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Britain Plans To ‘Decentralize’ Healthcare

From an unfazed New York Times:

Britain Plans to Decentralize National Health Care


July 24, 2010

LONDON — Perhaps the only consistent thing about Britain’s socialized health care system is that it is in a perpetual state of flux, its structure constantly changing as governments search for the elusive formula that will deliver the best care for the cheapest price while costs and demand escalate.

Apparently the author of the peace would find a drowning man equally amusing. For what we are seeing is the NHS flailing around in an ocean of debt.

Even as the new coalition government said it would make enormous cuts in the public sector, it initially promised to leave health care alone. But in one of its most surprising moves so far, it has done the opposite, proposing what would be the most radical reorganization of the National Health Service, as the system is called, since its inception in 1948.

Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.

The plan would also shrink the bureaucratic apparatus, in keeping with the government’s goal to effect $30 billion in “efficiency savings” in the health budget by 2014 and to reduce administrative costs by 45 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost because layers of bureaucracy would be abolished

These are union jobs. So the likelihood of this plan ever fully coming to fruition are slim.

The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, also promised to put more power in the hands of patients. Currently, how and where patients are treated, and by whom, is largely determined by decisions made by 150 entities known as primary care trusts — all of which would be abolished under the plan, with some of those choices going to patients. It would also abolish many current government-set targets, like limits on how long patients have to wait for treatment

The government announced the proposals this month. Reactions to them range from pleased to highly skeptical.

Many critics say that the plans are far too ambitious, particularly in the short period of time allotted, and they doubt that general practitioners are the right people to decide how the health care budget should be spent. Currently, the 150 primary care trusts make most of those decisions. Under the proposals, general practitioners would band together in regional consortia to buy services from hospitals and other providers…

Dr. Vautrey said the country needed to have a “mature debate about what the N.H.S. can and cannot afford.”

He said: “It is a sign of the mixed messages that government sends out. They talk about choice and competition and increased patient expectations at the same time as they tell the service they need to cut costs and refer less and prescribe less. People need to understand that while the needs of everyone may be met, their wants will be limited.” …

We posted about this development two weeks ago. But, as usual, the New York Times waited for the low readership of a Saturday mornings during a lazy summer weekend to publish their version of events.

After all, they don’t want their readers to realize that the rest of the world is moving in the opposite direction from us with their ‘healthcare reform.’

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, July 24th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Britain Plans To ‘Decentralize’ Healthcare”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    All this before we can get our money hole properly dug.
    When we sell out the best medical operations in the world, Europeans will have to go to Mars for the next best thing (nothing at all).
    Illegals here will be S.O.L……….as with the rest of us non worthy peons.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This is all very interesting. While Great Britain and the rest of Western Europe “re-discover” a capitalist economy, the US, with our incredibly prescient leaders, find it necessary to “get while the gettin’ is good” and bankrupt the US and turn us into a socialist oligarchy.

    I sincerely hope that after all the crying and burning/looting, the unions in GB lose and healthcare becomes a private business. Naturally, they would be more regulated than even our current system, but at least there will be choice, competition and I can be pretty sure, much better care.

    It will take some years. This can’t happen immediately because the entrenched medical care people are largely inept and incompetent. So, in about 10-15 years maybe GB will be the bastion of research medicine and the cutting edge of superior medical care. Like….we used to be.

    What say you now, Barry the omniscient? The model you so wanted to copy is bailing, quitting, morphing out of the socialist agenda. Note the reasons please.

    Like talking to a wall. The boy who sits in the president’s chair cares not. If he did he would note the change. After all, it’s about grabbing power and making the people turn to the government for everything they need. Don’t expect any comments on the matter from the boy. He’s not listening.

  3. proreason says:

    Too little. Too late.

    • tranquil.night says:

      I agree. Europe’s austerity moves can hardly be called rediscovering capitalism (not to knock you Rusty, you threw quotes around it but there are some who think the Berlin Wall’s coming down again).
      It’s austerity. A lean protein shake after 25 years straight of Big Macs. It ain’t going to do a thing when we go into the toilet next year and take the world back into financial crisis with us. Unmitigated Pro-private growth policies are the only hedge.

      Note that people aren’t rioting and services aren’t striking in the streets because Big Daddy ain’t takin’ away the free health care.

      My girlfriend just had a friend come back from her year abroad in Spain which included getting scammed and held up in Mooselimb mosque in Morocco and dropping acid on the bombed out streets of Bosnia. So this is someone in the clique.

      Asked about the HealthCare, she insisted it was “free” and then in the same sentence told me about a guy who hadn’t been able to get treatment for a bad infection on his foot in six months. It wasn’t an outrage to him.

      What’s the saying when it comes to bad diseases: “When the symptoms become acute, it may already be too late?”

      Been fighting that feeling here for awhile.

  4. Melly says:

    God save our gracious Queen!
    Long live our noble Queen!
    God save the Queen!
    Send her victorious,
    Happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us,
    God save the Queen.

    Thy choicest gifts in store
    On her be pleased to pour,
    Long may she reign.
    May she defend our laws,
    And give us ever cause,
    To sing with heart and voice,
    God save the Queen.

    Maybe when we repeal Obamacare we can all sing happily:

    My country,’ tis of thee,
    sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
    land where my fathers died,
    land of the pilgrims’ pride,
    from every mountainside let freedom ring!

    My native country, thee,
    land of the noble free, thy name I love;
    I love thy rocks and rills,
    thy woods and templed hills;
    my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

    Let music swell the breeze,
    and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
    let mortal tongues awake;
    let all that breathe partake;
    let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

    Our fathers’ God, to thee,
    author of liberty, to thee we sing;
    long may our land be bright
    with freedom’s holy light;
    protect us by thy might, great God, our King

  5. wstuga says:

    “Many critics say that the plans are far too ambitious, particularly in the short period of time allotted, and they doubt that general practitioners are the right people to decide how the health care budget should be spent. Currently, the 150 primary care trusts make most of those decisions”

    What are these clowns talking about? When these critics speak of health care budgets, what they really mean is medical decisions. What the sentences really say is “Many critics say that the plans are far too ambitious, particularly in the short period of time allotted, and they doubt that general practitioners are the right people to make medical decisions for patients. Currently, the 150 primary care trusts make most of those decisions”

    Who do you want making your medical decisions: doctors or bureaucratic drones?

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