Health – Affordable Thanks to Asian Equipment

Expenses for health care are inexorably increasing and linked to that are our expectations. People in need only expect the best of the best. The question however is: What is the best? And: Is the more expensive the better? Asian manufacturers of medical equipment would strongly disagree and beat prices of their western competitors. Actually “beating” may not be the right term, “different price dimensions” is probably more precise as prices for virtually the same devices in several cases are tenfold in the west as they are in China or India. And this difference is not caused by lousy quality but by doing without fancy but mainly unnecessary features and without burdensome and over-extensive (caused by unhealthy risk aversion of control bodies) quality controls. Contrary to US-Americans or Europeans, Asians often pay medical treatments out of their private pockets and therefore care about cost. For them the price tag of medical equipment really matters and they gladly get themselves scanned in a 10’000 US$ device instead of a 100’000 US$ one.

Brightnews! Two things are positive. First: People in developing countries get much more affordable health care. Second: Increasing competition should lead to cheaper equipment and therefore to decreasing (or at least less increasing) health premiums. Admitted, the second point has a certain uncertainty and prognostic quality. Still, considering the increasing political pressure to reign in out-of-control health costs, there is hope to soon find Indian devices in our hospitals.

Source: The Economist

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