Socialized health care is great, and it’s a money saver, too. That’s why England is looking to decentralize it.
The health care budget in Great Britain has tripled in the past 13 years and the budget needs to stabilize.
According to the manifesto titled “Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS” which was presented to the Parliament, England is planning to change the way in which health care is being delivered.
They’re planning to abolish primary care trusts, which currently make decisions about who gets what health care. They want to increase the choices available to patients. In fact, the plan sets out by stating that “Patients will be in charge of making decisions about their care.” “Shared decision-making will become the norm: no decision about me without me.” Patients will also be able to rate the quality of care provided at hospitals and clinical departments so that other patients can make an informed decision whether to go to those facilities.
Government micromanagement will also decrease. In fact, the document’s Executive Summary specifically states “The forthcoming Health Bill will give the NHS greater freedoms and help prevent political micromanagement.”
The Health System will only evaluate clinically credible and evidence-based outcome measures, not process targets. “We will remove targets with no clinical justification.” Does that mean that they won’t have to play medical Bozo Buckets in England?
Providers will also be paid based on outcomes and performance.
So far, sounds like a lot of changes heading in the direction of free market medicine.
The plan would also both increase payments to … and increase involvement of … primary care providers.
And there’s a lot of feel good discussion of how the plan will increase quality of care and efficiency of care – all while reigning in costs.
One of the experts in the Times article highlighted a problem with the plan “The real mistake [is creating a plan] motivated by the principle of efficiency savings. History shows clearly that quality will suffer as a consequence.” Goes back to that whole principle about “Fast care, free care, quality care. Pick any two.” It appears that British patients may be faced with a decision whether they want to pay more money for better quality.
But I still have to credit Great Britain for this new plan, because I think there are a lot of good ideas here.