We have discussed in detail the dangers of Affordable CAre Act and its expanded use of PHARMA especially in mental health. Let's just revisit this and look further as to problems regarding the global corporate health care restructuring. When I lived in Seattle---a beautiful city---after several years there I developed SAD----that is a depression stemming from the lack of sunshine as Seattle is a rain forest with constant cloudiness. The treatment was always PROZAC and sunlamps. Since I do not like artificial health treatments I said no, I'll just move to a sunny part of the nation. We have known for decades that all kinds of anti-depressive/anti-psychotic PHARMA were producing serious side-effects that were not simply marginal but mainstream. The poor in America were especially hard hit because all these PHARMA were used to stem any so-called bad behavior.
TODAY WE KNOW---AS THEY DID A FEW DECADES AGO----THAT MANY OF THESE PHARMA BRING THE DIABETES AND OBESITY GLOBAL HEALTH CORPORATIONS ARE NOW YELLING AT CITIZENS TO CURB.
NYC is tops in using these PHARMA as Mayor Bloomberg passes laws to stop giant soda drinks. The metrics being used by global health system committees designing treatments, pricing for bad health, exclusion for bad health behavior will always look away from corporate damage to health and place that cost on consumers. Exhibit depression and one is forced to take PROSAC--get diabetes and you are kicked to an expense health plan with no access to health care. Who is writing these health policies? PHARMA and global corporations creating these products that are often harming WE THE PEOPLE.
We are not going to go into detail on what harms people's health, we will be looking at the global structure getting ready to take all control of public policy and making those decisions.
The Affordable Care Act and Expanding Mental Health Coverage
August 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM ET by Cecilia Muñoz
Health care providers, mental health advocates, and individuals who have personally experienced mental illness came to the White House to talk about the intersection of two important Presidential priorities: the Affordable Care Act and mental health.
All the people in the picture with this article KNOW where these health policies lead-----there is SHOW ME THE MONEY ARNE DUNCAN------Illinois has a Martin O'Malley ---1% Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals say accumulating extreme wealth and power is the civil right of global corporations
Hypoglycemia May Occur With Prozac
Dr. Bill Quick Health Pro
- I recently spoke with a friend with diabetes who had just started Prozac. He was amazed to find he was having repeated hypoglycemia within days after starting the drug, and had to cut back on his insulin doses. He obviously wondered if it were somehow due to Prozac.
Prozac has been a wonder drug for the treatment of depression, but it has a possible effect on diabetes that has not been widely recognized. Prozac, a brand name for the drug fluoxetine, was introduced in the 1980's, and was the first in a class of antidepressant medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). It turns out that Prozac (and other SSRIs) have a possible effect of concern for people with diabetes: they can lower blood glucose enough to require downward adjustment of medications taken for control of diabetes.
I went to the drug's label, as posted at the FDA website. The possibility of hypoglycemia when on Prozac has been in the Prozac label for years. It currently reads: "Glycemic Control - In patients with diabetes, PROZAC may alter glycemic control. Hypoglycemia has occurred during therapy with PROZAC, and hyperglycemia has developed following discontinuation of the drug. As is true with many other types of medication when taken concurrently by patients with diabetes, insulin and/or oral hypoglycemic, dosage may need to be adjusted when therapy with PROZAC is instituted or discontinued." That's exactly the same wording as the earliest label I can find on-line, from 1999.
And if you go to Prozac's website, it's right there on the first page: "People who have diabetes and take PROZAC may have problems with low blood sugar while taking PROZAC. High blood sugar can happen when PROZAC is stopped. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of your diabetes medicines when you start or stop taking PROZAC."
It's interesting that Prozac is made by the same company, Eli Lilly, that makes multiple insulin products. At one of insulin product's label, it states "A number of substances affect glucose metabolism and may require insulin dose adjustment and particularly close monitoring." SSRIs are on the very long list that is provided. But on another Lilly insulin's label (for Humalog) they list a bunch of drugs, but don't bother to mention the SSRIs! Hmmm.
Is the problem only related to Prozac? No. Zoloft's label is similar, and says it can cause both lows and highs: "Cases of new onset diabetes mellitus have been reported in patients receiving SSRIs including ZOLOFT. Loss of glycemic control including both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia has also been reported in patients with and without pre-existing diabetes. Patients should therefore be monitored for signs and symptoms of glucose fluctuations. Diabetic patients especially should have their glycemic control carefully monitored since their dosage of insulin and/or concomitant oral hypoglycemic drug may need to be adjusted."
On the other hand, a recently-approved SSRI, Viibryd, has no mention of diabetes or glucose, so maybe it's different - or maybe it's so new that nobody has reported the problem yet with it.
How common is the problem? I can't tell. The most interesting article that I found was a 2009 English-language article from the Netherlands, "SSRIs and Hypoglycemia" that which stated that there were 521 reports of hypoglycemia associated with several SSRIs in the Dutch market. The authors describe some cases in detail, and they are dramatic: sometimes with onset within hours/days of starting the SSRI. They also discussed possible mechanisms, and the one that seems most likely as I read their speculations is that the SSRI drugs somehow cause increased insulin sensitivity.
I think either the FDA or some academic institution should do a review of the issue. It's easy enough to do. Like the Dutch, just match all the SSRIs against reports of severe hypoglycemia. If as I suspect, it's found that all the SSRIs, new and old, have caused severe hypoglycemia, the SSRI labels should be harmonized with what's in the Prozac label.
Prozac - and perhaps any SSRI - can cause hypoglycemia that needs downward adjustment of diabetes medications. If you or a family member has diabetes and starts taking an SSRI, it may require adjustment of diabetes medications soon afterwards.
Antipsychotic Drugs May Triple Kids' Diabetes Risk
This class of drugs is increasingly used to treat children with ADHD, depression
From the WebMD Archives
By Dennis Thompson
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Antipsychotic medications such as Seroquel, Abilify and Risperdal can triple a child's risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the first year of usage, according to a new study.
Powerful antipsychotics traditionally were used to treat schizophrenia. Now the majority of prescriptions for antipsychotic medications are for treatment of bipolar disorder, ADHD and mood disorders such as depression, according to prior research.
