by ndubuisi edeoga
It started with American companies; the quintessential capitalists outsourcing their call centers to India where call center operators earn a tenth of US salaries. Then it snowballed into every country doing some outsourcing of their own...
This concept cannot be put in a more succinct way than Thomas Friedman did in his book titled “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century” (read this book!). Doing business has never been easier with the physical boundaries of countries overwhelmed by the omnipresent Internet, cheaper air travel, faster planes, and even greedier business men.
The first time I heard about medical outsourcing, I was in Georgia in th US for a conference. The hospital had an arrangement with some doctors in Australia called the “night hawk” services group, very aptly named.
How it works - a patient comes to the hospital at night to a radiological examination done e.g. chest x-ray, (CXR), Computed tomography scan, (CT scan) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the past a radiologist on-call had to interprete the results and have it ready for the doctors before the morning rounds or have it ready immediately if it was urgently needed. This radiologist is paid huge sums of money as on-call allowances.
So some smart guy came up with the idea - let us send these tests over the Internet to Australia which was in a different time zone, so while its night in the US, it is bright daylight in Australia. The radiologist in Australia interprets the results the hospital avoids the huge on-call allowances paid to the radiologist in the US. Globalisation!
Some weeks back I got a call from a friend in Nigeria, he was at the Indian embassy in Nigeria to get a medical clearance and travel documents for his mother to go to India for knee replacement surgery. He told me that he had to wait in line because he had about 11 other Nigerians waiting to get cleared to go for different types of medical and surgical treatments too, that’s in one day.
Quick sums 11 X 365 = 4015, add the cost of air travel to India usually for the patient and a companion, add the cost of the surgery and other expenses. That’s what Igbobi hospital is losing every year....but who really cares about that?
It gets even better, when he got to India with his mum he was amazed at the facilities available, he claims the hospital and the theater looked exactly like the ones he saw in the UK and Europe. The surgeon, was trained and worked in the UK for more than 10years, he operates in a hospital just like the one he worked in the UK, read more here
It gets even better still, the cost of the surgery which was very successful was 1/6th of the cost of similar surgery in the USA, I even made him, take a picture of the prosthesis that was used for his mum, packaging and all, and it was the same as the ones used in the USA.
Since health care does not seem to be on the agenda....the Nigerian government can at least provide transport for people in my village to go to Ghana fro their healthcare...
GHANA! the new light of West Africa...
We can be proud of our neighbours