This is the first positive sign that the UK may get a grip on the disaster that has become the NHS. The new UK government plans a radical overhaul that could take the power away from bureaucrats and permit physicians more latitude on making health care decisions with their patients. From the story:
About £80billion will be distributed to family GPs in a move that will see strategic health authorities and primary care trusts scrapped. The plan, contained in a white paper to be published next week, is designed to place key decisions about how patients are cared for in the hands of doctors who know them. Tens of thousands of administrative jobs in the health service will be lost as a result. At present, funds are given by the Government to primary care trusts, which pay for patients from their area to be treated in hospital.
Under these plans, GPs — who are currently not responsible for paying for hospital referrals — would receive the money instead and pay the hospitals directly. The change will be compulsory. The Coalition hopes the new system will be less bureaucratic and give doctors and patients more control over treatment. GPs will also have to organise out-of-hours services, which may see family doctors offering 24-hour care once again.
Ha! This looks a lot like HMO capitation! But it sure beats keeping the bureaucrats in control. Time will tell about this plan–and I wonder if it will begin the necessary process of emasculating NICE–but decentralizing is a very positive step.
Too bad Obamacare strives to push the USA in the exact opposite–and wrong–centralized direction.