But antipsychotic drugs make a child much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the medications typically prescribed for these other psychiatric conditions, said corresponding author Wayne Ray, director of the division of pharmacoepidemiology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in Nashville, Tenn.
"We found that children who received antipsychotic medications were three times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes," Ray said. "It's well known that antipsychotics cause diabetes in adults, but until now the question hadn't been fully investigated in children."
Antipsychotics appear to increase diabetes risk by causing dramatic weight gain in children and by promoting insulin resistance, Ray said.
The boom in the use of antipsychotic medication has been particularly dramatic among children. Antipsychotic prescriptions have increased sevenfold for kids in recent years and nearly fivefold for teens and young adults aged 14 to 20, according to a 2012 study from Columbia University.
For the current study, which was published Aug. 21 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, the researchers reviewed the records of nearly 29,000 kids aged 6 to 24 in the Tennessee Medicaid program who had recently started taking antipsychotic drugs for reasons other than schizophrenia or related psychoses.
They compared those kids to more than 14,000 matched control patients who had started taking other types of psychiatric medications, including mood stabilizers such as lithium; antidepressants; psychostimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin; alternative ADHD medications such as clonidine and guanfacine; and anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines.
Within the first year, users of antipsychotic drugs had triple the risk for type 2 diabetes compared to users of other psychiatric medications.
When we see our First Lady or our Federal health agencies promoting fresh foods and exercise in fighting obesity----we say that is a good message. When Obama and our Federal health agencies promote health policies written by global PHARMA and global health corporations that expand the use of mental health PHARMA causing childhood diabetes and obesity----THEY ARE PROGRESSIVE POSING.
Nationally we are seeing a roll-out of preventative health care educating on all the health issues but those tied to health industry products. This is like having public health commissioners knowing lead paint or lead pipes create health crises and are partnered with the politicians pushing these products. THEY ARE CREATING THE HEALTH CRISES FROM WHICH THEY THEN PROFIT. When we had a functioning social progressive government we had Federal agencies that stopped bad health products. This is why cancers, diabetes, nerve disorders were not prevalent. We can read this Center for Disease Control program and not see one mention of Bill Gates and his global PHARMA corporation as #1 enemy of public health. Doctors do not fight corporations killing public health if they are now that same global corporation.
So, we see article where our children are being placed on OXYCODON and other mental health and pain PHARMA at earlier and earlier ages. Baltimore has a health commissioner promoting micro-chips for birth control to be installed at the earliest of ages. THESE ARE NOT PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES----THEY ARE SIMPLY FAST WAYS TO CONTROL PEOPLE----and who cares what happens to the 99% of Americans down the road.
No one knows the public health crises being unleashed on our citizens from mental health and pain medications allowed to be mainstreamed then this CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL. Far-right 1% Wall Street Libertarians say ---we accumulate wealth anyway we can. CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA have dismantled our Federal public health agencies and appoint global corporate leadership making sure the public doesn't know REAL health issues.
Preventing Chronic Diseases and Reducing Health Risk Factors
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CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA had as their main goal to create mass unemployment, to move all wealth from a broad societal structure to the top, leaving US citizens in deeper and deeper poverty. Guess what? THAT CAUSES DEPRESSION. Don't worry says Global PHARMA we have a pill for that. What makes this really, really, really dangerous under far-right authoritarian global corporate rule---is the REHABILITATION LAWS being tied to preventative care. WE THE PEOPLE mandated to buy or be on health insurance policies are now required to follow whatever EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY global health systems deem best for profits.
When we have all our underserved community citizens on all kinds of PHARMA for what is mostly depression caused by lack of employment and ability to achieve basic needs----WE HAVE FAILED PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY. These US cities as International Economic Zones under Trans Pacific Trade Pact with a global labor pool is the best way to create global health crises. Next decade with this coming deliberate and planned economic crash will see unemployment soar and all these depressive conditions soar.
DON'T WORRY SAYS OBAMA AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS WE HAVE USED AFFORDABLE CARE ACT TO SEE EVERYONE IS DOSED.
Nothing like having the far-right CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA Wall Street pols creating one national health crises after another. Johns Hopkins is gearing up for lots of mental health issues around Baltimore's soaring unemployment.
When University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins installs what they see as the REAL global labor pool in BAltimore what looks today like a trickle will be a flood of global labor workers. They will be motivated to bring developing nation workers who already work for $3-6 a day or $20-30 a day as health care labor----low-income or professional. It's happening now and will expand causing what will be expanded public health vectors.
Unemployment takes tough mental toll
By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
Updated 11:27 AM ET, Fri June 15, 2012
"It's a really nasty cycle that plays on you psychologically," Michael Dixon says of unemployment.
- People unemployed for six months or more often show signs of depression
- The job search itself creates anxiety, as does the anticipation of rejection
- Make sure you take care of yourself while looking for jobs
- Be flexible and open to opportunities outside your field
Michael Dixon hasn't had a job since September, but he's definitely not relaxing at home.
Living at a friend's house without paying rent, he spends all day searching online for job opportunities and more short-term ways to make money, fearing that if he stops to watch TV, he'll miss something.
"It's kind of like a feeling of 'I can't believe this is happening to me,' and a sense of hopelessness," said Dixon, a 38-year-old Seattle resident. "You really, really, truly start to question who you are."
Dixon, an experienced software test engineer, knows he's not alone in his jobless turmoil. The unemployment rate in the United States is at 8.1%, but that doesn't include people who haven't been looking for a job recently.
In other words------8.1% represents only those citizens receiving unemployment benefits---the real unemployment is around 35% and higher.
Deceptively, the unemployment rate will likely drop this summer, but that's because federal extended unemployment benefits are running out for an additional 115,000 people. That statistic doesn't capture just how many Americans have been desperately wishing for a job for a long time.
Psychologists point out serious mental health consequences of being in Dixon's situation for a long time.
It's common for people who have been unemployed for six months or longer to show signs of depression, says Diane Lang, psychotherapist based in Livingston, New Jersey. Eating habits focus on comfort foods, leading to binging. Stress, anxiety and negative thoughts make it hard to get a good night's sleep, resulting in fatigue and lethargy.
"Being unemployed is actually one of the most difficult, most devastating experiences that people go through," said Robert L. Leahy, director of the American Insitiute for Cognitive Therapy and author of "The Worry Cure."
