Monday, January 17, 2011

Health Care: Brits Seeking to Cut Red Tape, Look to Americanize

The British are more and more realizing that socialized medicine is not the answer. From ABC News:
The British leader, whose Conservative Party heads the country's coalition government, said he would save money and cut red tape by giving control over management to family practitioners rather than bureaucrats, and allow private companies, charities and social enterprises to bid for contracts within the public health service.

Lib critics are screaming about the devil of privatization, but why is it a devil? Especially when bureaucrats are killing the populace with stupid decisions. Back to the story:
In a speech outlining the government's plans to overhaul public services, Cameron promised to get rid of "topdown, command-and-control bureaucracy and targets." He said that with an aging population and growing demand for new medical treatments, "pretending that there is some easy option of sticking with the status quo and hoping that a little bit of extra money will smooth over the challenges is a complete fiction."

Well, they get that right. However, the Brits don't realize their system is a disaster. Even Cameron says it is a great service, even as people wait months for necessary treatments or are denied because of some faceless board that makes decisions. Also, the brits don't understand competition with statements like this from doctors:
The letter said increasing internal competition meant that "with scarce resources there is a serious danger that the focus will be on cost, not quality."

Uh, no. Competition decreases costs and raises quality. If your doctor stinks, you can go to another who may be a better doctor. Likewise, you can find a doctor that is cheaper and has better service. While this is a good sign for the Brits and yet another indictment of the concept of Obamacare, the Brits still have a long way to go in straightening out their system.