The health care system in the United States, with its technological prowess and massive infrastructure, often serves as a reference point for rapidly developing economies around the world while they build their own medical systems. With expanding middle classes demanding more-comprehensive care, governments of these emerging markets are under pressure to invest as chronic disease rates dramatically increase and the average age of their once-young populations begins to rise.

But replicating the facility- and labor-intensive American model — which is more costly than that of any other nation yet produces subpar results — will set these emerging economies on the same course of endless cost escalation that has plagued the United States.

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