The Virginia Mason Institute may be very good, but I and all the profession are deeply suspicious of US solutions to Health Care problems. The profit motive, where money is overtly driving the system, is only effective where there are disincentives to make a claim, and where the real cost is overt. The side effect is the perverse incentives to over-treat, and to over-investigate….. Something our consultants have been proud to avoid in the past… but now they are being pilloried this goodwill towards the state will disappear. There are many other systems (Rationing and Models), and politicians have ignored their own reports on how to reduce waiting times and infections. (Orthopaedic waiting lists: time for more, and equal access to, non-urgent centres)
The objective of government is to treat populations, and the objective of doctors and hospitals is to treat individuals. There are many other models than the US, and the governments obsession with the US is not logical when you consider their poor population outcomes (which will be improved by Obamacare)! This is why the consultants are reluctant to be involved with management when offered the chance: they did not want to be making covert rationing decisions in a “free and comprehensive” service.
There are vast differences in safety in the UK, and some hospitals with better morale than others. These resources could be tapped at much cheaper rate than the millions the US will demand. The problem of the changeover is nearly upon us (August comes around again – don’t get ill in August) ad one quick fix would be to move the changeover to the autumn when there is less competition for holiday leave….