Research suggests that being unemployed doubles a person's chance of a major depressive episode and that unemployment is also highly associated with domestic violence and alcohol abuse, Leahy said. Unemployment is also associated with an increased risk of suicide, often because of the link to depression.
Men with children tend to view unemployment as more a defeat than women with children, Leahy said, perhaps because women might be more likely to view a lack of a job as a chance to spend more time with family.
Physical health may also suffer: new medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes may follow the loss of a job, Leahy said. There are suggestions that unemployment can even lead to cardiovascular disease, although it is difficult to prove that job loss causes heart damage.
Strains on intimate relationships might result from being unemployed, since frustration between partners can result from financial worries, Leahy said. But divorce rates have been shown to be lower among the unemployed, perhaps because it's harder to make big decisions such as where to move and how to sell a house while also looking for jobs.
Feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed about their situations, some unemployed people isolate themselves socially and don't find enjoyment in the activities they once did, Lang said. They may feel hopeless, confused or overwhelmed. Physical symptoms can also include joint and body aches.
And even if you're trying to get yourself out of unemployment, the job search itself brings significant stress: Research suggests that unemployed workers who actively engage in job-search activities are more likely to have worse mental health, according to a 2005 study.
Not everyone gets clinical depression as a result of unemployment, but it's a concern, Lang said. Friends and family of unemployed people should look for warning signs, such as sadness, lack of energy, insomnia and irritability.
It seems that global empire-building and predatory and criminal neo-liberal economics is causing depression all over the world. Who best to provide reports and suggestions on addressing this then the global institutions promoting all these International Economic Zone/global labor pool distribution systems leaving citizens poor, unemployed, and enslaved away from their families.
Just look at sponsors of these health summits. Johnson and Johnson is the #1 global health corporation is the umbrella for all kinds of health product brands creating these health crises. The ECONOMIST sponsors the media coverage as the global neo-liberal media outlet they are they will not report any bad press on global corporate responsibility for widespread health crises----
PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY NOT EXERCISING AND ARE EATING BADLY.
Here is the United Nations partnered with the IMF and World Bank led by appointed leaders from the most Wall Street neo-liberal nations all joining to tell WE THE PEOPLE what needs to be done to better public health. Meanwhile, they all are expanding International Economic Zones we all know devastate our environment, with toxic chemicals exposing workers to extremely bad health outcomes.
WHEN OUR US MEDIA ALLOWS ONLY THESE VOICES IN ALL OUR NEWS CASTS-----WE ARE UNINFORMED. WHERE ARE THESE LOCAL VOICES TELLING US ALL THESE HEALTH POLICIES ARE BAD? OUR BALTIMORE CITY POLS KNOW THIS---THEY ARE PASSING THE LAWS ALLOWING THESE GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS STRUCTURES BE BUILT.
Could it be the endless wars overseas-----the enslaving global corporate factories and global labor trading-----or maybe the US soaring unemployment and poverty? LET'S FIX THIS.
THE GLOBAL CRISIS OF DEPRESSION
A STRONG ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CASE FOR PREVENTING, CONTROLLING AND MANAGING DEPRESSION
depression is one of the biggest health challenges the world faces.
more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. one in five people will experience a period of depression in their lives, and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide aside from the personal
cost to sufferers and their families, the impact on the economy is vast, with the cost in Europe alone amounting to €92 bn a year, much of which is down to lost productivity.
policy makers and employers are failing to grasp the scale and urgency of the problem meanwhile, mental illness continually loses out to physical conditions in the allocation of public health funds, and society
still stigmatises those who suffer.
The issue is complex and requires cooperation across government, academia, healthcare providers, the pharmaceutical industry, employers and patients.
The Economist Events’ conference, sponsored
by h. Lundbeck, brought together key global opinion leaders from
across these groups to give an insight into the global challenge of
depression; the impact that depression has on society, workplaces and
health; and how depression can and should be treated.
THE GLOBAL CRISIS
A STRONG ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CASE FOR PREVENTING, CONTROLLING AND MANAGING DEPRESSION
THE BURDEN OF DEPRESSION
a lack of political resolve and a failure to acknowledge the scale of the problem of depression is undermining the fundamental human rights of hundreds of millions of people, said Kofi annan, Former secretary general of the united Nations, in opening the conference.
basic levels of care are being denied to those that need help – in the rich world, accessing treatment for depression lags badly behind care for physical
conditions in poorer countries that lack proper functioning health systems such support can be non-existent, and these are countries that are often afflicted by poverty, conflict and natural disasters, so
depression is more prevalent and severe.
it is predicted that depression will jump from fourth to second place in
contributing to the overall global burden of disease.
who member states have already approved the 2013-2020 mental health action plan, which calls for a 20% increase in treatment for mental health including
depression by 2020.
mr annan said that it is vital that these commitments are turned into concrete action on the ground all over
the world. mental health, and depression in particular, must also be placed within the
millennium development goals post-2015 agenda.
To tackle depression requires a multi-faceted approach. mr annan called on delegates to cast their nets wide when forging new alliances,
and learn from initiatives created to fight infectious diseases where innovative partnerships across sectors and countries brought success.
we also need to find ways to widen the numbers of patients receiving treatment for depression and improve the education of general medical
and health staff so it can be better diagnosed and treated, he said.
Here we see in 2002 MicroSoft Bill Gates divested into global PHARMA and it is no coincidence that the use of his brands soared in our public health policies including uses of mental health PHARMA (PROZAC for example). While Obama and Clinton neo-liberals passed laws allowing what everyone knew was a global health corporation R & D be called THE GATES FOUNDATION with billionaire Warren Buffet hiding all their wealth in a global non-profit---these 1% were writing the Affordable Care Act and Trans Pacific Trade Pact with all that PHARMA protection.
Look, there is JOHNSON AND JOHNSON under this Bill Gates PHARMA corporation. This is the point: they are dismantling our strong public health structure in the US and replacing it with what will become more and more quick-fix medicine like dosing with PHARMA. This is why MEDICAID is heavily funded for PHARMA.
