Saw this today from Medical Travel Today.com by Dr. John Maa, assistant adjunct professor of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, and director, Surgical Hospitalist Program, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Pay attention to what he says about US employers and employees.
The re-election of President Barack Obama ensures the preservation of his signature healthcare and insurance reform legislation. Some suggest that the focus on medical travel expansion will therefore shift away from the care of uninsured Americans towards insurance companies seeking to offer low-cost alternatives to employers and employees.
The special opportunity to utilize financial forces to drive healthcare costs down in the US remains untapped. What’s more, there is much that the nation can learn from the healthcare delivery systems in other countries. Consider the following from The Nation: Thailand spends just over four percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare, and achieved universal access to healthcare in 2002, along with remarkable reductions in infant mortality and HIV infection rates.
In the World Health Organization ranking of healthcare systems of 2000, the US was 37th, while Thailand was 47th. As US healthcare expenditures approach 20 percent, with the Congressional Budget Office projecting that 30 million Americans will still remain uninsured despite the ACA, one might reasonably conclude that the Thailand system represents a better return on investment for their healthcare dollars. Perhaps the greatest benefit would result from sending elected US officials, health policy experts and policymakers abroad to observe real-world solutions that are succeeding in other nations, and integrating these valuable lessons into the US healthcare system.
Shouldn’t this be a focus of the US workers’ compensation system also?