Globalization of Healthcare

Topics: Health care, Health economics, Medicine Pages: 8 (2083 words) Published: March 4, 2012
Globalization of Healthcare

Globalization in healthcare is a topic that has been the subject of many debates worldwide. While practically the entire world is becoming a global village due to globalization, the healthcare industry was considered to be invulnerable to this trend. This was attributed to the fact that healthcare is a service industry, where service is delivered on area of purchase. However many developments not only in the healthcare industry but in the entire economical sphere as a whole have seen the aspects of globalization. As a result globalization in the healthcare industry is a common phenomenon in the contemporary world. As the healthcare industry across global boundaries becomes increasingly intertwined, outsourcing is becoming the norm rather than the exception (CNBC). This globalization in healthcare has been driven by several factors, which have several impacts. The goal of this paper therefore is to explore globalization in the healthcare industry.

To achieve this goal, the context of this paper will be divided into two sections and each section will have several subsections. The first section is an analysis of the given case study. After reading the case study, this section will explore the facilitating developments that have driven healthcare to start globalizing, benefits and losers of globalization in healthcare, as well as the risks associated with globalization and assess ways of mitigating this risk in the healthcare sector. The second section will be a detailed account of how Manulife Financial Company can take advantage of the globalization trend in healthcare. The paper will then be concluded by a summary of events.

Section One: Case Study Analysis

Q1. Facilitating Developments that have allowed Healthcare to Start Globalizing.

Globalization in healthcare is nowadays a current phenomenon in the United States. The following factors influenced the need for globalization of healthcare.

➢ Shortage of medical specialists. United States currently has a shortage of medical specialists mostly radiologists. For example, the demand for radiologists exceeds by far the supply of radiologists from medical schools. Given this deficiency and the underlying need of reading and translating x-rays in real time, outsourcing to India began to take place.

➢ Take advantage of time differences in different zones. The use of Indian radiologists was beneficial to the country as it ensured efficient time delivery. This is because American doctors could send x-rays to their Indian counterparts and receive translations in the morning due to the time time differences.

➢ Lower costs of medical services in other countries as compared to the higher costs in the United States. Outsourcing of medical care or medical tourism, as it is known in some circles, helps patients deal with financial constraints and allows the patients to get the same medical services for a lower price. For example in the case study it is illustrated that David Jones, a Texan opted to get his triple bypass surgery in New Delhi where it cost him $16,000. If the surgery was done in America, Jones would have a much higher cost of $250,000. These statistics show that healthcare in America is quite expensive when compared to other nations.

➢ Many Americans have Insurance issues with over forty five million of the population being uninsured. Another larger percentage being underinsured. With respect to the above named high medical costs in America it is understandable why Americans opt to get medical treatment in other nations. It is worth noting that regardless of travel expenses, international medical treatment still has a lower cost.

➢ Emergence of high quality private hospitals abroad in developing nations like Singapore or India. Another factor that comes in to play are the high quality hospitals additional to the low charge for the medical services.

➢ On basis of the high...
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