British NHS is decentrializing…Leftists everywhere are lamenting.
During our recent Obamacare debate both sides looked at the British NHS as an example of state-run healthcare.
Those opposing a single payer system used the endless wait times and other inefficiencies as what not to do. Well now, those inefficiencies are causing the new british government to make some real reforms.
Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.
The plan would also shrink the bureaucratic apparatus, in keeping with the government’s goal to effect $30 billion in “efficiency savings” in the health budget by 2014 and to reduce administrative costs by 45 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost because layers of bureaucracy would be abolished.
In a document, or white paper, outlining the plan, the government admitted that the changes would “cause significant disruption and loss of jobs.” But it said: “The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the N.H.S., and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians, means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management.”
It should be noted that while the Government will still be shelling out the money, the bureaucrats won’t be in charge anymore. Also of note is to remember the single-payer advocates claim that having the government running it, instead of those evil insurance companies, would create efficiencies. Now we have the British wanting to save $30 billion by getting government our of running health care. These new reforms are a far cry from true free market reforms, but they are a start.