Sunday, October 19, 2008

British National Health Service, A Model For All To Emulate

When the government runs health care, the patient comes first. There's no profit motive to get in the way of world class medical decisions.

Dozens of incentive schemes have been uncovered which allow GPs to profit by slashing the number of patients they refer for hospital care.

Under one scheme, GPs stand to gain £59 for every patient not referred to hospital, if they cut an average referral rate by between two and eight per cent...

A leading surgeon said that patients' cancers had already gone undiagnosed after they were denied specialist care under two such "referral management" schemes...

The average family doctor, with a patient list of about 2,000 patients, stands to make between £6,000 and £9,000 if they achieve all the targets, on top of a performance-related pay system which already gives the average GP an income of £110,000.

Why anyone would want us to have a system like this just floors me.


ricki said...

Not to mention that the government then would feel a sense of entitlement to do certain things to "control" health care use.

For example: have high cholesterol? Get it down or else risk forfeiting care. Overweight? You're going to be endlessly nannied about diet and exercise until you shrink to the "acceptable" size. Smoker? Forget health care altogether unless you quit. Old? Well, you're close to death anyway, so we're not going to spend extra resources on you...

allen (in Michigan) said...

> But critics fear that patients could suffer if GPs' decisions are swayed by the prospect of a cash bonus.

Nothing gets by those British critics. But it's just nonsense to suggest that a doctor could be motivated by money. I'm sure they're made of finer stuff then that.

The British are, however, being a bit more organized about ignoring their citizens to death in the name of budget constraints then the Canadians. They just ignore their patients to death without doctors getting any, to the best of my knowledge, incentive for deliberately ignoring people in need of medical care.

So Mike or Donal, care to explain this little factoid in terms which prove it to be the sort of policy that'll convince Americans why socialized medicine is a good idea?