Murli Melwani, guest blogging for the Dallas Morning News, praises Taiwan’s abilities in medical tourism:
Have you wondered why even affluent Americans have become medical tourists? According to the Deloitte Center for Health Care Solutions, 750,000 Americans travelled abroad for medical care in 2007. The Center projects that the figure will cross 1.6 million by 2012. …
An important reason why medical dollars go overseas is the status and the approach of doctors in the U.S. I will explain this in terms of my experience with doctors in Taiwan, where I lived for 25 years.
Most of the doctors in Taiwan are trained in the U.S. When they return to home, they do not open their own clinics. They work for Medical University hospitals, hospitals founded by American missionaries, those set up by philanthropic Taiwanese or in government hospitals. Their status: they are employees and they earn a salary.
What is important is the approach of these doctors, which is clinical rather than analytical. The clinical approach is deductive in nature and the doctor draws on his experience and knowledge of symptoms in arriving at his diagnosis. The analytical approach uses the results of tests to draw conclusions.
By contrast, says Melwani, doctors in the United States often order unnecessary treatments and tests, in order to recover their investment in hospital equipment and technology. Melwani recommends that American doctors return to a style more similar to that of Taiwan, where treatment is dictated by need instead of money.