Much of what is new in PHARMA is coming with shouts of concern because they are not doing the clinical trials---they are simply using the general public. When Affordable Care Act MANDATES all Americans have health insurance----then tie our ability to have that health insurance to doing whatever these global corporate health committees telling us ALL THIS IS EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH POLICY---then WE THE PEOPLE are going to be told----JUST DO IT.
THE HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATE PARTNERED WITH PREDATORY HEALTH SYSTEMS CREATING HEALTH POLICY FOR PROFIT IS ABOUT THE MOST FAR-RIGHT AUTHORITARIAN ABUSIVE SOCIETAL STRUCTURE ONE CAN BUILD.
Social Democrats were shouting this-----many good health care professionals were shouting this----who brought citizens out to support Affordable Care Act? National labor and justice organization leaders-----still pushing CLINTON/OBAMA WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALISM. Here in Baltimore all Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations promote these policies as GOOD FOR THE POOR---GOOD FOR QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.
Republican think tanks wrote these policies---they wrote this mandate------so they are POSING CONSERVATIVE IN HATING OBAMACARE. The only thing Republicans hate is having any public health structure. Republican think tanks call UNIVERSAL SINGLE-PAYER-----this very gutted of funding MEDICAID FOR ALL.
It's very corporate far-right fascist to build a structure that forces people towards set standards of health care. Republican voters shouting against Obama should look at their own Republican think tanks.
Bill Gates Charity Buys Stakes in Drug Makers
From CDC National Prevention Information Network
May 17, 2002
A note from TheBody.com: The field of medicine is constantly evolving. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has purchased shares in nine big pharmaceutical companies valued at nearly $205 million -- an investment likely to attract attention more for its symbolism than its size. The foundation, the nation's largest with an endowment of $24.2 billion from Microsoft Corp Chair Bill Gates and his wife, already is a major force in international health issues, contributing $555 million in 2000 alone to global health programs. The foundation has often assumed the role of broker between poor countries in need of cheaper drugs and drug companies.With its investment in Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and others, the foundation has a financial interest in common with makers of AIDS drugs, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other drugs. Joe Cerrell, a spokesperson for the Gates Foundation says the investments are independent of the foundation's programs.
OH, REALLY?????? YOU MEAN YOU WERE NOT SIMPLY BUYING ALL PHARMA PATENTS TO HAVE A MONOPOLY?
Indeed, they might just be good investments, as beaten-down drug stocks are generally cheap these days.
The foundation's investments in "Big Pharma" could spur controversy, given Mr. Gates' staunch support of strict intellectual-property protections for drugs in poor countries. "The impression people have, because of the types of projects Gates has funded and because of his Microsoft background, is that he has an ax to grind on the intellectual property front," says James Love, director of the Consumer Project on Technology, who works with African officials to obtain low-cost drugs.
Other people involved with the issue say medical progress in poor countries depends on incentives for drug makers, and the Gates foundation is balancing the tradeoffs responsibly. Richard Feachem, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of California, San Francisco, and recently appointed to head the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, argues that the Global Fund's buying power could create a strong "pull factor" spurring drug makers to develop inexpensive products.
WHY ARE ALL INTERNATIONAL HEALTH JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS SHOUTING TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT, WRITTEN BY BILL GATES, DOES THE OPPOSITE.
"For the industry, that would lead to the development of a high-volume, low-margin market, which could be a win for them as well," he says.
The Affordable CAre Act creates this tiered health structure pushing aside over 80% of American citizens from what are now profit-driven hospital/health systems and builds what is a massive under-class of health structures designed to be predatory. We already know national health chains are filling with fraud, corruption, abusive services with no oversight and accountability. We know the Affordable CAre Act and prison reforms contain policies movement from imprisonment to REHABILITATION structures tied with the losses of civil rights and liberties of DUE PROCESS and CHARGING BEFORE DETENTION. We must look broadly at public policy to see how these industry policies might work together----and then we must remember that CLINTON/OBAMA are far-right wing Wall STreet global pols----the far-right is always FASCIST---AUTHORITARIAN.
While Baltimore's global health campuses are recruiting the 1% and their 2% to live and come to our city for what is state of the art health care paid for and accessed by WE THE PEOPLE----believe these health care rates are going to soar for profit----a very predatory health structure is being built for the 99%.
We already hear terms like HARD WORK CURES DEPRESSION AND ADDICTIONS----well, then stopped deliberately creating stagnant community economies and high unemployment.
When a majority of world citizens are being classified as DEPRESSED/ADDICTS as is happening today----then we see below what is a structure designed just for those global labor pool folks.
January 7, 2010
"Where Darkness Knows No Limits"Incarceration, Ill-Treatment and Forced Labor as Drug Rehabilitation in China
SummaryJanuary 6, 2010
China: Drug ‘Rehabilitation’ Centers Deny Treatment, Allow Forced Labor
Anti-Drug Law Perpetuates Rights Abuses
“In detox there are no human rights, people just die.”
—Former detainee Li, Yunnan, 2009In June 2008, China’s first comprehensive law on narcotics control, the Anti-Drug Law of the People’s Republic of China, took effect. This law calls for the rehabilitation of illicit drug users. Drug users are subject to administrative, not criminal, penalties. Yet, the Chinese government routinely incarcerates—without trial or judicial oversight—individuals suspected of drug use for up to six years in drug detention centers. Instead of addressing the problem of drug abuse in China by offering voluntary, medically-based drug treatment, the Anti-Drug Law compounds the health risks of suspected drug users while abusing the rights guaranteed to them under Chinese and international law. In detention, they receive little or no medical care, no support for quitting drugs, and no skills training for re-entering society upon release. In the name of treatment, many suspected drug users are confined under horrific conditions, subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and forced to engage in unpaid labor. Multiple former detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that these abuses had resulted in deaths in detention.
At the same time that drug users suffer these abuses in detention centers, the Chinese government promotes more progressive policies that embrace some harm reduction strategies as part of a pragmatic response to high rates of drug use and HIV/AIDS. Partnering with local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the Chinese government has expanded community-based methadone therapy and needle exchange programs. A statement released by the Office of China National Narcotics Control Commission in June 2008 declared that “drug treatment and rehabilitation is in accordance with human-centered principles.” In March 2009 a high-ranking government official stated, “The Chinese Government maintains that drug treatment and rehabilitation should proceed in a people-oriented way.” The reality facing many drug users, as documented in this report, exposes the contradiction between Chinese government rhetoric regarding its approach to illicit drug use and the abusive impact of its policies.
