SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Outsource THAT

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Nilf, May 12, 2007.

  1. Nilf

    Nilf 10+ Year Member

    During my internet perusal, driven by worries about how socialized healthcare will affect pathology, I stumbled upon the following gem:

    Outsource your surgery to Thailand
    Submitted by Carrie Ulrich on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 11:43am.

    Here's a creative solution to the high cost of healthcare in the U.S. (Reuters):

    Unable to pay the $30,000 that U.S. surgeons would charge to operate on her herniated disc, [June] Flowers had spent more than three years trying to keep the pain at bay with chiropractic treatments and cortisone injections.

    Watching the "60 Minutes" television show in 2005, she learned about Bumrungrad, where most of the doctors are Western trained but the cost of treatment is about one eighth of that in the United States. It was a daunting but tempting prospect.

    "My son said to me 'Mom, don't you know that's a third world country?'. But the surgery there cost just $3,500. I knew right then I had to go."

    Hooray for globalization!
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    There will always be isolated stories of this (even a high number is still isolated in relation to the total picture). The surgery there costs $3500 but what about travel (including for family), rehab costs, medications, etc etc. It's not practical. Obviously the insurance business (and health care as a consequence of that) is headed for crisis and some kind of intervention, but it is unlikely to be an immediate sea-wave change or anything that is going to impact health care quality in the US that much.
  4. quant

    quant Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    I beg to differ....

    A 3 vessel bypass graft in a state of the art private hospital in India costs ~10,000 $ including every last penny. Travel, Rehab etc etc + Tourism! There are already an awful number of middlemen who facilitate this process

    Globalization, if nothing, is a great equalizer. I think the motivating power of Greed is highly underestimated.
  5. sequela

    sequela Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    yeah...this medical tourism thing while currently an isolated thing has potential as a future trend.

    there have been several articles on this sorta thing in major media press and i know some mba people (at a top b-school) that are aware and ready to exploit this trend.

    w the general public all pissed off about the rising cost of medical care, the demand for medical tourism is potentially there. once folks come to terms w receiving care abroad (ie give up misconceptions or preconceptions), they may be willing. esp since american bussiness firms are usually the ones consulting for these outsourced hospitals....not to mention, they try to recruit american/european/canadian docs and support staff. altogether, the point of these hospitals is to provide quality care that is consistent with what one would receive on american soil. of course, for a reduced price.

    the motivating power is most definitely GREED.
    these places are not designed for the average indian or thai citizen in an attempt to give them the quality care that westerners receive...they are PRIVATE hospitals designed for rich (by comparison) americans and europeans and canadians who want cheaper healthcare or more immediate healthcare (ie for those w socialized med).

    time will tell if these hospitals do well. if healthcare costs continue to rise and health insurance does not come under some control in the usa, i could imagine a day when the demand for this service is more widespread.
  6. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory. 10+ Year Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    I think this is great. I will go toe-to-toe with the a$$hat pseudoMDs in 3rd world countries any day of the week. Only the weak should fear this competition.

    This will end when the first family decides to sue some doc for malprac in India and their attorney just hears laughter on the other end of the line....:laugh:

    Globalization FTW!!!!!!!!!!
  7. quant

    quant Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sorry to burst the bubble....but this wont be run by some a$$hat clinicians..

    This will be run by bigger a$$hat MBA s who are looking to cut pennies on the dollar at every available opportunity.

    With Medical tourism, the potential exists to cut quarters on a dollar, and I am sure many of the insurance mafia are waiting for an opportune time to jump into and onto this.
  8. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory. 10+ Year Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    Let em jump. Im hardly threatened by Dr. Jarjar Binks in a remote hospital in Sri Lanka.
  9. quant

    quant Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Maybe not.

    But you should definitely be threatened by Joe Schmo, MBA (Harvard), Class of 2000

  10. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory. 10+ Year Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    Not him either. Joe was out with his Ibanking buddies and his new girl Saturday night in the Mission in SF, got sloppy drunk and his woman left with me.

    Pathology FTW.
  11. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    As important as cost is to americans, the majority are never going to outsource their health care. It's too important to mess with cost cutting, which I guess is part of the reason the country is in a health care crisis. But the solution is not to provide lower cost health care. That may work for a small percentage, but not the majority.
  12. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Pardon my ignorance, but can someone tell me what FTW means?
  13. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian 7+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    It means for the win, BTW.

    Three letter acronym, FTW!
  14. quant

    quant Senior Member 7+ Year Member

  15. torero

    torero Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    north of the border
    I'm confused now LA. I thought you had established quite conclusively that it's in fact family med, and not path FTW...
  16. Mrbojangles

    Mrbojangles Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    This would probably most affect a field like plastic surgery. Surgery that doesn't have a high inherent risk which patients may sacrifice first world health care for. Question is will Quest, Ameripath, etc be competing with IndiaPath, PakistanPath, etc?
  17. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian 7+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Ameripath is Indipath and Pakipath.
    Or more to the point Ameripath is FMGipath.

    Not totally true of course, but to an extent.
    Plus the pakipath is just so I could use to corrected combination form of Pakistan and path.
  18. docbiohazard

    docbiohazard Highly ranked amateur 2+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    While some surgeries may be riskier than others, surgery is surgery and there is an inherent level of risk. I almost feel like the media is in a cycle of covering this new fad (3rd world medical tourism) to set themselves up for a sweeps-week feast of "medical tourism gone terribly wrong" stories a year or two down the road.

    I have trouble seeing a huge market for medical tourism. People who can afford to travel internationally, especially for elective procedures, would seem likely to have the resources to simply stay in America and have their procedures done here. I suppose you can tack the combined vacation / surgery angle onto it, but who feels like trudging around seeing the sites post-op... or if you vacation prior to surgery, who feels like sitting on a plane for 12-16 hours a few days post op.... DVT city.

    In terms of outsourcing Pathology, well, I pretty much agree with everything yaah said earlier. I think he's on the money. In terms of better diagnostics, as has been mentioned I think we'll see growth in prognostic markers as well as the fields of pharmacogenomics and using laboratory data to develop more targeted and individualized therapy... and in my mind, all that falls into the collective laps of Pathologists (CP in particular).

    I dunno, I think you can sit around and wring your hands about what-ifs all day and all night, but ultimately you have to pick something you enjoy and are good at, then as you go through your professional life remain actively aware of the changing environment around you so you can anticipate and adapt to changes / trends that affect your business, or risk stagnation and failure. Whatever the environment is like now will likely be different by the time a newly matched PGY1 finishes their training, and it seems like pontification about trends in medicine has a history of being wildly wrong.

    Just my $0.02...
  19. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Basically, outsourcing and computers threatens every job in the country, except perhaps for that of politician and everyone associated with pro sports. Investment bankers and money managers could be replaced by computers. Lawyers could be replaced by computers (as long as there was a printer there!). Doctors can be replaced by robots. Electricians. Builders. Engineers. Teachers. Etc.

Share This Page