19 May 2010

Robots before immigrants

Well here's a different twist on the immigration debate. While the continuing discussion these days in the States focuses on Arizona, it looks like Japan has taken its own stand against immigrants.

They don't want them either, apparently not even the legal kind if it has anything to do with health care. No no no, you can keep your trained nurses because they're gonna use robots.1

Ok yea this is a country crazed with robots assisting in every factor of daily life. But, to go so far as to not want health care workers just because they have to be imported from somewhere and plan to use robots instead? Maybe I don't get it, but that just sounds nuts.

Like the States, an aging population and a nursing shortage may bring their health care system to a crisis point if the current trends aren't turned around. And while Japan may be the place to be for the most advanced robotic technology, I would guess that they're still decades away from having a free wheeling robot that could replace a trained nurse.

And from a superficial standpoint, if I've got to be stuck in a hospital for any period of time, 'hot human nurse' beats 'hot robot nurse' any day of the week.

1Japan may pick robots over immigrants [BBC News]

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