Medical free trade zones

Why not open up a Medical Free Trade Zone in, say, Detroit?  Health care
workers in the zone would not be required to get US visas or licenses,
and any malpractice claims would be resolved in the courts of the
worker’s home country.

That is from the comments.  Of course in principle we could combine this with a single-payer system or other reforms.  That’ll cure those rationing blues and those long waits for hip replacement surgery.  Or you might favor a single-payer system but be willing to do this in the meantime, for the many millions of uninsured, at least some of whom are waiting in agony.  How about it, people?

But let’s make it geographically central, I say Memphis not Detroit.  Or would you feel better if it were a floating pavilion in the Caribbean?  A floating pavilion in the Indian Ocean?  Bangalore?

I have Bangalore at 8510 miles from Falls Church, VA.  Do I hear medical free trade at 8509 miles?  8508?  Can we get the mileage down into triple digits…?

Addendum: Ezra Klein flirts with libertarian anarchism, sort of…


The lack of a visa requirement would seem to preclude it from being in a central location. How about putting it inside the internation terminal in Miami?

Come on, Dr Cowen, don't you read the news? This here is still hot from the FT's site :


Police were investigating on Monday whether a network of foreign doctors was responsible for three failed bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

Two doctors – one who qualified in Jordan and one in Iraq – were identified as being among eight people arrested in the investigation that followed two failed car bomb attacks early on Friday and an attempt to drive a car bomb into Glasgow airport on Saturday. The police confirmed the arrest of two more people on Monday in the Glasgow area. Scotland Yard disclosed Monday night that an eighth person had been arrested at an undisclosed destination, although the BBC reported that the arrest took place overseas.

The developments are likely to trigger reviews of immigration procedures that allow foreign-qualified doctors into the UK to help fill shortages in the National Health Service.

The British Medical Association said it had already become harder since last year for doctors from outside Europe to take up training posts in the UK, following an increase in UK medical school graduates.

The manhunt continued for others connected to the plot. A person briefed on the investigation said that the number eventually arrested could double, and include more medical practitioners.

The driver of the flaming car at Glasgow airport was named as Bilal Abdulla, who qualified in Baghdad as a doctor in 2004. He suffered severe burns in the attack and remained in a critical condition at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley – where he had been working.

Police said they carried out one controlled detonation of a vehicle in the grounds of the hospital, but said it was a precautionary move and there was no indication it contained explosives.


I fear that from now, you can forget the "war on terror", it's the "war on doctors" that is on.

With today's airline prices, Detroit = Memphis. Maybe a SWA hub would be even better. Las Vegas. Pheonix. Dallas.

In any case, sure, if you're going to do this just create oversight so that someone responsible is writing down the data. We have a free-trade diet system now, but no one knows who's telling the truth any more, and you see how well that works.

Bangalore was a nice city until 15 years back, that is, before the IT industry's invasion and before the advent of liberalisation, globalisation and privatisation.Now it has lost its charm as the "garden city" of India.All locals(the real Bangalorians) were marginalised in the consequent process of great migration and mobility.

"Medical free trade zones" are a great idea, maybe you could buy insurance there that doesn't have all the regulatory requirements like birth control, x day minimum stays in hospitals, limits on deductibles, etc.

A medical free trade zone, with no licensure or visa requirements for health care personnel and no FDA oversight of drugs and devices? Sounds great - a safe haven for every bogus practitioner and snake oil merchant! Just the place to have Dr. Quack treat your brain tumor!

Isn't Detroit already a "medical free" trade zone?

Hmmmm. Reading more closely I see that TC already came up with the "floating pavillion in the Caribbean" idea first. Sorry Tyler, I'm slipping. Still, I filled out the thought a bit more anyway. Also, Patri Friedman's idea of whole "countries" is worth reading, from this libertarian's perspective anyway.

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