Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Grand Finale: Where Do We Go From Here?

It has been a week since the Indian Health Field Seminar ended. Between the struggles of dealing with jet lag and the sometimes echoing question, “Did all of that just happen?” I found myself reminiscing, wincing, and missing the following things about India:

1. The amazing maneuvering capabilities of tuk tuks (auto-rickshaws).
2. The sometimes overwhelming smells (you have to experience them to truly understand what I mean).
3. Amazing hospitality.
4. Unique perspectives on american food.
5. The rich culture and sites like the Taj Mahal.

But, more importantly, this trip also gave me a new perspective on not just how we live here in the US, but also how much we may take for granted. And, as we see healthcare systems like that seen in India, it will be our ability to apply some of what we experienced and learned about the Indian Healthcare System to our own U.S system that will be paramount to our success. I know that it will take a collaborative effort across a spectrum of industries and disciplines.

From what I learned at our last visit with GE Healthcare, many instances of wiping the “slate clean,”“building from the bottom up,”and building products specific to the market and the market’s needs have allowed GE to create products in the Indian market at 1/6 the cost seen in the U.S. For some, that may sound too easy, or too “big picture.” But, maybe not. Right now, our healthcare system is not tailored to the needs of the market, resulting in inefficiencies and wasteful spending. I do believe that we can deliver a substantially lower priced and more efficient system; it can surely be done. It’s just a matter of when? And, if we can arrive at those changes sooner, rather than later, will be the ultimate question with an answer that will dictates our fate.

As a first year MBA student in the Health Sector management program, this was an invaluable professional and cultural experience to have early in the program, and I am so excited to build upon this experience in the upcoming semesters.


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