England’s National Health Service (free medical care to all) may get some competition from–surprise–outsourcing to India. Some English companies are considering exporting services such as testing and analyzing blood and urine samples, while some English citizens are finding they can get less expensive, faster in-person services such as surgical procedures (and that’s with airfare included). Some are reporting that the medical staff are nicer there, too.
What lessons can the bioscience community learn from outsourcing that other businesses are learning? Is the fragile nature of any new-to-midlife company similar to the fragile personal economy of the individual consumer–who is both personally attracted by WalMart-esque lower prices and yet in the bigger picture often hurt by the loss of jobs they represent? What are the alternatives to crying foul? How else can we think about this trend? Because as sure as there’s an Internet, the trend’s unstoppable.