Why we’re heading for a global healthcare crunch – and how to avoid it

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Humankind has managed to get people to the moon, created devices which connect us with others anywhere in the world, and made 640 tonnes of metal fly through the air, so why can’t we find a sustainable model for healthcare?

Healthcare spending is growing at an unsustainable rate, faster than economies and faster than wages. In the US, it is predicted that in just seven years health will cost 20% of GDP. The UK will catch up some time within the next 50 years, depending on inflation. NHS Englandrecently revised upwards its expectations for efficiency savings, claiming that on top of the £20bn savings it had already predicted, an additional £30bn will need to be found between 2014 and 2020.

Commentators often argue that the answer to the problem is to refocus the healthcare system from delivering activity to delivering value; simply spending more money does not translate to better outcomes.

So what is value in healthcare? It may be patient outcomes or results achieved per pound spent; this is hard to visualise so it may be better to say that value equals solving health problems for patients to leave them in a better position than when they approached the service, and at a cost which is more efficient than paying for the long-term consequences of the presenting problem.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

Health Care