Medical Tourism Outsourcing
Over the past twenty years, outsourcing has grown from an eccentric decision to an efficient and economic business staple. Companies small and large outsource their accounting, manufacturing, and customer service to emerging economies such as China and India. When a trend (outsourcing) is successful in one industry, it’s natural for it to spread to other fields (medical procedures), or at least attempt to.
The answer to my initial question is they CAN and they ARE…often with very positive experiences.
Although medical tourism is a growing global industry, it is hardly a new practice. Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to Epidauria (100 miles SE of Athens), the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios, seeking health. In 2006, roughly 500,000 Americans traveled abroad for major surgeries to countries where the cost of living is comparably lower, but the medical methods and technology are modern. Some U.S companies and insurers have gone so far to advocate their employees and clients become medical tourists, in effort to cut back their own bills. As long as universal healthcare remains a national mystery and a global deficiency, the notion of medical tourism in emerging countries will continue to spread. This is yet another example of the flattening world we live in.