According to the Oxford English dictionary, the word "outsourcing" first showed up in 1981, to describe how car companies were sending skilled jobs abroad. Today, "outsourcing" is part of our daily vocabulary. Just about everything that we used to do here is being done much more cheaply somewhere else. India, for instance, is teeming with educated workers who now take care of our textiles, our call centres and our computers. And now they're starting to take care of our bodies.
In early February, six Canadians made their way to the V.I.P. ward in the Apollo Hospital in Chennai - formerly Madras - in southern India. They're what we call "medical tourists." They're frustrated with their country's waiting lists, and scared off by the high price of private care in the United States. At the Apollo Hospital they're welcomed with open arms and in high style. Chennai's steamy crowded streets, the motorized rickshaws and ox-drawn wagons are floors down and a world away.
Producer David Gutnick follows a woman from Kenora, Ontario who chose to go to India rather than wait five years for the gastric bypass surgery she wanted. While there David met a man who was told by Canadian doctors he would never walk without pain again, and that surgery was useless. He refused to believe them.
Live at the Apollo will make you think again about the future direction of Canadian healthcare.
This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Live at the Apollo was produced by David Gutnik of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Information on medical tourism.
Canadian Health Care
Information on Canadian health care.
Patient Power: Solving America's Health Care Crisis
by: John C. Goodman, Gerald L. Musgrave 1992
The authors propose radical changes in the current system to put more control into the hands of patients, make health insurance personal and portable rather than employer-based, and make health care responsive to the free market.