Aerotropolis: The Way We Will Live Next
"Nothing punctures the myth of American medical invincibility more than doctors who actually speak to you," is my favorite quote from Dr. John Kasarda's book Aerotropolis: The Way We Will Live Next. Dr. Kasarda teaches at nearby UNC and flies around the world advising Thailand, Dubai and other countries on how to create urban sprawl in a good way.
The "good way" is with an airport in the middle. Here are some cherished myths Dr. Kasarda's book dispels:
- Aviation contributes 2% to carbon footprint and global warming, so airplanes aren't the problem. Animals, by comparison, generate 18%.
- When you fully load an environmental P&L it is very hard to almost impossible to tell what the real "right thing" is.
- Kasarda's Law - Technology created to cut distances increases desire to traverse distances for face-to-face meetings.
- No matter how you currently define your competitive set it is too small as American Medicine is about to discover.
It is a little nuts to travel half way around the world to for treatment, but I know another crazy thing. America's medial costs are out of control. We've pasted the point of diminishing return. Throwing more money at the problem is going to make things worse. Aerotropolis says spending $6,000 on a Thailand knee replacement instead of $40,000 (USA) is an idea with appeal. "We are a business after all," is how a United Health executive explained why they would approve "medial tourism". Medical tourism is already compelling for 40 million uninsured Americans. When the United Health's of the world pay for a trip to Thailand (and still save 50% or so) why wouldn't an increasing number of Americans kill two birds (see Thailand and get treatment) with one much less expensive stone?Continued on the next page