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PT and the Greater Good

Socialized Health Care; The British Complain

Published November 4, 2009 9:28 AM by Dean Metz
The London Times published an article today about the hopeful next Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his plan to overhaul the National Health Service. There has been outcry at mismanagement in the system and frustration by the public at the apparent lack of attention to timely and quality care. As I mentioned in a previous post, the NHS is the fourth largest employer in the world and for the most part, a monopoly in the delivery of care in the UK.

Cameron brings up some interesting points. For instance, the lack of competition has resulted in complacency in the mindset of NHS. He states bidding out contracts to private companies will force the NHS to control costs and improve quality of care. Patients will then benefit from the process, have greater choice in their own treatment and jobs will be created from the competing companies.

Isn't that the system we have in the U.S.? We have the luxury of choice in providers, insurers and hospitals. We also have the risk of not receiving care at all or of racking up debts way beyond comprehension to address medical needs. Could the UK be heading for the same conundrum the U.S. is in right now?

Cameron doesn't want to eliminate the NHS. The British are not about to be left without basic health care...yet. Could both countries be heading for a similar resolution but from opposite starting points? Privatizing care for those who can afford it but offering a basic coverage for those who cannot afford it or for those who choose not to participate, is that the solution? What impact would it have on small business (private PT practices for example) if they didn't have to shoulder the burden of health insurance for their employees?

There is a Chinese curse that says, "May you live in interesting times." As for health care, the times are fascinating.

3 comments

Interesting take on the health care dilemma, Dean and the comparison between the two countries. I shall await your comments after you begin work. Maybe you can attest to the quality of care over there and the issue of lack of competition.

Walter Holland November 14, 2009 2:21 PM

Sorry, here is the link for that article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/opinion/05kristof.html

Dean Metz November 8, 2009 12:12 PM

The NY Times also ran an op-ed piece about where the US healthcare system rates world wide. Interesting to compare articles.

Dean Metz November 8, 2009 11:25 AM

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About this Blog


    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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