With the convenience of cheap air travel, many more international arbitrage opportunities have now arisen than were feasible a decade ago. Many of these opportunities apply to the health sector, which is, in consequence, booming in India.
Saving Australian taxes by flying patients to India
It is possible for the Australian government to save itself a cool $100 million each year by flying many of its Medicare wait-listed patients to India for surgery. The example of John Chandler (see this new item) shows that around $40,000 could be saved in major surgery cases, per patient.
Even if this saving is exceptional, and only $10,000 is saved per patient, then flying a mere 10,000 patients to India each year can save the Australian government $100 million.
India will, of course, welcome this opportunity – and probably lay out the red carpet, should such an arrangement be organised. The fact that it is already occurring means that economic forces are already strong enough.
[The fact that the Australian health system is not sustainable in the long term is a matter I won't go into detail here, for I try to avoid commenting on Australian policies (climate change is an exception). I don't recommend government ownership of hospitals, for instance - see BFN.]
Setting up a well regulated organ exchange in India
There are thousands of people waiting for organs in the West, and thousands of people who die in road accidents or other incidents in India each year, with their organs not recovered for transplantation because the system in India for this purpose is basically defunct.
It should be possible to establish a carefully regulated organ exchange (which permits both donation and sale) in India which then sells these organs to Western transplant patients in an open and transparent manner. That would generate huge savings for Australia (which has to otherwise undertake expensive dialysis, etc.) – of the order of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and would generate commensurate revenues for the Indian people.
Both these health arrangements require a well-regulated system – something that does not exist in India. This has led, for instance, to the fear in Australia that Indian super-bugs will invade Australia.That fear can be resolved only if India ensures compliance with the world's highest standards of health care. Good governance is the solution.
Once again, I invite those willing to lead India and provide good governance, to step forward and join the Freedom Team.
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