The latest offshoring opportunity... "medical tourism"
The following item was part of our company newsletter this week...
Apollo Hospital Enterprises has set up private hospitals in India to attract "medical tourists," according to the Wall Street Journal. The chain has 37 hospitals with more than 6,400 beds and it capitalizes on the high cost of health care in the United States as well as consumer demands in other countries for medical services that are fast and inexpensive. Apollo has treated more than 60,000 foreign patients in the past three years. One example of the contrast in price for services is cardiac surgery for about $4,000 compared to about $30,000 in the United States.
I found a link to a non-subscription article referencing this setup: http://www.indolink.com/displayArticleS.php?id=050104034529
That should be something that strikes fear into the entire medical establishment. Indian doctors, most likely educated as well as US doctors, treating US patients in Indian facilities at a fraction of the cost of a US establishment. Far fewer litigation/malpractice issues, less overhead, lower salaries, equivalent care. There are so many places this could end up going.
US healthcare starts to become an emergency-only and office visit care service. Insurance companies offer to fund the travel costs of a patient to a foreign hospital, knowing it will still cost them less than half of what a US procedure would be. Major downward price pressure on hospitals as beds are empty and high-dollar procedures are being done offshore. Doctors and the AMA lobbying Congress for federal protection against "unsafe foreign medical practices".
Yes, I've blown up some of those issues... somewhat... Just goes to show that in a global economy with open boarders, nothing is sacred and no one is safe.