Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Union Strike

A few weeks ago, Carl Garrett, a 60-year-old North Carolina resident, was packing his bags to fly to New Delhi and check into the plush Indraprastha Apollo Hospital to have his gall bladder removed and the painful muscles in his left shoulder repaired. Mr. Garrett was to be a test case, the first company-sponsored worker in the United States to receive medical treatment in low-cost India.

But instead of making the 20-hour flight, Mr. Garrett was grounded by a stormy debate between his employer, which saw the benefits of using the less expensive hospitals in India, and his union, which raised questions about the quality of overseas health care and the issue of medical liability should anything go wrong.

“I was looking forward to the adventure of being treated in India,” Mr. Garrett said the other day. “But my company dropped the ball.”

Sounds to me like the union was the one who dropped the ball, not the company.

The union, the United Steelworkers, stepped in after it heard about Mr. Garrett’s plans, saying it deplored a “shocking new approach” of sending workers to low-cost countries as a way to cut health care costs. Its officials insisted that Mr. Garrett be offered a health care option within the United States.

Shocking, huh?

Frankly, I am surprised this is a covered item. When does a union have a voice in WHERE the individual receives care? I doubt this is part of the CBA.

Guess I should not complain about my ISP and their Indian tech support division.
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