There was a post about "hustlers - medical tourism" a few days ago which I thought was a bit myopic and unfair. I expressed my thoughts in that post, but I wanted to clarify a few things further.
I contacted Ms. Sayeed because I had considered the India option even before I discovered this forum. I knew that it would be like herding cats to get any prompt remedy in Canada, and I knew that there were options.
Some expressed that they thought that $18,000 CDN for a round-trip to India, with all the whistles and bells, to get one's life back, was outrageous. I think it's cheap.
I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) in income to this illness. If I was healthy again, I could make scads of money.
Ms. Sayeed is providing a service to those who feel they have no other options. And what are our options? In Canada, we can hope that they get all of the research done in the next year? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? What will your level of disability be by then? We could cough up $80,000 to go to Stanford, except they are out of the question for the time being. We can go to Poland and pay $5,500 + $300 for MRV +$75 for Doppler + $3,000+ for airfare = $8875 + hotel, taxi, food, etc., but since Dr. Simka is effectively the only one in the world doing it right now, and there are millions of us with MS in the world, what are your chances of getting any relief any time soon? I prefer to take charge of my own life, and not rot away in quiet desperation.
Ms. Sayeed is not
a "travel agent", as she was so uncharitably described. She is well educated, and is providing a service. Is she going to make some money? Of course! Why shouldn't she? That is her job. There was no expressed outrage at Stanford making $80Gs for a few hours of surgery, and some follow-up (is that part of the $80Gs?). So what of those who are uninsured? Do they just rot in quiet desperation too? Maybe they can squeak together $18,000. Ms. Sayeed is a consultant. Consultants charge fees. When I was in business, I used to charge cost + 40% (on the wages that I paid too, plus, sometimes astronomical mark-ups on materials, like $26 for a quart of milk). I was never accused of gouging. Everyone was happy.
People think little of paying $40,000 for a car, or a half-million for a house (which they pay a real estate agent 7% to help them buy - $35,000), but think that $18,000 to get their life back is a gouge. I just can't follow that logic, try as I might.
I am not boosting for Ms. Sayeed, and will receive no monetary consideration from her, but I felt that it was unfair, the way in which she was characterized, and I can't bear to see injustice.
I spoke with her on the phone at length today, and asked her many questions. This post is already pretty long, so I will leave it with her response (below) to some of my queries.
The clinic that she speaks of, where 4 scans were done today, is the False Creek Surgical Centre in Vancouver. They are charging $499 for the Doppler, $2,070 for the MRV, or $2300 for both. Hopefully, we will hear from those who paid for those scans as to what was, or wasn't found. Ms. Sayeed will be speaking to the doctor tomorrow, and will let me know. I, of course, will let you know.
All the criticism is understandable and I don’t mind that. I got news of this directly from the CTV producers who first reported this as they are very familiar with my work over the past 4/5 years.
My BSc was in Nutrition and Dietetics, after which I did my Diploma in Healthcare Management from Westminster University in the UK. I further did a PG diploma in Practice Management in the UK. Followed by Certificate in Health Services management at BCIT followed by an MBA with health focus. I never claim to be a medical person and never offer any medical advice. I just connect you to the right people.
I have 25 years of health care management experience and it has always been my passion. I worked at the Vancouver Coastal health authority for 6 years in various positions, last being as a regional manager for 3 years before I started this business in 2005. I have helped several people in extreme pain and find great satisfaction in what I do.
I asked about the results of the 4 ultrasounds done and I was told that the patients were all extremely happy with the results. I will be speaking to Dr. Cooperberg the radiologist on Wednesday in more detail.
Hope this is helpful
Yasmeen Sayeed. B.Sc, DHM, MBA
President & CEO
Surgical Tourism Canada Inc.
Surrey. BC. V3S1Y8
Tel: 1-877-871-4315( Toll Free) , 604-575-4316