Already, X-rays and medical tests are being offshored to India, but this scheme goes farther, taking a flying leap into the surreal. Instead of sending your tests to India, they want to send you there. Corporations are now asking workers who need serious operations to fly 7,000 miles away to get their treatments done in low-cost Indian hospitals. I've heard of doctors being distant, but this is absurd.
Let's say you have a heart condition or need a back operation. Your company can get your surgery done in India 80 percent cheaper than your local hospital will do it -- but do you really want to be loaded on a plane for a 20-hour flight to Bangalore?
And what if something goes wrong? Who is responsible, and what are your rights under Indian laws? Interestingly, companies shipping ill workers there require the patients to sign a release that basically says you are "on your own" when it comes to medical liability problems.
Like it or not, however, corporations are pushing the offshore option. The U.S.-India Business Council exults that sending patients abroad promises to "deliver big advantages for both Indian and U.S. business." Well, now, isn't that just dandy for business? But -- hello -- what the hell about patients!?!
Luckily, the Steelworkers union has geared up to block the exportation of workers to hospitals in India, or elsewhere, calling the scheme a "shocking" abuse. It's time to fix America's sick health-care system -- not ship our people abroad to get care.
To learn more, call the Steelworkers' office: 205-951-1212.
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& & For more nuggets of wisdom from America's No. 1 populist, check out & lt;a href="http://www.jimhightower.com" & his website & lt;/a & & & .