realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, February 11, 2005

ER/Scrubs vs Casualty/Holby

James Bartholomew on the differences between healthcare in the US and the UK in the Spectator.

I read Newt Gingrich's "Saving Lives, Saving Money", his book on healthcare reform recently - it's one of those American policy books - you've gotten the message at least 3 times before the end of the introduction - but it's an interesting take on healthcare provision - his main point is that the individual must be empowered to make decisions about their own health care. This means a variety of things from increased health prevention - more exercise, healthy eating, early diagnosis of common conditions - taking part in exercise programmes would decrease your health insurance and he was also supportive of the ideas of health care savings accounts which Bush has introduced and was adamant that the purchaser of health insurance should be the consumer as opposed to the current US system where employers provide cover. The personal responibility of having to choose your own cover and then fork out your cash would hopefully have a beneficial effect, in that you would have more responsibility over your health and hopefully healthy lifestyle choices would follow.
Pity health service arguments here haven't reached that "big picture" stage yet. And until they do, it's hard to envisage any politician, Mary Harney included, working up the political courage to tackle the cosy DoH comfort-zone attitudes.

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