Are hospitals becoming obsolete?

A boy in a remote-controlled car at San Diego's Rady Children's Hospital, which has a programme that uses such cars to take young patients to the operating room. Today, hospitals house MRIs, surgical robots and other technological wonders, yet there
A boy in a remote-controlled car at San Diego's Rady Children's Hospital, which has a programme that uses such cars to take young patients to the operating room. Today, hospitals house MRIs, surgical robots and other technological wonders, yet there is a lower rate of hospitalisations in the US, resulting in the number of hospitals declining.PHOTO: REUTERS

Hospitals are disappearing. While they may never completely go away, they will continue to shrink in number and importance. That is inevitable and good.

The reputation of hospitals in the United States has had its ups and downs. Benjamin Rush, a surgeon general of the Continental Army, called the hospitals of his day the "sinks of human life".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2018, with the headline 'Are hospitals becoming obsolete?'. Subscribe