2ND PLACE - ADG GENEVA CHALLENGE (2015)
Collaboration with David Jonas, Marielle Velander, and Nathan Su
In the 21st century, we increasingly understand our world in terms of flows. People, information, and money are flowing across borders with rising speed and intensity, transforming our world into a networked society. Flows of migrants create multicultural workforces, flows of information let us communicate across vast distances, and flows of money lock previously distinct economies together in webs of interdependence. These flows have been emerging across centuries. However the proliferation of digital technologies has vastly accelerated the growth of international connections. This proposal suggests a solution at the convergence of these flows, in which return migrants are global entrepreneurs capable of capitalizing on flows of money and technology developments in order to support both themselves and their globalized communities.
We aimed to design a scheme that worked within the realities of international health worker migration, while taking advantage of emerging opportunities presented by new technologies. Recognising the pull of money, and the pull of family ties back home, we designed a scheme that makes sense both macro-economically and personally for the migrants involved. We are presenting an ambitious global scheme that can be easily customised to specific contexts.
We propose a global system of international telemedicine that transforms return migrant health workers into conduits of health knowledge and money for the development of their home communities. Vital, the name of our scheme, allows migrant health workers who have practiced in OECD countries to return home and work physically in their own communities while offering a suite of new e-health services to patients back in their host country. Vital health workers are already licensed to practice in their host countries, fluent in the dominant language, and experienced with the host country’s healthcare system.
Many Vital providers can even continue to care for patients who were on their books in OECD country clinics. While simultaneously earning income from providing Vital services, return migrant health workers can practice in the national health system and use their enhanced capital and experience to establish private practices or teach in medical degree programs. e supplementary income earned from providing Vital services could provide resources and a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed by migrants and their families when they worked abroad. Thee benefits of the scheme are fourfold:
• Return migrants are able to live with and provide for their families in their home communities during the prime of their working life;
• Domestic economies continue to benefits from a new style of ‘domestic remittances’;
• Developing country health systems see returns on the investment made in educating health workers;
• Patients in OECD countries receive high- quality, convenient care suited to their changing health needs. Vital would be established as a social enterprise that creates and implements a software package and associated management system. e software package consists of two Telemedicine applications, one for patients and the other for providers, and the associated management system introduces Vital into the market and governs its functioning and legal status.