While British health ministers have been quick to applaud the advantages of a “national” health system to fight the swine flu outbreak, the very centralised nature of the service cuts two ways, according to a new report.
Civitas, the think tank, blames the monolithic nature of the National Health Service for “putting the patient last”.
It argues that the “customer” of the NHS business model introduced by Tony Blair and continued by Gordon Brown is the health secretary rather than the patient.
The report sees much in favour of attempting to introduce private provision within the state system and competition between NHS trusts to attract patients. But it says that all this has been stymied by incessant interference from the Department of Health.
American health care needs “reform.” But genuine reform means putting the patient first, not last–as the president and congressional Democrats would do by dramatically expanding federal controls. Sick Americans don’t need a Doctor-in-Chief in Washington.