Outsourcing healthcare overseas

Insurers want to send patients to India for surgery because it saves money. In one case a union blocked such a surgery that would have saved the insurerer $50,000 because they feared such procedures would soon become mandatory. Health care needs to about more than just cost reductions. Patients do not want spent 36 hours in transit each way by plane every time they they need surgery when there’s hospitals nearby that can do it.

Outsourcing healthcare offshore, no matter how good it might be, means the quality of health care here in the States will suffer. Hospitals rely on private insurance income to subsidize their costs. They will get squeezed and cutbacks will occur. Like they need more cutbacks. Here in L.A. it is no exaggeration to say the entire hospital system is in crisis.

It’s not just surgeries either. Evaluations, scans, radiology, and well as billing and IT are outsourced to India too. The doctors and staff in India appear highly qualified and well-trained now. But if Bangladesh, Uruguay, and Mongolia start undercutting prices in India and prices wars break out, then it’s a given the qualiity of healthcare will then suffer.

Capitalism is so near-sighted, always looking to maximize profits short-term, rarely looking at the long-range big picture. We need affordable health care here for all rather than a two-tiered system, one for the well-off, another for everyone else.

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