Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hey buddy, can you spare a hip op?



"Patients are being allowed to jump growing NHS queues by paying up to £15,000 for a hip replacement."

Now I personally have no problem with this as a matter of practice. After all, Americans with million dollar homes get care at the Mayo Clinic, and those in Section 8 have the free clinic (yes, I am that cynical). The difference is that we don't pretend otherwise. A (nominally) free market-based system such as ours is going to have this result.

But in a government-run system like the Much Vaunted National Health Service©, everyone is supposed to be treated equally. So while it doesn't surprise me that folks who can afford better care get it, it beautifully illustrates the hypocrisy of that system's proponents (and, of course, those who agitate for it here).

Now there was one intriguing item in the linked article, which was quickly elided over, but which I think may hold some promise here:

"Many hospitals offer all-inclusive packages that work out significantly cheaper than charging separate fees for the operating theatre time, the consultant and occupying a hospital bed."

So-called "bundled billing" may well be a pipe dream, but seems to me to be a worthwhile goal.
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