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| M I D D L E E A S T H E A L T H
Academic Hospitals
world – the lives of patients globally.
Furthermore, the academic hospitals are
where healthcare, training and research
all come together. As such they also play a
critical role in the innovation economy, a
role usually filled by the research and
development budgets of major companies.
In the United States more than US$1.2
billion in federal research funding comes
into the innovation economy through
teaching hospitals.
According to a report by the
Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals,
their impact on the economy is enormous,
employing 75,000 people and with an
economic impact of more than US$12
billion on the economy of the state of
Massachusetts alone.
Doctor training
Doctor training in the United States does
not come cheap. A single year of resi-
dency can cost the US Federal
Government as much as US$145,000.
According to a recent report by the
Bloomberg news agency, America is
facing a shortage of doctors, largely
because the number of residency
programmes available to new doctors has
been capped at the same level for the past
15 years. And according to the National
Resident Matching Programme, a non-
for-profit
organisation
based
in
Washington that oversees the residency
programme, the number of applicants for
these valued positions already exceeds
availability.
Projections are that by 2015, there will
be a shortage of 62,900 physicians from all
specialisations, with this gap worsening to
91,500 doctors by 2020. One key reason is
that one-third of doctors will reach age 60
It is well known that the United States of
America has some of the best hospitals in
the world, and at the same time it is the
world's most profitable healthcare
market. Key to its success is its superbly-
trained doctors and their use of some of
the most sophisticated medical tech-
nology in the world.
Central to America’s highly skilled and
globally respected doctors and nurses is its
academic, or teaching, hospitals. These
academic hospitals provide care to all
Americans, medically insured or not.
This is a saving grace for the poor and
uninsured in a land dominated by private
healthcare which is accessible only to the
wealthy and medically insured. Around
84.7% of Americans have some form of
health insurance; either through their
employer or the employer of their spouse
or parent (59.3%), purchased individually
(8.9%), or provided by government
programmes (27.8%; there is some overlap
in these figures), according to figures in
the
“Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance
Coverage in the United States: 2007,”
issued
by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2008. All
government health care programmes have
restricted eligibility, and there is no
government health insurance company
which covers all Americans. Americans
without health insurance coverage in
2007 totalled 15.3% of the population, or
45.7 million people.
These hospitals also form the backdrop
for the development of many new treat-
ments, cures and medical discoveries that
extend and save not only American lives,
but also the lives of foreign patients who
come to America to be treated – and as
these discoveries make their around the
The best healthcare
in the world