heard (from mutual acquaintances) and read about Wendy Deng, Rupert Murdoch’s current wife, the word “trophy” hardly seems applicable.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.


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