Health care is expensive—but it could be cheaper, if labor were cheaper (apparently somewhere between half and two-thirds of costs go to salaries).
Unfortunately, doctors and nurses will probably remain relatively expensive—but what if we can recruit cheap labor to do some of the tasks that normally require a highly-trained medical professional?
Specifically, if we look at doctors as having two primarily qualifications:
- Medical competence
- Ability to interact with patients
…we can then delegate the “ability to interact with patients” task to a group of people who are charismatic* but poorly-paid: struggling actors.
(* Or at least capable of pretending to be.)
Under this proposal, all the patient interaction is done by actors—the doctor just writes up some general instructions, and the non-medically-trained actors carry them out. The organizational chart for this plan is shown in Figure 1.
Now, actors can focus on dealing with patients, and doctors can focus on the diagnostics.
As a bonus, each actor could be fitted with a wireless camera, allowing the doctors to monitor multiple actors at the same time, and switch around between patients by simply pressing a button on a computer (Figure 2).
PROS: Doctors can now focus on medical diagnoses, rather than having to worry about their patient-interaction skills. Provides employment opportunities for struggling actors.
CONS: None! Presumably the American Medical Association will endorse this idea any day now.