Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Reform group calls for shake up in NHS funding

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 06 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:813

Rapid Response:

The 900 signatures for insurance based funding

I think it is interesting to note that out of all the 900 doctors who
signed up to support an insurance-based funding for a national health
service, only three are GPs and no one claiming to be working in the
displine of public health.

It can be no co-incidence that the majority of those who support this
reform are hospital specialists - who are most likely to benefit from an
insurance-based system, where users of health care can access whatever
specialist they think they need, and however many until they get an
opinion or treatment they want. This leads to a consumerist and demand
driven health care (more cosmetic procedures), not one that is based on
need (health promotion and public health interventions for example).

Insurance-based system favours supplier-induced demand, as well as
high-cost curative procedures with little impact on long term health
outcome and even less in terms of public health.

Let's not forget that in the UK, GPs have a very important gatekeeper
function which helps to drive down the cost of healthcare.

Competing interests:

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 April 2006
Richard Ma