It’s understandable that a large percentage of Americans have a very negative image of outsourcing in today’s globally competitive economic environment. Over the past two decades many American employees in the manufacturing sector have experienced first-hand the adverse effects of their jobs being shipped to China where the wages are a small fraction in comparison. The mass media, along with politically expedient politicians have also been decrying the loss of jobs in mass to lower wage countries like Mexico, China, and India.
In more recent years, we have been witnessing this outsourcing as it has moved up the value chain and impacting white-color jobs, such as software development, accounting work, legal documentation, and even medical imaging analysis.
As the debate on the pros and cons of outsourcing rages on, a new phenomenon has been picked up by the mass media that is referred to as “medical tourism.” Simply defined, medical tourism is the practice of traveling outside the U.S. for medical procedures ranging from hip and knee replacements, spinal fusions, artificial disc replacements, hysterectomies, to all forms of cosmetic and dental procedures.
Although traveling great distances for medical care is certainly not a new phenomenon, uninsured and underinsured Americans have discovered that globalization has mostly leveled the playing field in terms of quality and technology at many hospitals around the world and are able to achieve substantial cost savings through global currency arbitrage.
To be sure, medical tourism is not the end-all solution to our ever growing healthcare crisis here in the U.S. That being said, the outsourcing of medical care affords significant benefits that should not be overlooked.
The Benefits of Medical Outsourcing:
- People suffering in tremendous pain, but can’t afford the high cost of care in the U.S., have an immediate and cost effective solution by traveling to a world class hospital for their procedure.
- The growing shortage of doctors and surgical specialists will be addressed as the domestic market is expanded to a global market.
- Medical tourism is creating smarter and more demanding consumers of heath as they seek out options beyond their local providers.
- Medical tourism is placing the responsibility and management of healthcare in the hands of the individual where it should be as people are nudged into seeking out new options.
- Competition has always been the American way and we all know that it vastly improves products and services, while lowering prices at the same time. Medical tourism is already beginning to make a small impact on the pricing of many procedures by providing patients bargaining power that never existed before.
There are of course many other benefits to medical outsourcing. These points simply provide some very important positive factors to the debate on medical outsourcing. For those concerned that medical tourism will threaten the jobs of healthcare providers in the U.S., it is extremely unlikely. For starters, emergency cases must be treated immediately and do not have the time to travel. Also, there is no need for people to travel for healthcare if they are insured here in the U.S.
For more information about medical tourism and healthcare outsourcing options, please visit MedRetreat. MedRetreat was established in 2003 to protect and assist Americans in seeking healthcare outside the U.S. MedRetreat has developed a proprietary and highly structured process to best guarantee a safe and stress free medical travel experience.