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Patients with PassportsMedical Tourism, Law, and Ethics$
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I. Glenn Cohen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199975099

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199975099.001.0001

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Quality and Information

Quality and Information

(p.40) (p.41) 2 Quality and Information
Patients with Passports

I. Glenn Cohen

Oxford University Press

Patients traveling abroad are literally putting their lives in a physician’s hands. What, if any, information can they ascertain about the quality of foreign physicians and facilities? Are there meaningful proxies for the quality of care in foreign facilities? Should home country regulators set quality standards and thereby create obstacles for patients choosing high-risk procedures or facilities abroad, or at least try channeling travel to higher-quality facilities? This chapter addresses these and related questions. First, it reviews some of the existing literature on the quality of foreign facilities seeking to attract medical tourists, including issues regarding spread of infectious diseases and the problem of patients returning and potentially spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Second, it discusses potential regulations aimed at improving information sharing to patients. Third, it examines what, if any, steps home country governments can and should take to try to limit patient choice in terms of quality concerns.

Keywords:   quality, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, infectious diseases, channeling, medical tourists

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