Tuesday, January 04, 2011

MVNHS©: "Hello, Tech Support?"

Behold the new face of the Much Vaunted National Health System©:

"The NHS should move more call centres and offices to India if it wants to beat the spending cuts, a key government health adviser has claimed."

Leaving aside all the inevitable tech support jokes, the move would have the benefit of potentially lowering the cost of health care delivery under the financially-strapped MVNHS©. According to that "key advisor," the problem isn't the quality of the sub-continent's workers, but a reluctance among the Brits to discuss personal health issues, and make doctor appointments, with "foreign operators." The upside, though, is a projected savings of over $30 billion.

Such moves are nothing new on this side of The Pond: as Bob noted over 4 years ago, "In an effort to hold down costs, hospitals and other medical practices are outsourcing certain functions half way around the globe." Aside from privacy and HIPAA concerns, there's the potential for security breaches. But these are, perhaps, offset by cost savings and efficiencies of scale. Of course, a key difference here is that, should such a security problem arise, our legal system is available for remedies. The Brits', though, are stuck with a government-run system which is much more difficult to prosecute.

Have a nice day!
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