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My medical files travel more than I do.

19 April, 2009

That may be a bit of an exaggeration because I can’t really keep track of my files, but the Los Angeles Times has an interesting story today about how U.S. medical files, doctor’s reports, and insurance information, and even operating room conversations are being sent overseas for transcription.(HERE)  They aren’t literally being sent, however, they are traveling through cyberspace, over the internet.  Wow, right now someone in the Philippines could be reading your doctor’s last report or getting an okay for your surgery.

Jobs always follow cheap labor, so now medical transcription has become a main source of income in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and some Caribbean countries.  According to the LATimes story,

Outsourcing isn’t expected to harm job prospects for American transcriptionists, because there is so much work to be done, said a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 101,000 Americans were employed as medical transcriptionists in 2002, according to the bureau. Most were women, many of them working from home. By 2006, the number had dropped to 98,000 as high-speed Internet connections allowed companies to outsource more of the work.

But the bureau estimates that the number of American medical transcriptionists will grow 14% by 2016, faster than the average for other jobs.   (bold emphasis mine)

Let  me get this straight.  The number of jobs in this country has dropped, but if we wait another 7 years the number of jobs might increase in this country?  Meanwhile, people here in the U.S are out of work (even though they already speak English) because they won’t work for $6,000 a year.

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