IPC is not entirely the bailiwick of governments and medical centers. Some companies have entered the fray and are working to establish a competitive advantage by offering advanced treatments that are not always offered in industrialized countries.
For instance, STC Life operates a clinic in Seoul that uses stem cells to treat cancer and immune diseases. It plans to open another facility in the economic zone of Jeju to target patients from China and Taiwan.
Thailand’s Bumrungrad Hospital was the first JCI-certified hospital in Asia. It has 1,000 doctors, half of whom were trained abroad. Bumrungrad boasts that it can perform a heart bypass operation for $24,600, as compared with $130,000 in the U.S.
In 2005, Bumrungrad International Ltd (BIL) was created to acquire, develop, and manage medical facilities throughout Asia and the Middle East. BIL operates the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Manila, Philippines; has a joint venture to build and operate Bumrungrad Hospital Dubai; and manages the Al Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi City.
Parkway Hospitals Singapore runs 16 hospitals with more than 3,000 beds in Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, India, and China. It also has a network of 35 ParkwayHealth Patient Assistance Centers. Two major Asian financial groups are currently competing to acquire Parkway Holdings. One is Fortis Healthcare, a Delhi-based group of Indian hospitals, the other is Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign fund.
To date, U.S. companies and institutions have generally ignored medical outsourcing. One exception is Johns Hopkins University, which owns and operates Singapore International Medical Centre, an oncology facility. The outsourcing of medical care may be at an early stage, but it would be unwise for U.S. companies to ignore its potential.