chapter  1
6 Pages

Introduction

The global healthcare landscape is becoming flat. New trends spread from region to region faster than ever before. Medical procedures once unique to a particular country are now performed on every continent. The United States is by no means a paragon in terms of the health of its citizens. Every nation has lessons to learn and worth sharing with other nations. For decades patients have traveled to London from Cape Town for neurosurgery. Telemedicine now makes it possible for a surgeon in Boston to synchronously assist in an experimental surgical procedure being performed in Lima, Peru. Healthcare is becoming transnational, jumping across borders with more and more regularity. This poses many legal and cultural challenges but both trends are likely to continue. In the U.S. nearly 47 million people (including 8.1 million children) did not have health insurance in 2009. The U.S. however spends the most per capita on healthcare in the world, representing 18 percent of the nation’s total gross domestic product. This figure rose to $2.6 trillion in 2009, averaging to about $8,000.00 for every person. This is unlikely to decrease in the near future, as healthcare is something that people tend to want more of, not less. The demand for healthcare is elastic. Hospitals in the U.S. are the direct recipients of one-third of all total U.S. fiscal expenditures. Healthcare should not be tied to if someone has a job; it should be portable and travel with them wherever they go. We insure every car on the road; don’t all people deserve the same?