Undermining these progressive and “human-centered” approaches are increasingly punitive and harsh law enforcement practices that continue to favor the detention and confinement of drug users over the delivery of effective, voluntary, and community-based, outpatient drug treatment. The focus of this report is the human rights abuses related to China’s first comprehensive law on narcotics control, the Anti-Drug Law of the People’s Republic of China, which took effect in June 2008. The law expands police power and removes legal protections from people suspected of drug use, ultimately reinforcing the government’s response to drug use as a matter for law enforcement and not medical treatment. The government has described the Anti-Drug Law as a more humane strategy towards curbing illicit drug use, ending sentences to re-education through labor (RTL) centers for drug users and including greater protections for people detained in drug detention centers. However, ambiguous language outlining these protections and significantly longer sentences to compulsory drug detention, have resulted in greater threats to the rights of drug users under the new law.
Two years after Human Rights Watch conducted research in China’s Guangxi province in 2007 (described in our report “Unbreakable Cycle”), we investigated human rights and health conditions of former and current drug users in Yunnan province. This report looks at conditions both inside mandatory drug detention centers and in the community in light of the 2008 Anti-Drug Law. We found that despite this new law, conditions in drug detention centers in Yunnan are as inhumane and as far removed from drug “treatment” as were those in Guangxi two years earlier.
The Anti-Drug Law is continuing and extending the abuses of RTL, simply under another name. The new law increases the incarceration time in compulsory drug detention centers, from the previously mandated six to twelve months, to a minimum of two years. The egregious abuses in RTL centers that were the focus of external criticism (forced labor, physical abuse, and the denial of basic health care) are replicated in compulsory drug detention centers. Moreover, after two years, individuals in drug detention centers may be forced to stay for a third year, depending on the “success” of the treatment. Following two or three years in drug detention centers, the law provides for a period of “community based” treatment for up to three years. What constitutes community-based treatment is not clear in the law and has been interpreted in diverse ways in different parts of China, including the continued detention of drug users in detention centers. The result is that for a single alleged incident of illicit drug use or possession, a suspected drug user may be subjected to incarceration and forced labor for six years.
The Anti-Drug Law’s ambiguous language on health and rehabilitation facilitates the routine and systematic violation of the fundamental rights of suspected drug users by government officials and security forces. The law’s vague definitions of clinical terms such as “addiction”, “treatment”, “success”, and “community rehabilitation” have effectively provided local authorities extremely wide scope regarding who to take into custody, on what legal basis, where to detain them, and for how long.
For example, the Anti-Drug Law gives police wide discretionary power to detain people for alleged drug use, search them for drugs as well as to subject them to urine tests for drug use, without having to have a reasonable suspicion that an offense was committed. The law also empowers the police, rather than medical professionals, to make a determination on the nature of the “addiction” and to subsequently assign suspected drug users to drug detention centers without due legal process or even evidence of current drug dependence or use.
Although the Anti-Drug Law specifies that the objective of drug detention centers is the treatment of drug dependence and the law officially refers to detainees as “patients,” the detention centers are managed by the Public Security Bureau and run by the local police.
Former detainees told Human Rights Watch that while incarcerated they had no access to drug dependency treatment, drug use inside was frequent, and decisions about release were arbitrary, not based on “successful treatment,” and not made by medical professionals. As one detainee told Human Rights Watch, “There is absolutely no support for quitting drugs inside detoxification centers; factory work is all there is.”
HCA-----Health Corporation of America is the largest global health corporation in the world. It is also identified as having fleeced our Medicare and Medicaid Trusts of hundreds of billions of dollars to become that biggest. Here we see where all that lower-tiered health structure for Medicaid for All is going---CVS is not only the MINUTE CLINIC----it is now becoming URGENT CARE CENTERS. WE THE PEOPLE will not be able soon to access a Johns Hopkins or University of Maryland Emergency center because they will be global health tourism corporations catering to the 1% and their 2%. No one cares about quality service of any kind----then these global retail corporations.
'although they will struggle to find profitability.”'
Health care was made public so it could be subsidized and not for profit because it is not profitable if everyone is to access it. While preventative care focuses on giving people lots of lab tests and X-rays---the two cheapest vehicles of health care -----it will not allow for profit-making outside of fraud and abuse. Once global corporations exhaust all the Federal funding allowing for that----all these lower-tiered health care facilities will close as unprofitable. By then, global corporate campus/telemedicine health tourism will have installed that global technology paid for with our Medicare and Medicaid Trust.
Feb 3, 2016 @ 08:00 AM 5,857 views The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets
Urgent Care Market Braces For CVS And Walgreens Entry
Bruce Japsen ,
I write about health care and policies from the president's hometown
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
With the nation’s largest hospital operator HCA Holdings HCA +1.54% and the Optum unit of health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group UNH -0.94% buying and opening more urgent care centers at a rapid pace, speculation is beginning to center on whether drugstore chains will also enter the fast-growing business.
For CVS Health CVS -2.64% and Walgreens Boots Alliance , the urgent care business would seem a natural extension to the hundreds of retail clinics they already have open in stores across the country. Urgent care centers are similar to retail health clinics in that they are open in the evening and on weekends to treat routine health needs. But urgent care centers also generally offer a board-certified physician plus additional services such as lab tests and X-rays for potential broken bones.
“CVS or Walgreens will attempt to enter the standalone urgent care and primary care spaces in the next 12 to 24 months,” Gordon Maner, managing partner of investment bank Allen Mooney Barnes said in a report he presented to this year’s ConvUrgentCare strategy symposium in Scottsdale, Ariz. last month. “Walmart, Target and other consumer-driven businesses will attempt to increase touch points with customers via immediate and scheduled healthcare services, although they will struggle to find profitability.”
