Opinion – The National Health Service – Accident and emergency | The Economist

Health care systems

Health care systems (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



This outstanding, must-read Economist article highlights that the NHS is in a mess. It suggests that reformers believe that new models of health care, many pioneered in other countries, can fix it.

Source: Accident and emergency | The Economist

The Economist explains:

Then there is a more radical option: ditch the taxpayer-funded model altogether and replace it with health insurance. Typically the French, Swiss or German model of universal social insurance is pitched, as opposed to the American model. This is not a new idea; William Beveridge, who proposed a national health service during the second world war, preferred it. Its supporters argue that in countries that mandate health insurance, more money is spent on health and outcomes are better, partly as a result of competition between providers. One recent paper calling for social insurance in Britain is entitled: “What are we afraid of?”

Earlier I reblogged another excellent article published in the Guardian, arguing that this blog has long argued in favor of scrapping the NHS and replacing it with a Best Practice model public healthcare system, for example based on Germany.

As a former expert in delivering strategic change, let me try to articulate the challenge which is political.

Let’s use some simple notation:

A = NHS current status

B = New UK Best Practice public healthcare system

The challenge is to move from A to B, minimizing disruption to patients and one-time transition costs. Most importantly, there would be a need for B to be completely new and not a re-badged or reformed A.

For B to be effective, there would need to be more competition and completely new contracts with health workers and suppliers.

Even if the UK government had the guts to introduce B, I fear that it would be burdened with legacies from A.

Perhaps, the only effective solution is for UK public healthcare to be completely outsourced to the private sector?





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