So just what is this field we call global collaborative health care? It usually involves collaboration across borders, typically involves a U.S. or European academic medical center working with health care system players in less-highly industrialized countries (for current lack of a better term), and most of the time aims to build or improve hospitals or other aspects of health care infrastructure.
One thing the field isn’t really about is “medical tourism.” It’s true that many patients need to travel to obtain a type or a quality of health care that isn’t available to them locally, and like most large academic medical centers, we at Johns Hopkins Medicine do everything we can to make it easier for such patients to access our care.
But we and our counterparts in the field are dedicated to the notion that all people deserve high-quality care that’s local—so that they can be near loved ones and friends during treatment and recovery, and avoid the costs and burden of travel during a stressful time. We know that there is a long road ahead in arriving at that goal. That raises the importance of a publication like this to tell the stories of progress and share the lessons learned.
We hope that Perspectives on Global Collaborative Healthcare will not only support the efforts of those who are involved in global collaborative health care projects, but also inspire those who aren’t involved to consider joining in. It’s not an easy mission—but we can assure you it’s a rewarding one.