India's Medical Innovators Have Much to Teach US

Experts search for better, cheaper methods
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2009 6:22 AM CDT
India's Medical Innovators Have Much to Teach US
People carry an injured man at Gauhati Medical College hospital in Gauhati, India, April 7, 2009.    (AP Photo)

Sure, US hospitals lead the world in the latest technology—but they could learn a thing or two from India’s improving health care system, where pioneers are demonstrating how to give superior care without unnecessary costs, the Economist reports. “In our country’s patient-centric health system, you must innovate,” says a doctor. The result is not only new business models for delivering affordable care but breakthrough techniques that are drawing patients from around the world.

As for high-tech equipment, “we got out of this arms race a few years ago,” says a hospital head, focusing instead on getting basic care to poorer patients. Doctors see high volumes of patients, building expertise, and hospitals save costs by cutting extras, like cafeterias. And on one technological front they are leagues ahead of their US peers: Hospitals have taken advantage of electronic health-information systems Americans are still arguing about.
(More health care stories.)

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