Friday, 1 October 2010

BMA attacks NHS reforms

The blog has highlighted before the fallacy promoted by many commentators here that the NHS is particularly inefficient by international standards... in fact, the independent Commonwealth Fund has undertaken significant amounts of research and concluded it is among the more efficient systems in the developed world.

This actually makes sense: the NHS has economies of scale and, relatively speaking, similar standards and procedures in the way it treats its staff and patients. Insurance-based models of health care delivery and those that routinely deal with paying patients require far more localised bureaucracy (to deal with financial transactions, for example) and can become hugely complex to administer.

There is a significant danger that an ideological desire to seek the privatisation and localisation of the health service in the UK will undermine it significantly - and the BMA today expressed a similar concern.

Now, the BMA doesn't necessarily have the greatest track record of putting patients first - like many other trade unions, it in effect lobbies to protect the pay and conditions of its members - but many of the points it makes are of genuine concern to those that value the UK's fair, equitable (and relatively efficient) health system.

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