Outsourcing of Medical Surgery and the Evolution of Medical Telesurgery

Outsourcing of Medical Surgery and the Evolution of Medical Telesurgery

Shawna Sando (University of Arizona, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-770-6.ch094
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Abstract

With rising and often unreasonable costs in the U.S. healthcare system, Americans are becoming more inclined to seek cheaper alternatives. In some cases, Americans do not have to search for such alternatives on their own because their employers are offering them incentives to receive care from a foreign institution. Employees can go abroad to countries, such as India, in order to receive medical services for prices that are at least half of what the procedure would cost in the U.S. This emerging market seems to be beneficial to all involved except U.S. healthcare providers; however, this outsourcing of healthcare services sends a powerful international message. It seems that the U.S. has a healthcare system that cannot adequately serve all economic classes of the American public. In contrast, though India has the proper facilities and professionals, there are concerns regarding malpractice litigation, postoperative care, and possible negative effects on the Indian public. Having given consideration to all affected constituencies, it seems that the outsourcing of medical procedures is in the best interest of lower- and middle-class Americans as well as medical professionals in India. In reality, though medical tourism is receiving much attention, it will most likely not be a pressing concern for the American market in the near future. A widening discrepancy in the Indian public may, however, be cause for nearer concern. This new trend does foreshadow a push for more preventative changes in the business of U.S. healthcare, such as the development of information technology specific to the growing international healthcare market. Whereas, it will initially be beneficial to send patients abroad, with the evolution of technology, the latter ideal will instead be to have medical professionals abroad that care for patients located in the U.S.

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