From Durham to Delhi: "Medical Tourism" and the Global Economy
Friday, 08 June 2007
University of Minnesota Campus
Twin Cities, MN
Leigh Turner, PhD
Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Biomedical Ethics Unit and Department of Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University
Orthopaedic surgery, cardiac care, dental surgery, and other procedures are all available for purchase in the global health services marketplace. Americans unable to afford health care in the United States are arranging treatment in India, Singapore, Thailand, and other countries. Proponents of "medical tourism" argue that a global market in health services will promote consumer choice, foster competition among hospitals, and reduce the cost of health care in the United States. Sceptics raise concerns about patient safety, information disclosure to patients, quality of care, and liability issues. A global market in health services will have profound consequences for health insurance, delivery of health services, public health, patient-physician relationships, and how we understand the relationship between medicine and the marketplace. This presentation examines social and economic dimensions of medical tourism and explores ethical issues raised by the emergence of a global market in health services.