The goal of Affordable Care Act was getting corporations out of corporate health plans for which they contributed---and allow those same corporations profit from the health policies they force their employees to sign onto when employed. Our employers are going to profit from our health plans. To make it sound as though corporations are providing health insurance global health systems are designing insurance plans with all kinds of health coverage loopholes. The biggest scam is saying ----we want the best for our employees so they can go to India---Vietnam-----Mexico for these ordinary hospital procedures. Those Americans today able to afford a Silver, Gold, or Platinum health plan will soon see themselves parceled out as GLOBAL HEALTH TOURISTS. Remember, Johns Hopkins has global locations and would be fine with Baltimore citizens being sent overseas to a facility for ordinary hospital care.
So, we will see global airlines with global health tourist special rates to here and there---and all that will factor into our insurance plans allowed rates. Doesn't everyone feeling sick look forward to hours of airflight to nations no one is familiar? THOSE 1% WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS ALWAYS POSING SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE-----this is all about helping the global poor.
Here we see a global corporate tribunal to which WE THE PEOPLE can demand justice from damaging or abusive health care outcomes. I'm sure they will listen to each global citizens' complaint.
The World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress
™May 1, 2009
Implementing Medical Tourism into a US Health Insurance Plan
Implementing medical tourism into a US health insurance plan for both fully insured and self funded employers requires modifying the benefit plan design, a proper enrollment plan with education on medical tourism, and implementing the correct incentives for employees that will result in utilization and employees traveling internationally for medical care. This panel discussion will address these issues and many more and discuss what is needed to successfully implement medical tourism into a US group health insurance plan.
Employers Views on Medical Tourism & International Healthcare
What are the positive and negative views employers have for medical tourism?
Why are employers in the US starting to implement medical tourism and what incentives are they providing to their employees in terms of waiving deductible, coinsurance and giving cash incentives or paid vacation leave? Learn what some employers are requiring from international hospitals and countries before implementing medical tourism. Find out the how employers view international healthcare and the quality of healthcare delivered internationally.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of getting patients to engage in medical tourism and travel internationally for healthcare. Many hospitals and healthcare providers fail at marketing themselves to international patients, employers, insurance companies and medical tourism facilitators. As the medical tourism industry grows, more countries and hospitals are promoting their services making the competition in medical tourism much greater. As this competition grows, hospitals, countries and healthcare providers need to be even more aggressive and creative in their marketing plans. Learn what techniques and methods healthcare organizations need to do today to compete in a global marketplace.
The American Medical Tourist
Almost 50 million Americans have no health insurance and they make up the largest emerging market for medical tourism. These 50 million Americans are commonly mistaken for being poor an unable to afford medical care, when in fact the average American without health insurances is estimated to make over $50,000 in annual income per year. Over 120 million Americans have no dental insurance. For these Americans without insurance, many are going to have little to no option because of the high cost of healthcare in the United States, except to travel internationally for healthcare. The cost of surgeries and medical care internationally can be as much as 90% less than the cost in the United States. As US health insurance companies and employers start to implement medical tourism and give financial incentives for patients to travel international for medical care, this expands the potential marketplace for Americans traveling internationally for healthcare to hundreds of millions. This panel session will discuss why the American patient is one of the most sought after patient and how the American patient is anticipated to be the largest type of patient traveling internationally for healthcare.
Providing Effective and Quality Healthcare for International Employees and Expatriates
As the world is becoming more flat and our economies more globally dependent, more employers global operations and offices throughout the world. These employers have employees working in multiple countries who need quality healthcare. In addition to this, more people are retiring in foreign countries and these expatriates present huge potential for hospitals and healthcare providers. For these international employers and these expatriates finding the right health insurance and receiving high quality of healthcare at top international hospitals is one of the most important priorities. This panel session will discuss issues with providing health insurance and high quality healthcare on an international basis for employees working internationally and expatriates.
Health Tourism and Spas
Health Tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the Medical Tourism industry. Health Tourism typically refers to alternative medicine and spa treatments. Millions of patients are traveling spending billions of US dollars each year and engaging in health tourism and using medical wellness, medical spas and spas. This panel will discuss where the health tourism industry is headed, what type of health tourism activities most people are engaging in, why they are doing it, and where they are traveling to.
Choosing the Best Destination and the Best Hospital
How do you make the decision of what country and city to travel to for medical care and which is the right hospital and the right surgeon in that country. This session will address how to make the right choice and create an open forum for discussion from the delegates as to what should the criteria be in a patient’s decision to travel internationally for healthcare.
Creating the Best Return on Investment (ROI) on Investing in Medical Tourism
Many hospitals, governments, facilitators, employers and insurance companies are analyzing how to achieve the best Return on Investment (ROI) when implementing and getting involved in the medical tourism industry. This session will examine the economics of medical tourism and what are the best ways to maximize your organizations ROI in medical tourism so that you can achieve the best results and best outcomes.
This panel was the most popular panel from our 1st Medical Tourism Congress, and it will have several patients who have traveled internationally for healthcare explaining their experience leaving their home country and going to a foreign country for healthcare. They will explain their entire experience, what they liked, what they didn’t and what they would recommend to others. This panel gives a unique perspective into the thoughts and minds of those patients who have actually engaged and traveled for medical tourism and allows attendees to ask questions to them.
Accreditation & Quality, the Big Debate and the Next Step Forward
The experts on this panel will discuss how accreditation integrates with quality healthcare, and what the differences are between different accreditation systems. Is one accreditation system better than another? What are the differences between accreditation systems? What does accreditation and quality really mean? All these questions will be answered in this exciting, fast paced open forum discussion.
MTA Annual Member Meeting
This is the annual member meeting of the Medical Tourism Association. This meeting will have a short presentation of the past years projects and achievements of the medical tourism association and the goals and projects for the upcoming year. It will then be an open forum for members and non-members to discuss what the future of medical tourism holds and what projects and tasks the Medical Tourism Association should focus on.
The Internet and the International Patient
The internet is playing a huge role of how international patients are finding information on medical tourism and making their decision as to what country and hospital to go to for medical or dental care. The majority of patients traveling internationally are finding their information on medical tourism through the internet. This panel will discuss how the internet is playing a role in patients’ education and knowledge of quality of healthcare around the world and how and where those patients are finding their information.
After Care and Creating a Successful Continuation of Care Plan
Managing and putting in place a proper After Care and Continuation of Care plan for international patients is one of the most important aspects of medical tourism. This panel will discuss the importance of this process and what elements need to be in place to ensure a proper transition and continuation of care between the foreign provider and the domestic provider.
