Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by Green College.  With the 2012 global turnover expected to reach $100-billion USD, medical tourism (travel across international borders to obtain health care) is rapidly expanding. India and Thailand are currently the lead global service suppliers. Unfortunately, providing health care to tourists may exacerbate the already critical shortages of health professionals in these countries’ underserved sectors—in remote rural areas and in the public sector. What can be done to improve the impact of medical tourism on health worker availability in these sectors? State regulation of medical tourism might increase prices and send tourists to competitors. International regulation and codes tend to be toothless. Nir Eyal proposes an ethical accreditation system that might improve health worker availability at an acceptable cost. Accreditation could promote global health in additional areas.  This lecture is part of the ongoing Green College Principal’s lecture series, “Thematic Series: Public Health Law and Policy in Asia.”


Dr. Nir Eyal is Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine (Medical Ethics) at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Eyal’s work addresses ethical ways to address critical health worker shortages; healthcare rationing in resource-poor settings; markets in human organs; the ethical grounds for informed consent; personal responsibility for health; the ethics of translational research; and accrediting corporations for improving global health.

Select Articles Available at UBC

Zimmerman M, Shakya R, Pokhrel BM, Eyal N, Rijal BP, Shrestha RN, Sayami A. (2012). Medical students’ characteristics as predictors of career practice location: retrospective cohort study tracking graduates of Nepal’s first medical college. British Medical Journal. BMJ Publishing Group. 345; Aug 13: e4826. [Link]

Eyal N, Bärnighausen T. (2012). Precommitting to Serve the Underserved. American Journal of Bioethics; 12(5):23-34. [Link]

Eyal N. (2011). Why treat noncompliant patients? Beyond the decent minimum account. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy; 36(6):572-88. [Link]

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