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Medical Tourism Drops 14% says study of Deloitte

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Medical tourism–foreigners traveling to India or Thailand for procedures that would cost an arm and a leg in their home countries–has made for great segments on 60 Minutes and even magazine features. But now the economic downturn, and health-care reform, is taking a toll on the once-booming industry. The number of Americans traveling abroad for elective medical treatment has fallen nearly 14% since 2007, according to a recent study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

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Is the medical tourism industry–which aims to provide quality care for those who can’t afford or access it at home–losing its target audience?

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Americans are cutting back on health care: In 2008, 22% of adults reduced visits to their doctors, and 36% admitted to putting off needed medical care. So it’s not surprising that the medical tourism industry would falter. Not only are people more likely to forgo elective procedures, but they’re also not as eager to dole out cash for a flight overseas.

Even in a down economy, however, the cash you might save from traveling overseas for treatment will probably outweigh what you spend. According to the Deloitte study, the 750,000 Americans that traveled abroad for medical care in 2007 saved 30%-70% on their procedures.

via Medical Tourism Drops 14%–Can It Survive the Economy? | Write-on | Fast Company.

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AstraZeneca Approves Thailand’s Vaccine Factory

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – AstraZeneca has approved safety standards at Thailand’s vaccine factory and will send the first batch of raw materials for vaccine production in June.

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Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024

In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.

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Recent years have seen evolving awareness of systemic inequities including racism, sexism and pro-Western chauvinism.

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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