Technology Solutions for Medical Tourism & the Delivery of Global Healthcare
As patients travel throughout the world for the highest quality healthcare, and as medical barriers break down and collaboration occurs across country borders for the delivery of healthcare, new technology solutions are being developed to help efficiently deliver this healthcare and to increase the quality of medical care being delivered around the world.
Role of Medical Tourism Facilitators
Medical Tourism facilitators play a critical role in the whole process of dealing with the patient. Medical Tourism Facilitators sometimes referred to as Medical Travel Facilitators, hold the patients hand and guide the patient throughout the whole process. These organizations deal with the patient from the start and help educate the patient on country destinations, hospital options, surgeon options and even tourism options. They handle every detail of the process and are even getting involved in transferring medical records, helping patients get passports, and handling travel logistics and getting involved in the patients after care and rehabilitation. This session will discuss the role that the medical tourism facilitators provide to patients. This panel will also discuss the importance of the medical tourism facilitator certification program launched by the Medical Tourism Association. The Medical Tourism Association certification program is meant to provide guidance as to those facilitators who are working towards the best practices in the industry for patients engaging in cross border healthcare.
Travel Agencies and Airlines Roles in Medical Tourism
Travel Agencies and Airlines will be playing an integral role in patients traveling for healthcare. It is estimated that as many as 23 million Americans could be traveling for medical tourism in 2017. Millions of Patients from other countries will also be traveling each year for medical tourism. For Travel Agencies and Airlines this represents millions of transactions as patients bring companions with them while they travel. Prospective patients will need assistance in booking travel accommodations. Travel Agencies are starting to partner with Medical Tourism Facilitators and become the link to a seamless and 24 hour protected travel plan. Travel Agencies and Airlines can also offer facilitators additional discounts on tickets and hotel stays which will bring down the overall cost for the prospective patient. Some of the most important issues for the prospective patient are affordability and quality.
Mini-Medical Plans / Limited Medical Plans and Medical Tourism
Mini Medical Plans and Limited Medical Plans are low cost healthcare plans for US employers for part time, hourly, and full time employees who are not eligible or who can’t afford for a major medical health insurance plan through their employer. Millions of Americans are insured through these healthcare plans, which provide only basic healthcare coverage and do not offer comprehensive coverage and do not cover expensive surgeries. This session will explain how medical tourism can provide a significant benefit for mini medical and limited medical plans and how they can help turn the plans into a much more comprehensive and robust health plan fully covering major surgeries through medical tourism.
Alternative Medicine & Oriental Medicine
Many people throughout the world are traveling for alternative medicinal treatment and oriental medicine as an alternative or a complement to traditional medical care. Some hospitals have started to implement a “integrated approach” to medicine where they are mixing traditional medicine with alternative medicine for amazing results. Natural medicine will also be addressed as international insurance companies start to cover for patients treatment for “natural treatments” such as dead sea treatment for psoriasis and other medicinal treatments. This panel will address the different forms of alternative medicine and oriental medicine being performed around the world.
Travel Insurance, Air Ambulance and Emergency Evacuation
Services for International Patients
As patients and their companions start crossing borders for healthcare, many important pieces of a larger puzzle come into place in the areas of providing travel insurance and having the right procedures and partnerships in place for emergency evacuation and contingency plans.
OH, THIS IS WHAT MARYLAND'S AIR AMBULANCES WERE PURCHASED FOR BY O'MALLEY AND MARYLAND ASSEMBLY POLS!
This panel will address what pieces of the puzzle need to be put together and how to form these partnerships.
International Health & the Law
When dealing with international medical care there are many legal questions and issues that may come up. This legal panel session will discuss what some of those legal questions and issues are and how to best address those issues, from jurisdiction issues, patient waivers, complications, insurance coverage and many more issues.
Russia and the Former Russian States – Demanding Quality Medical Care
Many hospitals are working hard to attract patients from Russia and the former Russian states as many of these patients are traveling internationally to receive the highest quality healthcare and are paying cash, and paying top dollar for the best medical care. This panel session will analyze this type of “Russian” patient, and why are they traveling, what treatments are they traveling for, and why are they going to specific countries and hospitals for treatment.
Caribbean Medical Tourism: The Island Perspective
The Caribbean is slowly emerging as a future hot spot of both medical tourism and health tourism. Leaders from the Caribbean will discuss what the Caribbean has to offer in the areas of medical and health tourism and what the government sector and private sector are doing to grow this marketplace in the future. This panel will also discuss how the Caribbean is a huge market of medical tourists. Many people in the Caribbean leave and travel to other countries to receive complex high quality healthcare and surgeries.
The Future of Middle East Healthcare & North Africa
The Middle East provides an interesting model for review. Some countries in the Middle East do not have enough high quality hospitals to meet the demand of healthcare by the local population and thousands of patients are leaving each year spending billions of US dollars in top hospitals around the world. Other locations in the Middle East such as Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) have invested a significant amount in high quality healthcare and developing centers of excellence. This panel session will examine opportunities in the Middle East for both inbound and outbound medical tourism. This panel session will also discuss the huge potential market for medical tourism in North Africa, and why some hospitals and countries are extremely successful in attracting patients from North Africa to their hospitals.
Governments Role in Medical Tourism International Healthcare and Increasing Quality of Healthcare For the Local Population and Creating Healthcare Clusters and Medical Clusters
Many governments throughout the world are starting to promote Medical Tourism and work with their hospitals on a country initiative to promote the country for high quality of healthcare and for investment of healthcare infrastructure. This panel will discuss what countries are doing to promote their country and what other countries who are interested in promoting their country must do to successfully increase and grow medical tourism to their country.
Creating the Complete Patient Experience
Creating the complete patient experience is the reason why some hospitals are famous for medical tourism and are receiving the most international patients and are the envy of other hospitals from around the world. Find out what the top hospitals in the world are doing to create the complete patient experience.
Stem Cell Therapy / Stem Cell Treatment
Stem Cell Therapy is one of the most controversial topics around the world. There are some legitimate companies who are providing high quality treatments with success stories. At the same time there are others who are referred to as “charlatans”. This session will take a hard line approach and analysis of the global stem cell marketplace. What works, what doesn’t, and where people are traveling for stem cell therapy.
