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American Risk-Management Consultant Gives China Top Billing For Stem Cell Therapy
Got questions about Stem Cell Therapy?
Get your questions answered by listening to the interview of David Mair, featured guest on the show “Know Before You Go” aired 4/15/12 on the Overseas Radio Network.
Click here to listen to the interview hosted by Ilene Little, CEO of Traveling 4 Health & Retirement.
Mair’s qualifications as a subject expert in global medical resources reach as far back as 1987 when, up until 2002, he was the Director of Risk Management for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
With over 25 years as a risk management consultant and several year’s experience working with Medex Global Group and China Connection Global Healthcare, Mair brings unique and credentialed expertise to the field of medical travel.
Fast-forward to 2012. Mair is founder of Soter Healthcare, a pioneer in delivery of destination medical services for people seeking improved medical outcomes, prompt access to specialty physicians and hospitals, and affordable care.
What Mair brings to the table for the benefit of employers and individual patients is his long-standing connections in the insurance industry and his unique medical contacts throughout the world.
On several occasions Mair successfully negotiated with a client’s insurance company to cover the cost of care in medical destinations like China. “When you talk about cost,” he says, “It’s a good point to talk about both insured and un-insured payments for care in China.”
“One of the things we do here at Soter is try to coordinate benefits to the greatest degree that we can with our client’s insurance company,” said Mair, “We’ve actually created our own insurance plan that businesses can purchase as part of their group benefits structure.”
Cost of Stem Cell Therapy in China.
Mair quotes ball-park figures in the interview. For example, “for Cerebral Palsy, a typical treatment plan with the hospitals we use in China is going to be in the mid $30,000. Some of that may be insured, depending on the nature of care. For diabetes, it’s in the range of $17,000 depending upon the condition of the patient,” he said.
Mair is passionate about the advantages of stem cell therapy for certain conditions, and he lists several of those conditions in the interview.
The first patient he sent to China for stem cell therapy was in 2009; his 10-year old niece who suffered from cerebral palsy. Read “Sending My Niece to China for Stem Cell Surgery”. “The results were amazing,” said Mair, and we were able to get two-thirds of the cost of her care in China covered by insurance.”
By electing to have stem cell therapy the niece avoided having an orthopedic procedure with a long and painful recovery. “Before stem cell therapy, she was mostly wheelchair-bound,” said Mair.
He reports, “Today she walks with a single crutch. She now can use her left-hand independently for major motor skill range of motions. She walks extended distances, her stamina and walking gait are far better, her vision and voice modulate is much better, and she is reading at her grade-level.”
Listen as Mair lists several conditions that are effectively treated with stem cell therapy, including cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Stoke, MS, heart disease and diabetes. He also talks about conditions for which stem cell therapy is still in the investigative stage and not yet proven to be worthwhile.
Stem Cell Therapy is a hot topic on the Traveling4Health&Retirement Community. And yet, we caution members that there is no magic “stem cell” bullet.
No Magic Bullet
Medical conditions for which stem cells are not yet proven to work:
“While stem cell therapy is a very promising field of medicine it certainly is not for everyone or for everything,” said Mair. He named ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and spinal cord injury as being two conditions where stem cell therapies don’t currently rise to the level of being worth the expense today.
“The use of stem cells for spinal cord, even internationally, is in the investigative stage, and I wouldn’t want to leave the impression with your listening audience that it is well-defined or it is distinctly showing positive results,” said Mair.
“There are some folks that have experienced some things that are positive. We’re still watching that,” he said, “but we’re not convinced that for ALS or spinal cord injuries that stem cell therapy is anything other than a hope.”
Restrictions on Stem Cell Therapy in China
According to Mair, the Chinese placed a restriction on stem cell treatment early this year so that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science could effectively evaluate each of these stem cell centers that were purporting to provide care.
“What the Chinese want to do is to rein in those folks that are advertising and marketing to patients’ senses of desperation, rather than being able to offer legitimate care,” said Mair.
“The hospitals we use continue to be accredited and certified for stem cell treatment. And, in fact, none of the top centers have experienced any significant restrictions,” Mair said, “We have seen a few hospitals, however, where their stem cell treatment centers have been completely shut down.”
“As is the case in the U.S.,” says Mair, “It is also true internationally that there are some outstanding hospitals that are doing very good work, and there are some that are not so good.”
Researching Stem Cell Therapy
It’s going to be exceedingly difficult for someone who is casually researching or not a specialist in stem cell therapy in China to be able to follow all of the developments regarding China regulations on stem cell procedures.
I would caution listeners to look for and seek help from people who specialize in the type of medical procedure you require to guide your choice of a medical destination and to arrange your medical treatment at a high-quality hospital.
If you know anyone or have a loved one who would benefit from knowing more about stem cell therapy as a treatment option, don’t miss this program.
Let us help you find the destination for your own lifestyle and healthcare needs:
The author: Ilene Little
Ilene has written 186 posts to this blog. Ilene Little, CEO of Traveling 4 Health & Retirement (THR), has written the definite guide for the medical tourist How to Plan a Successful Medical Tourism Trip featuring live interviews of patients, doctors, facilitators, and caregivers. Tune in each week at noon Eastern Standard Time to the Know Before You Go Radio Show hosted by Ilene Little broadcast on the Overseas Radio Network.
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