During the next decade diseases requiring medical intervention will be much the same as those being treated today. The site of care may, however, be moved away from the community general hospital to a non-hospital site or to a higher order or specialty hospital at a distance.
With the applications of technological advances, procedures that once were performed in hospitals are now done in free standing facilities, accelerating a trend that began in the United States in the 1980s with the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging, fibreoptic endoscopes and arthroscopes, and ambulatory surgicentres. Just as the discovery and successful treatment of Helicobacter pylori for peptic ulcer replaced a commonly performed operation so new advances will eliminate the need for care once provided by hospitals, and hospitals will become places that treat conditions that cannot be treated in other settings.
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