High Quality of Healthcare and Centers of Excellence
There are top hospitals in around the world known for their high quality of healthcare and their high volume and positive outcomes for complex medical procedures. This session will examine the quality of care available in several countries throughout world and how medical tourism offers patients the opportunities to be treated at worldwide centers of excellence
Inbound Medical Tourism to the United States
For many years foreign patients have traveled to the United States because of the belief that the US has the highest quality of care and advanced medical equipment. This panel will discus why patients are traveling to the US from around the world, what medical procedures they are coming for.
Patient Safety in Cross Border Healthcare
A patient’s safety is the most important part of medical tourism. This session will discuss patient safety and what needs to be in place in order to ensure patient safety. The session will also address the many issues surrounding patients crossing borders for healthcare.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of patients around the world are traveling to other countries to receive plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery, such as bariatric/obesity surgery, face lifts, breast implants and more. Find out what cosmetic procedures these patients are traveling for, what countries they are traveling from and where they are traveling for their cosmetic surgeries.
Thousands of patients each year are crossing borders and traveling to other countries to receive high quality dental care and dental surgery. Find out what dental procedures these patients are traveling for, what countries they are traveling from, why, and where they are traveling for their dental surgeries and dental treatments.
The Economics of Medical Tourism and it’s Future
The Medical Tourism Industry is one of the fastest growing segments of healthcare throughout the world. This panel session will discuss the economics of medical tourism and where the future of medical tourism is headed and what it will be like in the future.
"The best Medical Tourism Conference of the year." This is a comment we have heard over and over from delegates who participated in the first World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress which took place in San Francisco California September 2008. The 2009 World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress promises to match that sentiment and, at the same time, provide even more networking and advanced panel sessions for this international gathering. The conference will feature up to 2,000 attendees, up to 200 speakers, and up to 125 exhibitors!
The Medical Tourism Association is the first international non-profit association made up of the top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality of healthcare to patients in a global environment. Our Association promotes the interests of its healthcare provider and medical tourism facilitators members. The Medical Tourism Association has three tenets: Transparency, Communication and Education.
As seniors use their own assets to travel to Mexico for an affordable health procedure what Affordable CAre Act is actually structuring is sending what was Federal funding for all citizens in public health care---to subsidizing global health tourism for the rich. They will be receiving these benefits to travel overseas to selected global corporate campuses---NOT WE THE PEOPLE. At most a Silver, Gold, or Platinum health insurance plan may get you to a cancer treatment center in Chicago for example. Most Federal, state, and local funding in health tourism will be spent marketing for those global rich----subsidizing those 1% and 2% in getting to a US International Economic Zone global health campus.
People sitting around a table talking about these policies---are nuts. Artificially creating global structures for business competition just so each nation keeps any local economy from growing to allow a 99% to have money and business capability is beyond imagination. That is all these global structures are about---keeping the global 99% from being able to garner financial freedom.
Below you see an International Economic Zone in India building these same structures and they admit---this is all subsidy for the rich.
'Importantly, a large proportion of this private
expenditure is accounted for by the elite, who make up less than 10 percent
of the population but who have prospered as a result of these same neo-
liberal policies. Although they constitute only a fraction of the Indian
population, this elite is larger in absolute numbers than the elite in most countries of the global North'
This article is too long to post but please goggle it and read what Baltimore is doing---it is the same.
When Baltimore candidates tout all this telemedicine and health care techology---the Affordable Care Act---this is what they want to build. They will say its all about health care for the poor---and none of it is.
Medical Tourism: Reverse Subsidy for the Elite
In India, medical tourism is big business. Industry experts estimate that the medical tourism market was worth more than $310 million in 2005–6 and that it could increase to $2 billion by 2012. These estimates represent a phenomenal jump in the inflow of medical tourists, from a little over 100,000 in 2002 to over 1 million in 2012 (Confederation of Indian Industries and McKinsey and Co. 2002). These figures are significant when contrasted with India’s overall health care expenditure--
$10 billion in the public sector and $50 billion in the private sector. And government estimates suggest that India’s health care industry could expand by 13 percent annually over the next six years, “boosted by medical tourism, which industry watchers say is growing at 30 percent annually”
(Swain and Sahu 2008, 478).
Evidence suggests that India is second only to Thailand in the number of medical tourists that it attracts every year (Deloitte Center for Health
Apart from the perceived exotica of the orient, and the
fact that Indian medical professionals are proficient in English and that patients are familiar with Indian doctors who practice in large numbers in many Western nations, the principal attraction of the Indian medica❙ tourism industry lies in its cost-effectiveness. For example, hip replacement surgery, which normally costs around $25,000 in the United States, can
be performed for $7,000 in India. Heart valve replacement surgery, which costs around $200,000 in the United States, costs $10,000 in India (Discover Medical Tourism n.d.).
But there are two other major contributing factors: the sustained growth of corporate hospitals and hospital chains across India and the promotion of medical tourism by the government as part of public policy.
While the private sector has always been prominent as a source of medical care, neoliberal policies have created conditions for its rapid growth. India ranks among the top twenty countries in terms of private expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP)--
around 4.5–5 percent. Importantly, a large proportion of this private expenditure is accounted for by the elite, who make up less than 10 percent of the population but who have prospered as a result of these same neo-liberal policies. Although they constitute only a fraction of the Indian population, this elite is larger in absolute numbers than the elite in most countries of the global North. Thus, while national policies have opened the way for the penetration of the corporate sector into medical care, this sector now needs further avenues for its continued growth. The global health care industry—valued at $2.8 trillion in 2005—makes for an obvious target (Sengupta 2008).
Diverse avenues have been opened up for the growth of medical tourism in India. For example, since 2006, the government has issued M (medical) visas to patients and MX visas to the accompanying spouse. In 2009, the Ministry of Tourism extended its market development assistance scheme to cover hospitals certified by Joint Commission International (an international organization that accredits health care facilities) and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (the country’s premier institution that provides accreditation to health care facilities). This market development scheme offsets
overseas marketing costs for travel companies. Through this program, hospitals will become eligible for financial assistance to cover publicity through printed material, travel and stay expenses for sales-cum-study tours taken by hospital staff, and participation fees for trade fairs and exhibitions.