Saturday, August 23, 2008

Globalisation and health care | Operating profit | Economist.com

Globalisation and health care | Operating profit | Economist.com: "What is more, there are good reasons for thinking that medical tourism will help poor countries. For one thing, private hospitals did not cause the state sector’s neglect of the poorest. Long before medical tourism or private hospitals took off, the state-run hospitals of India and most other developing countries were a shambles. This was chiefly the result of bureaucratic incompetence and corruption, not poverty—as the decent health-care systems in other developing countries like Costa Rica, Malaysia and even Cuba make clear.

Besides, the rising standards at private facilities promise to have important knock-on effects that may benefit even the poor. The World Bank has observed that the rise of high-quality private clinics in Trinidad and other parts of the Caribbean, for example, has encouraged highly educated doctors to return home."

Medical tourism promises to be what Aetna’s Dr Cutler calls “a disruptive market force that improves cost and quality here in America.” Whether or not it turns out to be all its boosters wish for, it will be a force to be reckoned with."

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