142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Ethical Dimensions to Medical Tourism: Resource Depletion in India's Public Health Sector

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Jack Warren Salmon, PhD , Health Policy and Administration, University Of Illinois-Chicago, River Forest, IL
Meghana V. Aruru, PhD, MBA, B.Pharm , Department of Clinical, Administrative and Social Sciences, Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy, Schaumburg, IL
Trade in health services via health tourism or medical outsourcing has increased significantly in the past decade. Today, many Americans, Europeans and patients from the Middle East travel to India for health services and procedures, ranging from cosmetic enhancements to complicated cardiac bypass surgeries. Amidst the poverty and disease facing India, private providers domestically are thriving by servicing medical tourists, as dozens of developing and emerging economies have jumped on this bandwagon for privatization. The literature on medical tourism is burgeoning with marketing descriptions, though few analyses extend to the deleterious effects upon underfunded public providers addressing the native populous. Using India as an example, this paper seeks to shed insight on how underdevelopment extends while private sector growth expands. Revenues flowing into India from health trade transactions are not aiding public health budgets.  As needs among the Indian people grow, professionals migrate not just beyond borders, but also to private institutions serving medical tourists to exacerbate disparities. Policymakers across India and many nations have failed to critically assess the broader impact from this medical tourism phenomenon in the context of provision of adequate health services to their local populations. The chasm between those who can and cannot afford health services continues to grow as healthcare providers and institutions increasingly seek to offer specialized, tertiary care at the cost of dwindling numbers of practitioners in the primary care and the public health sector.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain health tourism in the context of trade of health services Describe and Discuss the adverse impacts of health services trade for local populations

Keyword(s): Public/Private Partnerships, Managed Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have researched, worked and evaluates health policies, trade globally.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.