Everybody's Got One
A blog. An opinion. An elimination orifice. A dream. An agenda. A past. A hidden talent. A conceptual filter. A cross. A charism (often the same). A task. A wound. A destiny. A lost love. A blind spot. A bad habit. A secret. A passion. A soul ... okay, maybe not everybody ...
Saturday, February 07, 2004


A few days ago I asked:
Where do you plan to go to get top-quality health care when American society decides to no longer prioritize it? Where do you expect advances in treatment and medical technology and drugs to come from then?
Well, according to a Business Week article, "Over The Sea, Then Under The Knife", maybe Asia: (Subscription required, but here's a numbers quote)
Thailand's private hospitals treated more than 308,000 patients from abroad in 2002, generating some $280 million in revenue, according to the Thai Private Hospital Assn. And the business is growing. While just around 10,000 international patients checked in to Indian hospitals for everything from hernias to heart surgery last year, health-care tourism in India could become a $1 billion business by 2012, according to a 2002 report by McKinsey & Co. and the Confederation of Indian Industry. Singapore attracted 200,000 foreign patients in 2002 and aims to treat 1 million annually by 2010. Medical care 'will be a global business,' says C.E. Tan, marketing manager at Parkway Group Healthcare, a chain of hospitals in Singapore that treated 122,000 foreign patients last year.
Granted they're not innovating, simply repackaging existing treatments into patient-friendly experiences, but it's something to consider.

Final paragraph:
True, even five-star hospitals aren't for everyone if they're thousands of kilometers from home. Those with decent health insurance will probably stay put for surgery. But Asian medical facilities are betting that for people in developing markets where health care is subpar, or for those on long waiting lists, or for anyone with inadequate coverage at home, the trip might be just what the doctor ordered.
Decent health insurance meaning third-party payment for easy access to high-quality care, not single-payer or government-provided care.

posted by Kelly | 3:34 PM link