The Great Debate UK

Rogue private healthcare requires government action

Ali Malsher is a clinical negligence partner in law firm Anthony Gold and a former nurse. The opinions expressed are her own.–

The private healthcare sector is booming. Cut backs in the NHS mean more people are taking out health insurance and looking to private hospitals to provide their care.

In May a private hospital in Berkshire introduced a new ‘GP’ service, which will see patients paying £95 for a 30-minute consultation, as a result of what it perceives is the frustration of patients in obtaining a timely GP appointment. In addition to necessary medical treatment, there is an increasing consumer demand for cosmetic surgery much of which takes place in the private sector.

Most members of the public believe that by going private they’re paying for speed and attention, and that the quality of care is the same or even better than that in the NHS. Private hospitals encourage this perception in their advertising and it is compounded by the fact that many consultants routinely work in both the public and private sectors. So in the mind of many, the service must be the same or better.

The Mid Staffs fine won’t bring cultural change to the NHS

–Ali Malsher is a former nurse who is now a clinical negligence partner at London law firm Anthony Gold. The opinions expressed are her own.–

Following the criminal fine for Mid Staffs yesterday, the public are rightly asking what this will mean for patients’ rights going forward. Will the imposition of such a large fine of £200,000 on a hospital trust have a positive effect on the way patients are treated in hospitals? Will the fine shock other trusts into shifting towards a culture of greater transparency? Currently, patients who have received substandard treatment suffer from a significant lack of information about what really happened and why. Is this going to be changed by yesterday’s announcement?

Quality of care the missing link between coverage of care and health improvements

Jocalyn Clark (@jocalynclark) is Senior Editor at PLOS Medicine. The opinions expressed are the organisation’s own.–

While coverage of health care has increased considerably since the international community defined its millennium development goals to improve health around the world, health gains remain stubbornly elusive, especially in developing countries, and poor quality of care may be the reason why.

from The Great Debate:

Obama, Moses and exaggerated expectations

-Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own-

President Barack Obama is close to the half-way mark of his presidential mandate, a good time for a brief look at health care, unemployment, war, the level of the oceans, the health of the planet, and America's image. They all featured in a 2008 Obama speech whose rhetoric soared to stratospheric heights.

"If...we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I'm absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last best hope on earth."

from The Great Debate:

The lucrative business of Obama-bashing

Bernd Debusmann-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

Four days before Barack Obama was sworn into office, a prominent radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, told his conservative listeners that a major American publication had asked him to write 400 words on his hopes for the Obama presidency.

from The Great Debate:

Refuting healthcare myths

David Magnus-- David Magnus, Phd, is the director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. The views expressed are his own. --

The public discussion of healthcare reform has been full of so many lies and myths that it is less a policy debate than bad theater.

from The Great Debate:

Where the healthcare debate seems bizarre

healthcare-globalpost

global_post_logoMichael Goldfarb serves as a GlobalPost correspondent in the United Kingdom, where this article first appeared.

In America, the health care debate is about to come to a boil. President Barack Obama has put pressure on both houses of Congress to pass versions of his flagship domestic legislative program prior to their August recess.

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