Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dispatching Quangos: Taking a Lesson From Across the Pond

From a recent white paper from England's Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Secretary of State for Health about the National Health Service (NHS) we find maybe it's not so great (emphasis mine):
“... the NHS has achieved relatively poor outcomes in some areas. For example, rates of mortality amenable to healthcare, rates of mortality from some respiratory diseases and some cancers, and some measures of stroke have been amongst the worst in the developed world. In part this is due to differences in underlying risk factors, which is why we need to re-focus on public health. But international evidence also shows we have much further to go on managing care more effectively. For example, the NHS has high rates of acute complications of diabetes and avoidable asthma admissions; the incidence of MRSA infection has been worse than the European average; and venous thromboembolism causes 25,000 avoidable deaths each year.

The NHS also scores relatively poorly on being responsive to the patients it serves. It lacks a genuinely patient-centred approach in which services are designed around individual needs, lifestyles and aspirations. Too often, patients are expected to fit around services, rather than services around patients. The NHS is admired for the equity in access to healthcare it achieves; but not for the consistency of excellence to which we aspire."
And so, the NHS is embarking on a new initiative to reduce their bureaucracy by asking their doctors to not only care for patients, but serve as government contractors for the procurement of supplies using the government's money.

Should be interesting...

Meanwhile, as if blind to England's "model" health care system's struggles, we've just passed a law that emulates their system in its earlier iteration and adds all kinds of yet-undefined and un-budgeted quangos in the name of "cost savings."

Yep, should be interesting...


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