The commodification of health seems to be a new phenomena and yet of course the search for 'cures' and 'spells' to ease this universal aspect of human existence has been with us for millennia. Now though the world of pyramid selling has ramped things up. The world at large has stepped on the gas. Plastic may well rule as the means to pay for the COS-plas-ME-tic surgery and presents a public face to the digital world of bits and bytes.
Now as we've seen the superstores and global IT players are getting in on the act (is that an unfortunate turn of phrase?) with Tesco, Google and Microsoft on board the bus with their respective partners. Health tourism clearly extends the notion of 'package holiday' AND 'care package'.
There must be a risk that the real messages of global health will get lost in the fog of contrails and business transactions.
In the meantime the heady interplay of plastic and paper and getting the biometrics to fit just right - points to the need for vigilance. As this blog and website makes clear I'm an ICT champion. I'm also a community mental health nurse. This means with fellow champions that two perspectives need to taken into account and monitored for risks and opportunities. I just wonder whether the move from paper to paperless records opens the door to the dilution of high standards of care?
Look at it this way: there we are in our care sectors with our care packages. In health we are trying to get leaner, stripping out redundant processes, delays, duplication, trying to magnify real purposes and strengths. As for the superstores well they (and we!) still need to get to grips with packaging. I hope this does not just prove to be a straight swap - variously labelled -
'THIS WAY UP'
Fragile tape: image source http://adifferentvoice.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/labels/