Showing posts with label UK differences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK differences. Show all posts

Friday, 14 August 2009

UK v USA Healthcare

I am posting this on A&S because it has the highest hit rate and a lot of American readers, it is a bit of politics and a bit of Health and I feel falls within the A&S remit.

A bit serious for me but needs must.......

All and sundry (forgive the pun) are debating the “Obama” healthcare plan, and are comparing it to our NHS.
There are protests in the USA, there are MPs hammering the NHS over at nourishing obscurity, there are people dying because of poor care in the UK and there are people dying in the USA because they cannot afford Health Insurance.

The NHS is a wonderful Idea, healthcare free at the point of delivery, but of course it isn’t free, we pay for it with National Insurance, which is rising all the time.

So let’s look at the differences: in the USA if you can afford Health insurance you get treatment, sometimes good sometimes bad, and depending if you have an existing illness when treatment may be refused.

In the UK you get treatment without private health insurance, sometimes good sometimes bad, you can have your own health insurance which entitles you to “private” treatment, usually by NHS doctors at private clinics, and can depend if your “illness” is covered by said insurance.

In the USA thousands die because they cannot afford insurance.

In the UK thousands die without needing insurance.

Obama estimates that the cost of his healthcare reform plan will cost between $50 and $65 Billion (around £39 Billion), the NHS costs £100 Billion or so each year.

And of course the USA has a far larger population than the UK.

Can you actually compare the two countries on healthcare?

I don’t really think so, there are basic differences between us, the USA is and has always been fiscally motivated, healthcare is a profit industry, if a hospital doesn’t make money it goes out of business, in the UK healthcare at the moment is motivated by just that, care of the sick, without the profit incentive.

Sadly the NHS is slowly being privatised by the Government, along with Darzi clinics, and “centres of excellence” the demise of continuity of care, and Foundation Trusts, we are seeing the edge of the cliff and like a bunch of hypothetical lemmings we will jump into the quasi American form of healthcare.

Whereas the USA is trying to provide healthcare on a “need” basis not an ability to pay basis, which can only be a good thing for the sick in that country.

Both counties need to stand back and re assess, the UK needs to return to the tenet that was present when the NHS came into being; quality care which is not dependent on your bank balance but on your need.

And the USA needs to drag itself away from the elitist “private” insurance philosophy and embrace health care based on need and not on ability to pay.


Angus Dei politico