So it turns out that Government-run healthcare (most European countries have this model) comes in far ahead of the US method of healthcare delivery in one category: patients are much more likely to die in the hospital.
“A recent report from Channel 4 News in the U.K. revealed figures showing that National Health Service (NHS) hospitals (the government run health program) have death rates “among the worst” compared to other countries. In fact, Channel 4 found that NHS patients are 45% more likely to die in a hospital than the United States. Due to privacy, the article was not able to reveal the other five countries.”
Is it the profit motive that is embedded in US healthcare delivery that provides us better healthcare or is it the American culture of competitiveness (also driven by/supported from a capitalist system)? For example: Mayo Clinic wants to be better than Banner Health so as to make claims that their patients do better. Maybe it is America’s history of entrepreneurism and attention to continuous improvement (also a straight line tied capitalism). If Mayo puts in place higher staff to patient ratios and spends more on training, it increases the price of healthcare but to the gain of better quality of life and longer life. And as Professor Richard Zimmerman, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic Hospital, points out that while this can be labor intensive with a dozen or more people involved in each round for each patient, but he said it is cost efficient in the end. He noted that “It is less expensive than having a lot of deaths and having admissions that last longer because you don’t do it right the first time.”
Although other health economists have pointed out that more and quicker deaths in the hospital actually use less resources and saves money.
So what is the goal of socialized healthcare –
- reduce the amount spent on healthcare
- give access of affordable healthcare to more people
- improve population health
The conundrum is you can’t achieve the first and second without a decrease in the quality of healthcare that is provided.