Medical tourism going mainstream

I just listened to a documentary on this. By my count there are now about a dozen countries promoting themselves as a destination for medical tourism.

It’s really not that crazy an idea. The Americans pay – by far – the most for health care in the world. The comparative cost – full cost all in – for major surgeries in the U.S. is double or triple the cost in Canada.

People have so many entrenched notions about health care – this would never work in New Brunswick but I think it should at least be given a serious look. What sector has the highest average wages in New Brunswick? Health care. What sector has been growing the fastest in New Brunswick? Health care. What cost has been eating up the vast majority of new government spending in New Brunswick? Health care.

So, you go to the medical schools, double your seat allocation in various programs. Ramp up the infrastructure and start promoting the heck out of NB as a place for medical procedures.

Your direct flights to Boston and New York get a huge boost. You could charge 40% or 50% more than the cost of the service and plow that money back into the system. You could create hundreds maybe more of high paying health care jobs and you would be an innovator.

Cripes, why would an American fly to Israel if they could get the service in New Brunswick?

I know that it’s a nutsy idea – but I think it could be work exploring.