Health systems: where doctors and patients meet

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 19 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:i

Arguments about ways of delivering health care are more often grounded in faith and anecdote than good data. Thus Americans sneer at Britain's socialised medicine, while Britons look aghast at the United States's uninsured millions. The opening paper in this week's issue provides some good data—and will probably make our British readers feel rather uncomfortable. In it Richard Feachem and colleagues compare the costs and performance of the NHS and Kaiser Permanente, a Californian health maintenance organisation—and show that Kaiser achieves better performance at roughly the same costs (p 135).

Among the commentaries on …

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