Tuesday, 4 October 2011

NHS Reforms

From the Guardian..
Dr Middleton said there was no great opposition to the planned move to place public health services such as smoking cessation within local authorities. "But the letter is a recognition from the public health community that the reforms proposed around the NHS are deeply damaging to the public health in themselves," he said. There was concern that they would lead to inequalities in healthcare and less access for the poorest and most deprived to the services they need.
"The experience of other countries that have 'liberated' their health systems has resulted in very poor health services for their communities. I'm thinking of Russia and China where a free market in health resulted in major falls in life expectancy and systems that had provided some safety net cover have failed," he said.
OK, the guy has this completely wrong. The research in The Lancet was around the effects of privatisation of the former Soviet Union in general and the unemployment that followed it, not of their health service.

And China?

life expectancy looking like a pretty steady upward climb to me....

and what do The Economist have to say about healthcare in China?
Privatisation, or at least greater private involvement, may therefore have a lot to be said for it. In Huailai County of Hebei Province, 75 km (45 miles) north-west of Beijing, officials quietly decided four years ago to allow township hospitals to be taken over by private contractors. Hospital staff there say treatment costs remain the same, but far more people use the facilities because of improved service and investment in new equipment. With a nice sense of irony, one hospital has even decorated its forecourt with one of Chairman Mao's slogans: “serve the people.”

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